This article provides basic information about post-graduate global grant-supported scholarships. 


Rotary clubs can apply to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) for district and global grants to support scholarships. Funds come from the club, the District to which it belongs, and The Rotary Foundation (TRF).  (Most clubs also provide scholarships to eligible high school graduates, which is the subject of a different post).

Global grants are for graduate students studying abroad (outside their country of origin) in one of Rotary’s seven causes (also called "Areas of Focus"). You will find a great deal more detail in The Rotary Foundation Code of Policies, Article 31, "Areas of Focus", which addresses what the Foundation is looking for when considering whether to grant scholarship monies.  The Areas of Focus are:

  • Promoting peace

  • Fighting disease

  • Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene

  • Saving mothers and children

  • Supporting education

  • Growing local economies

  • Supporting the environment

Global Grants themselves are addressed in The Rotary Foundation Code of Policies, Article 33 "Rotary Foundation Grants", specifically section 33.050 "Global Grants".

Global grants fund three main international activities: humanitarian projects, vocational training teams, and scholarships.

Now, for more detail.

The Rotary Foundation Code of Policies section which addresses Global Grants used for scholarships reads as follows:


33.050.5. Global Grants for Scholarships. The term “Rotary Scholar” shall be used when referring to any global grant scholar recipient.

 A. General Criteria 

1) Scholarship activities can be awarded to scholars of all ages, provided scholars meet the minimum educational-level requirements. 

2) The scholarship term is one to four academic year(s) of coursework or research at a graduate level or its equivalent.  

3) The study institution and specific academic program must be approved by The Rotary Foundation. 

4) Eligible fields of study shall be limited to The Rotary Foundation areas of focus. 

5) Individuals awarded district grants or global grants may not enroll at a Rotary Peace Center partner university in the same or similar academic program as those pursued by Rotary Peace Fellows. 

6) Grant funding covers tuition, travel, living, insurance, and other education-related expenses as approved by The Rotary Foundation. 

7) The host sponsor club or district must designate a host counselor for an inbound scholar.  

8) If the scholar leaves or terminates the grant without the prior written approval of The Rotary Foundation, or if the grant is canceled by The Rotary Foundation, the international sponsor club or district is expected to help recover the funds for return to The Rotary Foundation by the scholar.

 B. Scholar Requirements 

1) Scholar candidates should have a good knowledge of Rotary and a solid commitment to activities and service within both sponsoring clubs and districts. 

2) All scholars are required to attend a club, district, or multidistrict organized outbound orientation session prior to departing their international (home) sponsor district, and shall forfeit their award if unable to attend without a valid reason. 

3) Scholars must provide proof to The Rotary Foundation of unconditional [or conditional] university admission to a graduate-level program or letter of invitation to conduct postgraduate-level research when applying for their grant. 

4) Scholars must apply for their grant via an international sponsor club or district in association with a host sponsor club or district. (Our Club will help to sponsor eligible candidates through our District, Rotary District 5020). 

C. Participation 

1) Scholars are expected to participate in club or district activities before, during, and after the grant in accordance with the terms and conditions.  

2) Both host and international sponsor clubs should issue invitations to enable scholars to participate in club/district activities such as speaking and presenting at club or district meetings and participating in service projects.

D. Levels of Grant Application Assessment Scholarship applications will be reviewed by an area of focus expert as needed.  

E. Deadline. Scholarship applications must be received by The Rotary Foundation 30 June for studies that begin in August, September, or October.  (However, our Rotary District, District 5020, usually calls for scholarship applications to be submitted in mid-January each year).  


There are three other types of scholarships available. They are District Ambassadorial Scholarships, Peace Fellowships and Water Studies scholarships.

> One District 5020 Ambassadorial Scholarship is awarded annually, usually in amounts of between 15 and 30 thousand dollars. The scholarship is not offered by other Rotary Districts. The application deadline for this scholarship is usually mid-January, annually. Candidates usually also apply for a Global Grant Scholarship at the same time. If awarded the Global Grant Scholarship, the Rotary District 5020 Ambassadorial Scholarship can be awarded to another candidate.  

> Rotary Peace Fellowships are available to candidates who want to participate in a master’s degree or certificate program at one of six Rotary International partner universities. Learn about Rotary peace fellowship eligibility requirements and restrictions.   

Basically, 100 such Fellowships are available annually; fifty 18-month master's programs at five universities outside the US and 50 year-long certificate programs at Chulalangkorn University in Bangkok. (The one US master's program is not available to US citizens - the idea is for the student to study in a different country). There is an additional, similar certificate program available for African national students which is not addressed here).   

The Fellowships pay for tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and field study expenses.

The Certificate Program includes a preliminary online course, a 10-week on-site course, field studies, a social change initiative, and a one-week on-site capstone seminar. (This is a change from the previous 3-month residency program which is no longer offered). 

> Rotary Foundation water scholarships are available to candidates who have already been admitted to one of IHE Delft Institute for Water Education eligible 18-month Master of science degree programs in the Netherlands. Learn about the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education scholarship application process. . I'm not sure how many such scholarships are awarded annually. If you're interested in these scholarships, which usually go, as I understand it, to non-first-world scholars, I'll find out and send more information.

For additional background, there are also District Grants available to support scholarships. District grants can be used to sponsor secondary school, undergraduate, or graduate students studying any subject, either locally or abroad. The scholarship may cover any length of time, from a six-week language training program to a year or more of university study. District Grants are applied for in February for the following Rotary Year beginning July 1st.

We are fortunate to have an excellent committee at the District level that can help with the many details. Please don't be deterred by all the administration implied in the above information; if you qualify, the Rotary Club of East Jefferson County will be more than happy to do everything we can to support your quest.  

Please do not hesitate to inquire if interested. 


Rotary International Scholarships

The Rotary Foundation Code of Policies

Peace Fellowships

IHE Delft Scholarship video