Commonwealth Professional Fellowships are for mid-career professionals from low- and middle-income countries to spend a 5 years at a UK Host organisation working in their sector for a programme of professional development.
Purpose: To provide professionals with the opportunity to enhance knowledge and skills in their given sector, and to have catalytic effects on their workplaces.
Intended beneficiaries: Mid-career professionals (with five years’ relevant work experience) working in development-related organisations in low and middle- income Commonwealth countries.
In 2021/22, the CSC will be running a special Professional Fellowship programme promoting Girls’ Education as part of the UK government’s ambitious initiatives to get 40 million more girls in primary and secondary school in developing countries by 2025 and improve learning levels, so girls can achieve their full potential.
The programme will fund up to 25 fellows (in total), in up to five different host organisations, all of whom will be chosen through a competitive selection process. In celebration of this one-year programme additional funding will be provided to each host to hold an event for all the fellows taking part in the scheme.
The Girls’ Education Fellowships are designed to:
• Begin on 17th January 2022
• Run for three months
• Promote collaboration across host organisations with each host holding an engagement event for the full cohort of Fellows
We welcome enquiries for organisations working in Girls’ Education that are interested in becoming Fellowship Hosts. More information and details of how to contact us about this program are available through the links below.
To be eligible for these fellowships, prospective Fellows must:
- Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country or be a British Protected Eligible countries are listed in the information for prospective fellows
- Be permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country
- Have at least five years’ full-time, or equivalent part-time, relevant work experience, in a profession related to the subject of the Fellowships programme, by the proposed start of the fellowship – voluntary work experience will not be counted towards this minimum
- Be in employment at the time of application that they will return to upon completion of the fellowship
- Provide at least two references, one of which must be from their current employer. Any applications for which references are not received by the reference closing date will be considered ineligible.
- Not have undertaken a Commonwealth Professional Fellowship within the last five years (at the time of taking up the award)
- Not be seeking to undertake an academic programme of research or study in the Academics are eligible to apply for the scheme, but only to undertake programmes of academic management, not research or courses relevant to their research subject
- Be available to start their fellowship within prescribed dates
Scholarship Duration and Reward
Each fellowship provides:
- Approved return airfare from the Fellow’s home country to the UK
- Stipend (living allowance) payable monthly (or pro rata) for the duration of the award at the rate of £1, 704 per month, or £2,115 per month for those at organisations in the London metropolitan area (at 2020/21 rate)
- If a Fellow declares a disability, a full assessment of needs and eligibility for additional financial support will be offered by the CSC. See the CSC disability support statement for more information.
- Arrival allowance of up to £958.22 (at 2020/21 rate), including an element for warm clothing
- For the Girls’ Education programme a £1,000 travel allowance to facilitate attendance at event
- Reimbursement of the standard visa application fee
- Flat rate contribution of £800 to the costs of the Host organisation relating to the administration and support of the Fellow, setting up of appropriate meetings, any materials required, and incidental travel for the Fellow during the award (to be paid to the Host organisation on receipt of an invoice).
- Fees can be agreed for costs associated with Fellows attending short courses/conferences as well as travel to visit other UK organisations where this forms an integral part of the Programme. Up to a maximum of £3,000 can be agreed for awards of three months (to be paid to the Host organisation on receipt of an invoice.
Full justification must be given for the amount being claimed.
Host organisations should bear in mind the restrictions set out in our Guidance on claimable costs.
Applications for the Girls’ Education programme will be assessed for the extent to which the proposed fellowship will ensure the transfer of skills relevant to promoting Girls’ Education.
Applications are also considered according to the following selection criteria:
• Quality and relevance of the programme
• Development impact
• Candidate potential
Method of Application
Stage 1: Prospective Host organisations submit an application to CSC through our online application form. As part of the application process the Host organisation will be asked to provide documentation to show they meet the eligibility requirements as well as a detailed description of the programme of work fellows will undertake whilst in the UK.
Applications for host the 2021/22 round of Fellowships are now closed.
Stage 2: Applications from prospective host organisations will be assessed according to the published eligibility criteria and confirmation to proceed to recruitment communicated to all who applied. Confirmation at this stage allows the prospective host to recruit and nominate prospective fellows, it is not a guarantee that the organisation will be awarded fellowships.
Results are expected to be communicated to prospective hosts in early July.
Stage 3: Details of all programmes will be published on the CSC website and prospective fellows will be invited to apply for a programme using the CSC’s online application form.
Programme details are expected to be published on the CSC website in early July. Applications for Fellows will open at this time and will remain open for four weeks.
Stage 4: Following the application deadline the fellows’ applications will be shared with the relevant host organisations. Host organisations will nominate between two and five applicants to the CSC.
This stage is due to take place between late August and early September with nominations to be received by the CSC in the third week of September.
Stage 5: Nominees will be considered by the CSC selection committee and the Commission will make the final selections of individual fellows and their host organisations.
Results are expected to be communicated in mid-November 2021.