Watson Institute at Brown University
International Relations

The Marla Ruzicka International Public Service Fellowship


March 31

Eligibility Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors returning to study at Brown the following semester.
Contact Anita_Nester@brown.edu
Amount Up to $4,000, based on the proposed budget. 

NOTE - Award payments may take upwards of 7-10 business days to process.


The Marla Ruzicka International Public Service Fellowship provides up to $4,000 to support the summer plans of one Brown University undergraduate who displays the characteristics of compassion, determination, and selflessness in the pursuit of international human rights, post-conflict rehabilitation or international public service in its most noble spirit, and whose summer plans reflect those traits.

Such characteristics were the defining traits of Marla Ruzicka's remarkable and all-too-brief life. A dedicated human rights activist, she arrived in Afghanistan shortly after the fall of the Taliban to record the effects of conflict on civilian communities. She lobbied diligently and effectively to seek compensation for those families whose homes had been destroyed in the Afghan conflict. From Afghanistan, Marla went to Iraq. She founded the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), which was dedicated to assisting civilian victims of the conflict in Iraq. Marla's compassion and dedication touched all who met her, and her tragic death in April 2005 was deeply felt by those who had benefited from her selfless work.

This fellowship has been made possible through the generosity of Lucinda B. Watson, daughter of the late Thomas J. Watson, Jr. '37 and member of the Watson Institute Board of Overseers.


    • Completed online application via UFUNDs which includes:
      • detailed budget (amount per week for food, transportation (type), housing (type))
      • resume
      • transcript
      • project proposal
      • work plan
      • faculty recommendation (for thesis, must be advisor)
      • supervisor statement, offer letter, and position description (required for internship)
    • For an internship application, the student must have secured an internship that is unpaid or pays $1,000 or less (includes salary, housing, and transportation).
    • If conducting interviews, provide the professional title of the interviewee AND indicate how, specifically, that individual is relevant to the thesis as well as stipulate that interviewees have been contacted and appointments have been scheduled.
    • If applying for funds to use archives, be specific about the type/name of archives as well as their relevance to the thesis or project and, stipulate knowledge that the archives are open and arrangements to visit have been made.
    • Students must be enrolled at Brown during the time of their project/internship, i.e. seniors not returning the next fall are ineligible.
    • Student's summer plans must relate directly to international human rights, post-conflict rehabilitation, or international public service, and may involve research, advocacy, service, an internship or any combination thereof.
    • The fellowship project may be carried out in the United States or anywhere in the world.
    • Summer-long plans (10-12 weeks) will be given priority, and those under eight (8) weeks in length will not be considered.
    • Applicants are responsible for developing their own projects or finding their own internship opportunities.
    • Funding will be provided only for unpaid opportunities and will not cover fees to participate in study abroad, exchange or other similar programs.
    • The student who is awarded and accepts the Ruzicka Fellowship may not accept other University summer funding. 

Students receiving an award must:

    • Reply that they accept the award.
    • Familiarize oneself with the IRB and HRPP guidelines for undergraduate work involving human subjects.
    • If travelling abroad, register Sojourn Abroad with the Office of International Programs.


All students are required to submit to the IR Program Manager the following:

    • 1-2 page reflective essay summarizing the experience.
    • Completed travel expense accounting form including copies of all receipts
    • 1-3 photographs that highlight the experience.
    • If the student is unable to travel and/or conduct research after the award has been distributed s/he will be required to return the award money in full.
    • If the original project was modified, an updated budget and travel expense accounting is required. Money not accounted for in the modified budget must be returned.
    • Due dates:    Feb 15 (fall/winter break work)      Sept 15 (spring/summer work)


2017-18 Rachel McMahon Success and Suffering in the Tibetan Refugee Community (New Delhi & Kangra)
2016-17 Christine Lim Destigmatizing Sexuality in the Burma-China Border to Reduce High Rates of HIV/AIDS (Myanmar)
2015-16 Emily Cunniffee Humanitarian Organization Influence on Migration and Migrant Narratives in Cueta, Melilla (N Africa)