Critical Thinking Fellowship Campus Program – Fellowship Applications

Critical Thinking Fellowship Campus Program - Fellowship Applications

The AHA Foundation’s Critical Thinking Fellowship (CTF) campus program is now accepting applications for 2023-2024.

AHA is a nonprofit organization founded by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. We work to promote Enlightenment thought and protect women from gender-based violence such as forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). We also aim to create dialogue around the reformation of Islam by connecting Muslim reformers, ex-Muslims, and stakeholders. Fellows will help start a conversation on their college campus to advance freedom and human rights in the U.S. and around the world.


About the Fellowship

Fellows will organize events with other student groups that stimulate a dialogue among students and the local community about human rights abuses. Fellows partner with survivors, journalists, activists, and experts in the international human rights field to raise awareness about practices such as FGM and honor killings and what we can do to end them. In addition, fellows can host events promoting critical thinking and free speech as a means to combat extremism. Read more about the program here.



  • Invitation to expenses-paid summer training program to prepare for the coming academic year
  • Small stipend paid per event completed
  • Marketing and event promotion experience
  • Network with leaders, activists, and survivors across the globe
  • Build leadership skills
  • Learn to write op-eds and host productive conversations in polarizing environments


Fellowship Responsibilities

Fellows accepted into the program will be expected to plan and execute one event (webinar, debate, panel, interview, etc.) per semester that facilitates thought and discussion on their college campus with support from the AHA Foundation/Ideas Beyond Borders team. Event topics include women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights within Muslim communities, promoting human rights and tolerance for diverse ideological opinions, freedom of speech, Islamic reform, and more. Each fellow will be expected to participate in a monthly video meeting with program leadership to discuss upcoming events, existing hurdles, and progress made. Find examples of some of our events here.

Fellows will also be expected to continue the conversation after their event through writing in their school newspaper, creating petitions to further their cause, and hosting additional events if possible and appropriate. To evaluate the program’s effect on their campus, fellows will work with CTF staff to complete a SWOT analysis and review surveys from event participants in order to determine changes in attitudes or lessons learned from events.


Who Should Apply?

Ideal fellows…

  • Must be currently pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree at a college or university in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Demonstrate a real passion for human rights and freedom of speech.
  • Are willing to advocate for the rights of others by exploring cultural, social, religious, and policy issues in the spirit of open-minded enquiry.
  • Belong to a number of student organizations or clubs that they can utilize to invite speakers to the university and rally interest for events; student groups can range from interests such as health, social justice, women’s rights, politics, free speech, and associations that advance liberty.


Application Process

Send a cover letter letting us know why you’re interested in the fellowship along with your resume to Please be sure to include your name, university, expected graduation date, course of study, and with which campus organizations you are active.