Commonwealth Professional Fellowships are now open for mid-career professionals from low and middle income Commonwealth countries to spend between six weeks and three months at a UK Host organisation working in their sector on a programme of professional development.
Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Commonwealth Professional Fellowships provide talented and motivated professionals with the opportunity to enhance knowledge and skills in their given sector.
The CSC aims to identify talented individuals who have the potential to make change. They are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination, and encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates.
- To provide professionals with the opportunity to enhance knowledge and skills in their given sector, and to have catalytic effects on their workplaces.
- Mid-career professionals (with five years’ relevant work experience) working in development-related organisations in low and middle income Commonwealth countries.
- Science and technology for development: The fellowship, which may be in any area of science or technology (including, for example, agriculture, veterinary science, or forestry), will develop knowledge and/or skills that are directly related to the specific needs of a low or middle income country. Where possible, applications should cite expressed national or local priorities.
- Strengthening health systems and capacity: The fellowship will develop knowledge and/or skills that will improve health provision or outcomes for disadvantaged groups in low and middle income countries. A range of approaches could be adopted, such as training staff to fill critical shortage areas; establishing better systems, processes, or management; health promotion and improving understanding of non-take up; or developing new treatments.
- Promoting global prosperity: The fellowship will support economic prosperity in low and middle income countries. The knowledge and/or skills gained could lead to, for example, enhanced trade capacity; improved economic understanding or decision-making by business or government; new products and services; or long-term capacity building, through the development of entrepreneurial skills, for instance.
- Strengthening global peace, security and governance: The fellowship will develop knowledge and/or skills that will strengthen peace and security at national, regional, or international levels. Multiple approaches could be used, such as strengthening open and transparent governance; improving mutual understanding within and between societies; or building systems that reduce the potential for conflict or encourage its resolution.
- Strengthening resilience and response to crises: The fellowship will develop knowledge and/or skills which will help low and middle countries adapt to changing contexts, withstand sudden shocks, or increase capacity to preserve the continuity of operations following such events. This could apply to a broad range of threats, including natural and physical disasters; long-term threats such as climate change; interruptions to the supply of key resources; or sudden economic or technological disruption.
- Access, inclusion and opportunity: The fellowship will develop knowledge and/or skills that will promote opportunity amongst historically disadvantaged groups in low-and middle-income countries. This could be through, for example, expanding educational opportunities; conducting community outreach; enhancing access to decision making; or increasing understanding of the barriers faced. A range of disadvantage can be addressed – including social, economic, gender, ethnic, regional, or political – provided that the need is clearly stated.
- Organisations from any sector can apply to host two or more Commonwealth Professional Fellows within their own organisation. To apply for these fellowships, prospective Host organisations must:
- Be based in the UK
- Be a publicly funded organisation (including public bodies, universities, Research Institutions, local government departments and NHS Trusts) or a Charity (registered with the Charities Commission)
- Be able to demonstrate the capacity to set up and manage the fellowships on a day-to-day basis including being able to demonstrate that they have cash funds of at least £30,000 available and that the previous year’s income was greater than £50,000
- Have set up a programme of activities for the fellowship between six weeks and three months
- Be able to identify between two and five Fellows who they wish to nominate, through existing networks or wider advertising (the CSC will not accept applications for programmes set up by Host organisations at the request of an individual wishing to undertake a Fellowship)
- Agree to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the CSC which includes obligations to have anti-fraud and safeguarding policies in place and for the CSC to be given permission to audit funds dispersed for the purposes of the programme (the CSC will share a copy of the MOU at the application stage on request of the Host organisation)
- Only apply for fellowships starting between the prescribed dates as stated on the CSC website
- Ensure that programme dates are the same for all Fellows
- Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country or be a British Protected Person
- 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
- 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 UK. 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 as stated on the CSC website
For more information, visit http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/professional-fellowships/commonwealth-professional-fellowships/information-for-candidates/