Research Call for Proposals - Human Rights Defender Protection in Scotland

Published on 22 March 2022

A call for papers for the research project Scotland’s Human Rights Defenders Fellowship Programme

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To undertake a systematic review of Scotland’s Human Rights Defenders Fellowship Programme and other relevant existing programmes, and to provide expert recommendations on the current and future impact of Scotland’s support for and protection of human rights defenders.


Interim report to be delivered by 16 May 2022, final report and abstract with list of recommendations by 15 June, and presentation of findings and recommendations on or around 20 June exact dates will be advised.

Expert is expected to have experience in human rights protection, including HRD protection practice at the UK, European or International level, with knowledge of the Scottish context essential.

Researcher will develop practical policy and strategic recommendations both to the Scottish Government and current partners involved in the delivery of international programmes related to the protection of human rights defenders.

The research will be clear and concise, providing an overview and summary of existing best practice in HRD protection internationally, Scotland’s current place within that, and providing realistic short-term and long-term recommendations specific to the Scottish context and noting Scotland’s ambition to be a global leader in human rights.

Researcher will be expected to be able to develop meaningful relationships with government, civil society and academic stakeholders in order to provide an evidence base for policy and strategic recommendations.


  • Best practices in support and protection in international relocation initiatives
  • Scotland’s existing capacity to provide and develop protection and support programmes
  • Impact of current HRD support programmes
  • The extent to which the current HRD programme is achieving Scotland’s strategic outcomes to ‘respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination’.
  • The extent to which the HRD programme is contributing to Scotland’s ambition to ‘continue to play our part in building international capacity to advance human rights’
  • Current engagement with other relevant national and international programmes, fellowships, scholarships, artistic exchanges, cultural funding, etc.
  • How can Scotland improve upon its support and protection of human rights defenders in both the domestic and international contexts and support Scottish Government priorities in this area –
  • Exploring possible national and international opportunities and channels of engagement through and to the benefit of Scotland’s existing network of SHRDF alumni –
  • Internal linkages (how to engage more effectively across relevant SG directorates and departments)
  • Looking internally at cost-efficiency and cross-learning opportunities, as well as exploring how and where funds can best be mobilised
  • Proposals for both short and long-term protection in Scotland, and globally, through diaspora engagement, virtual opportunities, and other activities from and for the Scottish Human Rights Defenders Fellowship
  • Increasing or expanding domestic benefits from the SHRDF, including education/ knowledge sharing; symbolic support and visibility initiatives – including engaging with local and national authorities

Submit Proposal

Please submit proposals to by 8 April 2022. Proposals should include a short statement (no more than 500 words) on proposed approach and methodology, as well as an indication of why you are the best person to undertake this research. Please include a CV.

We will review the proposals (which may include a short online discussion with one or more candidates) shortly after the closing date. The successful candidate will be expected to provide an interim report of findings by mid/late May, a final report and abstract by mid/late June, and deliver a presentation on the findings and recommendations on or around mid/late June 2022. Exact dates will be agreed with the successful candidate. The candidate will receive a payment of £5,000.

Any questions should be directed to:    


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