Commonwealth Professional Fellowships are designed for professionals in low and middle-income countries who are in the middle of their careers. These fellowships offer an opportunity to work at a UK organization related to their field, allowing them to undergo professional development.
The purpose of these fellowships is to enable professionals to expand their knowledge and skills in their respective sectors and positively impact their workplaces. The aim is to empower individuals and promote growth within their organizations.
These fellowships are specifically intended for mid-career professionals with at least five years of relevant work experience. They target individuals working in organizations located in low and middle-income Commonwealth countries.
The fellowships are offered under six different development themes, which are as follows:
- Science and technology for development
- Strengthening health systems and capacity
- Promoting global prosperity
- Strengthening global peace, security, and governance
- Strengthening resilience and response to crises
- Access, inclusion, and opportunity
The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) aims to identify talented individuals who possess the potential to bring about positive change. They are committed to promoting equal opportunity and non-discrimination and strongly encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds. For information regarding the support available to candidates with disabilities, please refer to the CSC disability support statement.
If you are interested in applying for the Gender and Sexuality Fellowship program, please visit the Gender and Sexuality Fellowship webpage for further details.
Each Fellowship includes the following benefits:
- The cost of a round-trip air ticket from the Fellow’s home country to the UK is subject to approval.
- Reimbursement of the standard visa application fee.
- A monthly stipend (living allowance) for the entire award duration. The stipend amount is £1,944 per month, or £2,397 per month for fellows based in the London metropolitan area. These rates are based on the 2022/23 levels.
- In the case of a Fellow with a declared disability, the CSC will offer a comprehensive assessment of their needs and determine their eligibility for additional financial support.
- An arrival allowance of up to £1,061.10 (based on the 2021/22 rates) includes an amount for warm clothing.
- Host organizations can provide a maximum of £3,000 per fellow for short courses, conferences, and travel expenses related to visiting other organizations in the UK, as long as it is an integral part of the fellowship program. Host organizations must consider the limitations outlined in our guidance on claimable costs.
To qualify for these Fellowships, individuals interested in becoming Fellows must fulfill the following requirements:
- Hold citizenship in an eligible Commonwealth country or have been granted refugee status. They can also be a British Protected Person.
- Reside permanently in an eligible Commonwealth country.
- Possess a minimum of five years of full-time or equivalent part-time work experience in a profession related to the fellowship program’s subject. Voluntary work experience will not be considered toward this minimum requirement.
- Be currently employed by an organization and intend to return to that organization upon completing the Fellowship.
- Please provide at least two references, one from their current employer. Failure to receive references by the specified closing date will result in disqualification.
- Not have participated in a Commonwealth Professional Fellowship within the past five years.
- Not have the intention to pursue an academic research or study program. Academics can apply for the scheme, but only for programs related to academic management, not research or courses relevant to their research field.
- Be available to start the Fellowship on the prescribed start date.
- Additionally, prospective fellows must ensure they meet any additional eligibility criteria each host organization sets.
Below is the list of Eligible countries for the fellowship program:
Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Cameroon, Dominica, Eswatini, Fiji, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, St Helena, St Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia
The Required Documents to Apply for Commonwealth Professional Fellowships 2023/2024:
When filling out the application form, prospective Fellows will need to include the following information:
- Provide a comprehensive list of all undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications you have obtained, if applicable.
- List any publications and prizes you have received, up to a maximum of ten, if applicable.
- Describe your employment history, including details of each job you have held. In this description, explain how each position is relevant to the program you intend to undertake in the UK. Please keep your description within 100 words for each employment.
- Write a statement discussing the relevance of your previous work experience to the proposed Fellowship. This statement should be 300 words or less.
- Include the names and positions of up to three referees qualified to comment on your ability to benefit from the proposed Fellowship in the UK and your potential to create a development impact afterward. One of your referees must be your current employer.
PROVIDE A DEVELOPMENT IMPACT STATEMENT IN 4 PARTS:
Part 1: (up to 200 words) Explain how participation in your selected Fellowship relates to:
- One of the six CSC development themes.
- Development issues at the global, national and local level.
Part 2: (up to 100 words) Explain how you intend to apply your new skills once your Fellowship ends.
Part 3: (up to 250 words) Outline what you expect will change in development terms following your Fellowship, including:
- The outcomes that you aim to achieve.
- The timeframe for their implementation.
- Who the beneficiaries will be.
Part 4: (up to 100 words) Write about how the impact of your work could be best measured.
- Confirm your award objectives and how the fellowship program will meet each of them.
- Confirm your objectives for the next two years and how the fellowship program will meet each.
- Confirm your objectives in the longer term and how the fellowship program will meet each.
- Provide a personal statement to summarise how your background has encouraged you to want to make an impact in your home country. You should indicate areas in which you have already contributed, such as overcoming any personal or community barriers to your chosen career (up to 500 words).
- Summarise how you have engaged in voluntary activities and the opportunities you have had to demonstrate leadership (up to 500 words).
- Provide a scan of your passport or national identity card.
ONGOING SCHOLARSHIPS: Adamawa State Scholarship 2023 Applications Open
Step-by-Step Application Process of Commonwealth Professional Fellowships 2023/2024:
Applications for Host Positions are currently being accepted, and the deadline for submission is Wednesday, 10 May 2023, at 4 pm BST.
The Professional Fellowship program for 2024 is specifically designed for professionals who support the six development themes of the CSC.
Fellowships will last six weeks to three months, starting in February 2024.
Additional details regarding the organizations hosting CSC Professional Fellows will be provided when applications for the program open in July 2023.
Commonwealth Professional Fellowships 2023/2024 Application Deadline:
Application opens in July and closes August 10, at 4 pm BST.
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