Fully Funded Dalai Lama Fellowship 2020

Housed at the University of Virginia’s Contemplative Sciences Center, Dalai Lama Fellows cultivates and supports a global movement of next generation leaders integrating contemplative work with social innovation to solve global challenges in locally adapted ways that promote human flourishing.

We all share a vision for our common humanity, and a love for our own localities, communities, and cultures, but somehow we’ve overemphasized profit, growth, and organizational metrics over wellbeing and deep interconnection with others and the worlds in which we are embedded.

We seek to broaden and deepen emerging leaders’ perspectives on what’s best for both their communities and the world as a whole now and for generations to come, calling on them to think and behave differently, and to seek realistic, innovative, integrated, and expansive ways to address local and global challenges in interconnected manners.  

We are seeking 20 young leaders from the world for our annual Dalai Lama Fellows program. Applications for the 2020 fellowship may be submitted anytime between November 4, 2019 and January 5, 2020. Timeline and eligibility requirements can be found below.

  • November 4, 2019: Application released
  • January 5, 2020: Application due (11:59pm Eastern Time)
  • March 2020 (date TBD): Fellows are selected and notified
  • April-May, 2019: Virtual on-boarding of new Fellows
  • June 2020 (date TBD): 5-day Contemplative Leadership Assembly in United States
  • July 2020-May 2021: Head, Heart, Hands curriculum, monthly coaching calls, small group learning calls, project implementation in local communities
  • June 2021 and beyond: Fellows complete program and enter LifeLong Fellows global leadership and learning community


In order to fulfill the minimum requirements, a candidate must demonstrate the following through the application:

  • Be a next generation leader who is between 20-35 years old*
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Experience or interest in learning and practicing contemplative practices throughout the year
  • Current engagement (or well-articulated plans) for a social change project in one’s local community and sustained engagement throughout the fellowship year
  • Possess in-depth knowledge of the community and the issue that the project is seeking to address, preferably with at least one year of previous experience working with the community
  • Commitment to participate in our online learning platform, coaching calls, etc.
  • Attendance at the Contemplative Leadership Assembly in mid-June 2020 (Dalai Lama Fellows will cover all travel, lodging, and meals for the assembly)

*Candidates must be between 20-35 years old on Jan. 5, 2020. This is a firm age range, and due to the high volume of applications and the fellowship’s focus on next generation leaders, we are currently unable to make exceptions.


The application for Dalai Lama Fellows consists of six major parts:

  • Applicant Background and Overview
  • Essay Questions
  • Your Resume/CV
  • One Letter of Recommendation
  • Application Video
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