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How to Apply

The Rotary Peace Fellowships are offered on a world-competitive basis. Each Rotary district may nominate candidates for competition in the worldwide selection process. Up to 130 fellowships for master’s level studies are offered annually at one of five Rotary Peace Centers. Fellows can only be assigned to a center outside of their home country. All Rotary districts are encouraged to recruit qualified candidates in their area to apply for the fellowship.

At the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center, Rotary Peace Fellows are supported for the 21-month duration of the academic program. The fellowship includes funding for tuition and other university fees, a monthly stipend for room and board, a contingency fund, funding for conferences and research, summer internship support, and transportation between the fellow’s home and study destination at the start and end of the fellowship period.

The Rotary Peace Fellowship application for programs beginning in the 2025-26 is now OPEN. Applications are due by May 15, 2024.

Click here to go directly to the application.

Click here to learn more about each of the Rotary Peace Centers.



Eligibility Criteria at the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center

Determining Eligibility for the Rotary Peace Fellowship

•    A strong commitment to international understanding and peace demonstrated through professional and academic achievements and personal and community service activities.

•    Demonstrated leadership skills.

•    A bachelor’s degree, with strong academic achievement (the equivalent of a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0).

•    A minimum of three years’ combined paid or unpaid full-time relevant work experience, preferably more. Additionally, candidates must have at least three years between the completion of their most recent academic degree program (i.e. undergraduate or graduate degree) and their intended start date for the fellowship. Candidates currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program are not eligible to apply.

•    Proficiency in a second language (strongly recommended).

•    Most candidates must take the TOEFL or IELTS exams and it is recommended that you do so. Duke and UNC each have their own waivers for this requirement. Depending on which graduate program you are interested in and if you fit into an exception, you may not need to take these exams. We can help you to figure this out.

•   As of May 2020, many programs at UNC no longer require the GRE. For example, the following programs at UNC do not require the GRE for admission: Geography; Masters in Educational Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (MEITE); Global Studies; the School of Social Work; and the School of Public Health. Applicants interested in other academic programs at UNC should check those programs’ websites to make sure about the GRE requirement or feel free to email us. Duke’s MIDP program does not require the GREPlease click for additional information regarding the GRE and TOEFL/IELTS exams.

Persons with disabilities are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates must apply for Rotary Peace Fellowships through a Rotary district. Please contact Rotary staff at or visit the RPF website for more information

Application Tips  

•    Thoroughly research academic programs in which you are interested.
•    Check with your local Rotary club for application deadlines.
•    Be specific in your application as to your past and future commitment to working towards peace.
•    Take required tests as soon as possible.

It’s not enough to be qualified for the Rotary Peace Fellowship; it’s essential you use the application to demonstrate how you are qualified and how your experience applies to the field of peace and conflict prevention and resolution.

Tips for Improving Your Rotary Peace Fellowship Application

Being qualified is not enough to be selected. It is essential you use the application to demonstrate how you are qualified and how your experience applies to the field of peace and conflict resolution. You can demonstrate this through the following application components:

Be certain to put the month and year for each job, internship, or volunteer experience in order to fully represent your work experience. For the master’s degree program, there is a minimum requirement of three years of relevant work experience. For the certificate program, the requirement is at least five years. We consider full-time work to be more than 30 hours per week in one position. This can be paid or unpaid and does not need to be in consecutive years. Relevant work experience could be something directly related to peace building or conflict resolution. It can also be work in other areas such as resource and environmental issues, education and literacy, women’s rights, journalism, public health and disease prevention among others. The Rotary Peace Fellowship also considers international experience, working with a non-profit or multilateral institution, working in a developing country, working with youth, or volunteer work either locally or abroad as relevant experience. If you have work experience that you believe is relevant, but might not seem relevant to someone outside of your particular field of employment, show the connection to peace and conflict resolution as you describe your primary responsibilities in that role. Additionally, we recommend that you also enrich your explanation of this connection within your essays.

Your essays are your opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants. Use examples to demonstrate your commitment to the field of peace and conflict resolution. Here are some easy-to- follow tips for writing great essays:

  • Make clear, detailed points on how the Fellowship will help you achieve your long-term goals. The selection committee strongly considers future plans and goals, so clearly state how this fellowship will affect your future aspirations. Don’t assume that the person reading your essay will automatically make the connection between your goal and what the fellowship offers.
  • For the master’s degree program, thoroughly research each center using the links on our website, and explain in detail why you prefer your top two choices. A successful candidate for one center may not be a successful candidate for another. University representatives from your top choice university/universities will review your application to determine if you would be a good fit for their program. Reviewers are looking for reflective and critical thinkers who have the passion and skills necessary to excel in this field.
  • Read the questions carefully and be sure to answer each of them clearly.
  • Be honest. Every applicant has a story and a reason for wanting to dedicate their life to peacebuilding. Essays that are honest and tell a true story are the ones that come alive and best engage the reader.
  • Don’t use lists. Instead of listing a lifetime of accomplishments, focus on the achievements that tell your story best. Elaborate on how you reached your goals and the impact this had on others.
  • Organization is important. Make an outline of key points you’d like to convey, and use that as a guide.
  • Always review your writing for spelling and grammar mistakes.

Choose references who can articulate why you are a strong applicant for the program.

Academic: Applicants to the master’s degree program must submit a recommendation from an academic reference. This person does not necessarily have to be a professor; rather, they should be someone who can attest to your ability to succeed within the classroom. Please note that classmates are very rarely able to provide a strong academic recommendation.

Professional: You can select colleagues, supervisors, and employers as your professional reference(s). A professional reference should know why you are applying to the fellowship program and how you are a good fit.

When choosing a reference, look at the recommendation form carefully and consider whether the person you have in mind would be able to answer all pertinent questions. You are encouraged to ask your reference to write thorough examples. This increases the quality of your recommendation and shows that the reference is a reliable resource when determining your candidacy for the fellowship.

English Proficiency
All courses are conducted in English. While professional development certificate candidates aren’t required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score, master’s degree candidates who are non-native English speakers must submit one of these two scores (scores are valid for 2 years after the test date). Each partner university has minimum scores, which are listed on the application instructions. If you are a non-native English speaker, but for any reason believe that you are exempt from submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score, please contact your top choice university to confirm they will grant you an exemption. If the score you received doesn’t meet the minimum score of the partner universities, we highly recommend that you take time to further study the English language, improve your proficiency, and retake the appropriate exam.




Need additional information or have a question about the fellowship? Please email us, and we will get back to you very soon.

We, the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center, welcome students of every nationality, religion, race, gender identity, sexual orientation and physical ability. We pledge to create a community that is welcoming to all, grounded in mutual respect and understanding, with the goal of advancing knowledge and the practice of peace building. We are a center comprised of three equal partners whose collective purpose is the pursuit of knowledge, practice and service through the diversity of ideas, actions and people. The Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center stands unified behind our core values. We welcome you to our community and are encouraged by what we, together, can build.