The Clara Belfield and Henry Bates Overseas Fellowship is an endowed scholarship fund designed to support Michigan Law students and alumni in their international pursuits. Since 1980, the generosity of Helen Bates Van Tyne has enabled numerous recipients to research, work, and learn around the globe. The bequest came with just three provisos:

  • awardees must have completed at least two years as a student at Michigan Law
  • awardees must travel to a foreign country
  • awardees must study the legal or political institutions of that country

Funding is available for work, study, teaching, or research projects outside the U.S. that would otherwise be unpaid. Most commonly, awardees are funded for internship positions at international or nongovernmental organizations, government agencies, courts, or other legal or political institutions abroad. Independent research, teaching, or study proposals are less common, but equally valued and considered.

Michigan Law students are eligible to apply for projects that take place during their 2L summer or anytime thereafter, including through their years as alumni. Projects may vary in length from a few weeks to a full year. Unfortunately, Bates awards are not available for students pursuing for-credit programs.

Bates Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis and no proposal is guaranteed approval. However, the endowment is a generous one and we are eager to fulfill the donor’s intentions by distributing all available funds each year.

Bates Fellowships are decided by a faculty committee within four weeks of an application being complete. Funding amounts vary from several hundred dollars to $10,000 or more, depending exclusively on the needs of the particular project. Please be aware that Bates Fellowship awards are considered taxable income to students.

How to Apply

  • Application Process

    Bates Fellowship applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will be considered as they are received. To apply, please submit a full application package in one single PDF document to Center for International and Comparative Law staff ([email protected])

    A full application package includes the following:

    1. Bates Overseas Fellowship Application Cover Sheet
    2. Written proposal
    3. Budget with amount of fellowship requested
    4. Resume
    5. Current unofficial Law School transcript, including currently enrolled courses
    6. Letter of invitation from internship agency, academic institution, research supervisor, or equivalent

    In addition, you must provide at least one letter of recommendation from a member of the Law School faculty. Recommenders must email their letters directly to Center for International and Comparative Law staff ([email protected]).

    Bates Overseas Fellowship Application Cover Sheet

    DEADLINE: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

    Decisions will be rendered no later than one month after your application is complete. Please time your requests accordingly.

  • What should your proposal include?

    Your proposal should include a complete description of your intended project, including the exact dates of the proposed visit and an explanation of how the project will contribute to your educational or professional development. Other relevant information, such as previous study or work experience or foreign language skills, should also be provided so the selection committee can evaluate the quality and feasibility of the proposal. If you are proposing an internship, please include a description of the host organization and a detailed description of the work you will be performing.

    Your proposal should also note the employment you will pursue after graduation (if applying as a 2L) or after completing your Bates project (if applying as a 3L or later).

  • What should your budget include?

    Your budget should state the amount of fellowship funding requested and be substantiated by a detailed line-item listing. Your budget should reflect anticipated living expenses and round-trip travel to the program’s location. Bates Fellows are required to purchase U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance, so please include this expense as well. Foreign language classes abroad, which are ancillary to the Bates project but logical given the particular circumstances, have been approved from time to time as part of the budget.

    If you have applied for or received funding from other sources for the proposed project, please provide the fund names and amounts.

    U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance

  • Travel Policies

    Bates Fellows must adhere to the University of Michigan International Travel Policy. Students are responsible for reading the website and complying fully, however, the most crucial elements are listed for you below. 

    • Travel must be registered in the U-M Travel Registry.
    • A Student International Travel Release must be signed and submitted.
    • U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance must be purchased through the U-M Travel Registry.
    • The University’s procedures and requirements for a University Travel Warning or University Travel Restriction Destination must be met, if applicable.

    In addition, students are responsible for determining and complying with the legal entry requirements for their Bates location. Obtaining a special visa may or may not be necessary. Please consult with the consulate or embassy of your project location as soon as possible for detailed information.

     For questions concerning the fellowship or your proposed project, contact Center for International and Comparative Law staff, at [email protected].

    U-M International Travel Policy

    U-M Travel Registry

    U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance

    U-M Travel Warnings

    Global Michigan

Past Bates Overseas Fellows

Bates Fellowships are decided by a faculty committee within four weeks of an application being complete. Funding amounts vary from several hundred dollars to $10,000 or more, depending exclusively on the needs of the particular project. Awards are generally given for extra-curricular or post-graduate activities, and not as supplemental funding of for-credit opportunities such as semester study abroad or externships. Please be aware that Bates Fellowship awards are considered taxable income to students.

