Fellowship Principles


The Insight Fellowship Program was created in 2005 to foster a community of global-minded individuals prepared to manage conflict effectively and contribute to their local, national, and international communities. The Insight philosophy is that the ability to make positive contributions is a function of the quality of one’s communication skills, capacity for empathy, and self-understanding. To promote these qualities, one-year Insight Fellowships are awarded to exceptional individuals to:

Study and promote effective conflict management

Make international humanitarian contributions

Pursue self-reflection and personal development

Applications and placements are shaped by the Insight Fellowship Principles, which encourage original and reflective thinking, innovative approaches to managing conflict, exposure to other cultures and customs, cultivation of entrepreneurship and leadership, volunteering for the benefit of underserved populations, and the development of a compassionate disposition toward the world. The Fellowship includes a US $25,000 expense allowance to support multiple placements totaling one year, typically in three to four-month blocks. Each Fellow is required to repay the amount of the $25,000 allowance used through individual fund-raising efforts, regenerating the funds to ensure support for the next Fellow. This “pay forward” approach instills the values of sustainability and non-profit entrepreneurship.


The first three-month placement is at the Concord, Massachusetts offices of Insight Collaborative and its affiliate, Insight Partners. During this tenure in Concord, Fellows advance their understanding of the theory and practice of effective negotiation, communication, and mediation; meet pivotal figures in the field; attend workshops; receive personalized coaching; and see first-hand how international conflict management professionals operate in the academic, non-profit, and for-profit sectors.


The subsequent nine months are divided into three foreign placements proposed and arranged by the Fellow. Placements are approved by Insight Collaborative on the basis of safety and the extent to which they meet the Insight Fellowship Guidelines.



Each applicant must be: (1) a graduate of an accredited college or university or in good standing to graduate prior to the start of the Fellowship; (2) fluent in English; (3) available and committed to serving 12 consecutive months from the start of the Fellowship; and (4) dedicated to fulfilling the purposes of the Fellowship Program and to prioritizing the Insight Fellowship Guidelines.


Applicants are judged on the strength of their application and on their personal achievements, character, and abilities. Experience related to the study or practice of conflict management or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is preferred,


Application Process

All completed applications submitted by the application deadline will be reviewed by Insight Collaborative. Finalists will be invited to participate in an online interview in March with members of the application review committee. The application deadline has been extended to February 11, 2020.


For more information, visit www.InsightCollaborative.org



Each Fellow must design a series of placements approved by Insight Collaborative. Although placements are identified and secured with the support of Insight Collaborative and its affiliates, Fellows are expected to take primary responsibility for researching and negotiating their placements. Placements are evaluated on the degree to which they meet the Insight Fellowship Guidelines.


The first placement is a three-month internship with Insight Collaborative and Insight Partners in historic Concord, Massachusetts, starting on or about June 1. While in Concord, Fellows will:


  1. Finalize placements and complete travel arrangements.
  2. Study conflict management by observing and, when appropriate, by participating in workshops, classes, mediations, and other Insight activities coinciding with their placement.
  3. Volunteer to support local conflict management organizations (past examples include Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation and Boston-area non-profit mediation organizations).
  4. Focus on self-development through coaching from Insight consultants and by participation in Boston-area activities (past examples include SCUBA certification and language lessons).
  5. Do the primary work necessary to fulfill their obligations to future Fellows by writing grants and otherwise supporting the Program’s fundraising efforts.


Fellows are expected to spend the subsequent nine months living and working in countries other than the United States and their home country. These foreign placements are proposed and arranged by the Fellow.


Research Themes

Each Fellow must identify a broad theme to serve as a focus of study and reflection throughout the Fellowship. Themes must relate to the field of conflict management, be identified by the Fellow, and approved by Insight Collaborative. Within one month of their return from foreign placements, Fellows must submit a 30-page report and oral presentation on their theme to Insight Collaborative.


Examples: Methods of conflict resolution; patterns of reciprocity; bargaining practices and strategies; methods of creating trust; creating relationship and community; improving communication; and reconciliation.


Journal Writing

Each Fellow is obligated to maintain an electronic journal or blog. Journal entries are posted on the Insight Collaborative website throughout the Fellowship. In addition to encouraging reflection and thoughtful communication, journal submissions facilitate regular contact between each Fellow and Insight Collaborative.



Fellowship positions are created with the help of grants and generous support of individual donors and donor organizations. Once formed, positions are maintained through further grants and fundraising efforts of the Fellows. With the support of the Insight Collaborative, each Fellow is expected to “refill the pot” by writing grant proposals and by fundraising, primarily during their Concord placement. Pursuant to the Guideline of Sustainability, Fellows benefit from the work of their predecessor and provide for their successor. As a result, a donor’s original one-time contribution toward the creation of a Fellowship position regenerates to keep that position available to a new Fellow each subsequent year.


If you or an affiliated organization is interested in sponsoring a Fellowship position, please contact us.

Insight Fellowship applications are evaluated in part on the degree to which proposed placements meet the Insight Fellowship

Insight Fellowship applications are evaluated in part on the degree to which proposed placements meet the Insight Fellowship Principles described below. Examples are intended to stimulate ideas rather than limit possibilities:

Effective Communication: Focus on theory and skills related to communicating effectively, and to facilitating the communication of others.


Examples: Teaching workshops on handling difficult conversations; developing foreign language skills; researching articles on understanding communication; mediating disputes; fostering relationships among entities with little or poor communication.


Global-Mindedness: Cultivate an awareness, appreciation, and respect for the similarities and differences among the world’s peoples, cultures, traditions, and places.


Examples: Living far from familiar places and people; experiencing a variety of cultures, geography, and activities unique to different parts of the world.


Self-Reflection: Engage in activities that promote increased self-awareness, including an improved understanding of your psychological, emotional, and behavioral patterns.


Examples: Receiving individualized coaching on conflict management skills; reviewing recordings of your own teaching efforts; participating in workshops designed to increase awareness; going on a week-long monastic retreat; hiking in the Himalayas.


Volunteering: Engage in acts of giving for the betterment of others without compensation.


Examples: Serving as a workshop or teaching assistant; providing free teaching or conflict intervention services; participating in community service projects.


Entrepreneurship: Practice the collaborative leadership qualities necessary to create change and implement ideas. Examples: Helping small conflict management firms develop new business; generating new business affiliations among organizations; participating in the formation of a new business venture; organizing people to further a specific objective.


Multi-Layering: Look for ways to have multiple experiences or meet multiple interests simultaneously.


Examples: Teaching English as a volunteer while studying a local language; developing contacts while exploring a city; writing grants, meeting industry professionals, and taking SCUBA certification in one day; testing a new technique while mediating.


Sustainability: Minimize the negative environmental effects or costs of your actions on the world and on others. Examples: Improving, or at least not damaging, the relationships among organizations you encounter; leaving a physical space, from office to campsite, cleaner than it was when you arrived; replacing funds used for placements so others can do the same.


Education: Engage in personal learning opportunities and facilitate learning in others.


Examples: Teaching workshops; promoting conflict management conferences; helping design, revise, or test classroom materials; encouraging individuals to seek individualized coaching; writing an article for an academic journal or popular magazine.