Student bursary scheme

The 2020 Student Bursary Scheme is now closed.

In 2020, as part of our work in promoting the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has run the fifth year of our bursary scheme for prospective students of the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality at the Institute of Public Administration.

The student bursary scheme 2020 supports applications from civil society organisation representatives only.

The Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality is a one-year, part-time programme that has been developed in conjunction with the Institute of Public Administration and is enrolling until September 2020. The bursary scheme will cover all course fees for successful applicants.

The 2020 Bursary application process was open from the 7th of May until Monday the 15th of June at 5pm sharp.

The aim of this bursary is to contribute towards building participants’ skills to advance implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty in public bodies. Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 establishes a statutory obligation on public bodies to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and protect the human rights of those to whom they provide services and staff when carrying out their functions.

Civil Society Organisations can advance public bodies’ implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty in many ways, including through advocacy. For more information on the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty please see: https://www.ihrec.ie/our-work/public-sector-duty/

As a NUI Level 8 Special Purpose Award the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality at the Institute of Public Administration is primarily academic in its nature. While there is no requirement to have completed study of such a nature previously, it does involve the submission of written assignments and a formal written examination.

About the bursary scheme:

There are 6 bursary places available for people working in civil society organisations, including community and voluntary organisations, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, groups representing geographic communities or communities of interest, and trade unions.

Bursary places on the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality are open to people working at all levels and functions. However, preference will be given to applications demonstrating clear intention to advocate for implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty (the Duty) in one, or more, public bodies.

The bursary scheme will cover all course fees for successful applicants.

Please note that bursary recipients who do not complete the diploma course or assessments will be required to provide the cost of the fees covered by the bursary.

Please note that bursary recipients will be required to report back and liaise with the Commission during and after the course and participate in meetings / focus groups and impact reporting relating to their participation in the course.

If you or your organisation have applied for the bursary previously, this does not preclude you from applying again.

Application criteria:

• Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how they intend to use the learning from the diploma in their work.

• Relevant organisations are asked to nominate their candidate(s) to be considered for the bursary scheme and provide official sign off of the application.

• More than one staff member from each organisation can submit an application. However, in the event that a large volume of applications are received, priority may be given to ensuring that as many organisations as possible are represented.

• Priority will be given to applications from civil society organisation staff members’ demonstrating clear intention to promote implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty in one or more public bodies that they engage with.

Evaluation of applications:

All applications will be screened to check eligibility. In order to be eligible applications must:

  • Be submitted on time;
  • Be completed in full;
  • Be submitted by an eligible applicant;
  • Include a nomination by their employer.

All eligible applications received will be assessed by a panel convened for that purpose. The assessment panel for this bursary scheme will comprise of relevant staff of the Commission and independent external expertise.

Eligible applications will be assessed according to the following marking scheme:

  • Interest/reasons for applying and relevance of human rights and equality issues to the applicant’s work (50 marks);
  • Reported intended use of the learning from the diploma, including in regard to advocacy to promote implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty in one or more public bodies engaged with (50 marks);

To be eligible, applications must achieve a score of at least 50% of the points available on each of the specified criteria, and a minimum total score of at least 60% of the total points available. For avoidance of doubt, this does not mean that applications achieving these minimum scores will be supported.

Please strictly respect the word count on the application form. Please note that only the first words up to the count limit (100 words for Q4&5, 200 words for Q6) will be taken into account in the review of applications.

Queries related to the bursary scheme can be sent to bursary@ihrec.ie

For all other queries related to the diploma programme, please contact the Institute for Public Administration: information@ipa.ie

About the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality:

Students combine self-directed study (course material provided) with attendance at four two-day seminars (eight days in total) at the IPA campus in Dublin. The programme can, therefore, be taken from anywhere in the country. Form of delivery, including possible elements of blended learning, is subject to change in light of the current circumstances regarding COVID-19 and related matters.

The Diploma also includes four assignments of 2000 words each, and a three hour examination. It is a level 8 (Special purpose) award and is accredited by the National University of Ireland.

The modules include:
• Philosophical and Political Perspectives on Human Rights and Equality
• The International and European Frameworks for Human Rights
• Human Rights and Equality in the Irish Legal System
• Human Rights and Equality in Public Management

The diploma seeks to give students a better understanding of the place that human rights and equality occupy in public management and administration.

Further details about the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality including the class schedule, are available on the Diploma web page and Diploma brochure 2020/2021.