  • 2021
    • Geneva, Switzerland: UN Human Right Council, Sierra Leone Delegation Lahore
    • Pakistan: Shirkat Gah Monterrey and Oaxaca
    • Mexico: Asylum Access Mexico Tel Aviv
    • Israel: Legal Aid Center for Olim
  • 2020
    • Arusha, Tanzania: African Court on Human and People’s Rights clerkship
    • Geneva: World Intellectual Property Organization internship
    • Geneva: UNHR-Geneva, UN Human Rights Council internship
    • The Hague, The Netherlands: International Criminal Court internship
    • Kyiv, Ukraine: Leavitt Institute internship
  • 2019
    • Amsterdam: IBFD Institute research forum participation
    • Cairo: St. Andrew’s Refugee Services, Refugee Legal Aid internship
    • Geneva: United Nations International Law Commission internship
    • Geneva: UNHR-Geneva, UN Human Rights Council internship
    • Geneva: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights internship
    • Geneva: World Trade Institute internship
    • The Hague, The Netherlands: International Criminal Court internship
    • Kiev, Ukraine: Dejure and Transparency International internship
    • Kyoto, Japan: University of Kyoto supervision of tax legislation research paper
    • Luxembourg: Court of Justice of the European Union clerkship
    • Munich, Germany: Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance supervision of tax benefits research paper
    • Myanmar: Women’s Peace Network conference participation
    • Thessaloniki, Greece: Research Institute for Transparency, Corruption, and Financial Crime conference participation
  • 2018
    • Lesbos, Greece: Doctors without Borders internship
    • Seville, Spain: Tres Culturas Fundacíon internship
    • Cape Town, South Africa: Legal Resources Centre internship
    • Cape Town, South Africa: Refugee Rights Clinic internship
    • United Kingdom: University of St. Andrews supervision of medieval wills research paper
    • Cape Town, South Africa: Silicon Cape internship
    • Johannesburg: Lawyers for Human Rights internship
    • Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Center for Tax Policy and Administration internship
    • São Paulo: L.O. Baptista Advogados internship
  • 2017
    • Geneva: International Organization of Migration internship
    • Geneva: United Nations Internet Governance Forum participant
    • Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) supervision of European sports law research paper
  • 2016
    • London: Reprieve’s International Death Penalty Appeals Team internship
    • Geneva: International Bridges to Justice fellowship
    • Jerusalem: Supreme Court of Israel, Justice Miriam Naor, clerkship
    • Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: University of Louvain supervision of business and economic rights and sustainable food systems research paper
    • New Delhi: Dasra internship in the area of e-learning
    • Tunis, Tunisia: International Center for Transitional Justice internship
    • Chisinau, Moldova: Leavitt Institute fellowship
    • Minas Gerais, Brazil: Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais Human Trafficking Clinic internship
    • Tel Aviv, Israel: Association of Civil Rights in Israel internship
    • Cape Town, South Africa: Refugee Rights Unit supervision of LGBTQ asylum seekers research paper
    • São Paulo: International Finance Corporation internship
    • Tunis, Tunisia: International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Programme internship
    • Madrid: International Institute for Law & Environment, Justice & Environment internship
    • Nairobi, Kenya: Namati’s Community Land Protection Program fellow
  • 2015
    • Cape Town, South Africa: Ndifuna Ukwazi internship
    • Mexico City: World Resources Institute-EMBARQ internship
    • Geneva: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Education Unit internship
    • Bangalore, India: Alternative Law Forum internship
    • Istanbul: International Finance Corporation internship
    • Cape Town, South Africa: Penal Law Reform Programme of Lawyers for Human Rights internship
    • Johannesburg: Constitutional Court of South Africa, Justice Sisi Khampepe, clerkship
    • Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Alternative Chance in Haiti internship
  • 2014
    • Istanbul: International Finance Corporation internship
    • Amman, Jordan: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees internship
    • Geneva: Deputy High Commissioner for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees internship
    • Brussels: European Commission, Directorate-General for Competition internship
    • Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University supervision of Judge Hersch Lauterpacht’s legal personality research paper
  • 2013
    • Monrovia, Liberia: Liberian Ministry of Justice internship
    • Brussels: Human Rights Watch internship
    • Quito, Ecuador: Asylum Access internship
    • Istanbul: International Finance Corporation internship
    • Luxembourg: European Court of Justice, Judge Thomas von Danwitz, clerkship
    • São Paulo: International Finance Corporation internship
