Commonwealth Professional Fellowships for Developing Commonwealth Countries 729 views

Type of Funding

Fully funded




The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) hosts the Commonwealth Professional Fellowships, which supports mid-career professionals from developing Commonwealth countries (low and middle-income Commonwealth countries) to spend between 6 weeks to 3 months in 2020, with a UK host organization working in their sector on a programme of professional development. The fellowships are UK-based.

The 2020 Fellowships are offered under the following 6 development themes:

  1. Science and technology for development
  2. Strengthening health systems and capacity
  3. Promoting global prosperity
  4. Strengthening global peace, security and governance
  5. Strengthening resilience and response to crises
  6. Access, inclusion and opportunity

Applications are being sought for fellowship programmes that will be hosted by 22 organisations in 2020 (see the Official Website for the host organisations and eligible programmes).


A Commonwealth Professional Fellowship provides for a monthly stipend for living allowance for the duration of the fellowship of £2,104 per month for those based in the London Metropolitan area, and £1,696 per month for those elsewhere in the UK (2019-2020 rates), as well as return airfare. Fellows also receive an arrival allowance of up to £953.45 (current rate), including an amount for warm clothing and reimbursement of the visa application fee. Fees for any conferences or short courses attended during the period of the Fellowship may also be agreed upon and given, as well as cost of travel for visits to other organisations in the UK, where these form an integral part of the programme.

It also provides £800 funding support to 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. In addition, fees of up to a maximum of £2,000 will be agreed for awards under 2 months and up to a maximum of £3000 for awards of 3 months.


Eligible applicants are mid-career  professionals  working  in development-related organisations in low and middle-income Commonwealth countries (see Official Website for eligible countries). They have to be citizens of, or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or are British Protected Persons, who are permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country.

They must have at least 5 years’ full-time, or equivalent part-time, relevant work experience, in a profession related to the subject of the Fellowships programme. Voluntary work experience will not be counted. They have to be employed at the time of application and they have to return to that employment upon completion of the fellowship.

Those who have undertaken a Commonwealth Professional Fellowship within the last 5 years are not eligible; nor are those 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.  Candidates who have previously taken a leave of absence to study or work abroad in a high income country should make an
additional case for why they should be considered for a fellowship in the UK and make clear what they have gained from their previous experience.

All applicants have to be available to undertake the Fellowship starting between 10 February 2020 and 16 March 2020 (see the Official Website for actual dates for each host organisation).

Fellowships must be between a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 3 months in length, as they should be long enough to enable the serious development of professional skills. Each host organisation can apply to host a minimum of 2 Fellows in any application round and up to a maximum of 5 Fellows in 1 year. Host organisations have to be publicly funded organisations (including public bodies, universities, Research Institutions, local government departments and NHS Trusts) or Charities (registered with the Charities Commission). They must have 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.

Applications will be judged on the extent to which: 1) the Fellowship will ensure the transfer of skills relevant to the needs of the fellow’s home country;  2) the skills acquired through the Fellowship will lead to practical benefits for the home country; and 3) the Fellowship will have a catalytic effect, either within the home country concerned, or in establishing new relationships with the UK.


Applications by candidates are to be done online by 20 September 2019.

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