    • Geneva: UN Secretariat, Nansen Initiative internship
    • Mexico City: ITAM Law School Human Trafficking Clinic internship
    • Strasbourg, France: UNHCR, Representation to the European Institutions internship
    • Germany: Supervision of comparative health law research paper
    • Mexico City: Global Workers Justice Alliance internship
    • Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Arbitration Council Foundation internship
  • 2012
    • Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Asylum Access Tanzania internship
    • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: UNHCR internship
    • London: Female Prisoners Welfare Project, Hibiscus Project internship
    • Paris: UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre internship
    • San Salvador, El Salvador: Asociacion Entre Amigos internship
    • Sydney: Australian Law Reform Commission internship
    • Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, Anti-Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Unit internship
    • Helsinki: Polar Law Symposium participant
    • Scandinavia: Supervision of indigenous law in Norway and Greenland research paper
  • 2011
    • The Hague, Netherlands: International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia internship
    • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees internship
    • Tel-Aviv, Israel: African Refugee Development Center, Refugee Status Determination Department and Identity Claims Department internship
    • Johannesburg: Legal Resources Centre, Constitutional Litigation Unit internship
    • Luxembourg: European Court of First Instance clerkship
    • Brussels: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Regional Bureau for Europe internship
    • Buenos Aires, Argentina: Universidad de Palermo Law School, Civil Association for Equality and Justice and Public Interest Legal Clinic internship
    • Durban, South Africa: Legal Resource Center internship
    • The Hague, The Netherlands: Association of Defence Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia internship
  • 2010
    • New Zealand: Supervision of sustainable outdoor travel research paper
    • Kigoma, Tanzania: Asylum Access internship
    • Phnom Penh, Cambodia: UN Assistant to the Khmer Rouge Trials, Office of the International Co-Prosecutor internship
    • Nairobi, Kenya: UN Housing Rights Program internship
    • Rome: International Development Law Organization, Microfinance Project internship
    • London: AIRE Centre internship
    • Istanbul: International Finance Corporation internship
    • Geneva: International Telecommunication Union, Corporate Strategy Division internship
    • London: British Red Cross internship
  • 2009
    • Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Asylum Access internship
    • Phnom Penh, Cambodia: East-West Management Institute internship
    • Quito, Ecuador: Asylum Access internship
    • Jerusalem: Association for Civil Rights in Israel internship
    • Cairo: Iraqi Information Office internship
    • Luxembourg: European Court of Justice, Advocate General Miguel Maduro, clerkship
    • Managua, Nicaragua: Agora Partnerships internship
    • Brussels: International Lesbian and Gay Association internship
    • Oxford, United Kingdom: University of Oxford, Doctor of Philosophy
    • Lima, Peru: International Republican Institute internship
    • Cape Town, South Africa: University of Cape Town Refugee Law Clinic internship
    • Cape Town, South Africa: South African Human Rights Commission, Parliamentary Unit internship
    • Cairo: Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance internship
    • Istanbul: International Finance Corporate internship
  • 2008
    • Geneva: World Trade Organization internship
    • Phnom Penh, Cambodia: United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Tribunals internship
    • London: AIRE Centre internship
    • Lilongwe, Malawi: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees internship
    • Jerusalem: Israeli Supreme Court clerkship
    • Bern, Switzerland: World Trade Institute researcher
    • Istanbul: International Finance Corporation internship
    • Kampala, Uganda: Refugee Law Project, Legal Aid and Counseling Department internship
    • Botswana: Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS internship
    • Freetown, Sierra Leone: Timap for Justice internship
    • Norway: Supervision of elderly care research paper
  • 2007
    • San Juan, Puerto Rico: National Council of La Raza internship
    • Johannesburg: South African Human Rights Commission, Parliamentary Department internship
    • Cairo: Africa & Middle East Refugee Assistance intern
    • Budapest, Hungary: UNHCR Regional Representation’s Protection Unit internship
    • Bogota, Colombia: CODHES internship
    • La Ceiba, Honduras: Centro Internacional de Idiomas internship
    • London: Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture internship
    • Brazil: Human Rights Watch internship
    • London: AIRE Centre internship
    • Frankfurt, Germany: ProAsyl internship