The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK has just announced the latest round of its exciting Professional Fellowships programme which is designed to enable citizens of ‘developing’ Commonwealth countries to spend time gaining relevant professional experiences in UK organisations. Any UK organisations can apply to host people for the scheme (for between 1 and 6 months duration), and any interested individuals are recommended to contact organisations that have previously hosted such fellowships, or that might be interested in hosting them in the future, to see whether they would be willing to nominate them. Individuals cannot apply directly to the Commission for these awards. The closing date for organisations to submit nominations is 7th October 2013 for Fellows to start between January and December 2014.
Details of the scheme from the Commission’s website are given below:
Commonwealth Professional Fellowships
Commonwealth Professional Fellowships support mid-career professionals from developing Commonwealth countries to spend a period of time with a UK host organisation working in their field for a programme of professional development. Fellowships are typically three months but can be between one and six months in length, and can include limited time for attendance at short courses or conferences, as well as visits to other organisations.
Programmes must have demonstrable development impact in the Fellow’s home country and the Fellow must be able to show how the knowledge and skills they will gain during the Fellowship will be disseminated after their return home.
Organisations in any sector in the UK can apply to host a Professional Fellowship. A broad selection have done so over the 12 years since the scheme was established. Organisations previously selected to host Professional Fellows
Prospective host organisations might find it helpful to read about previously successful programmes:
- Information leaflet
- Case studies
- An information event for current and prospective hosts was held in February 2011 – further details and presentations
Key features of Professional Fellowships
- Applications must come from an organisation in the UK willing to set up a programme and host the Fellow(s), or have the agreement of a separate organisation in the UK to act as the host (if the latter is the case, a letter will need to be supplied at the time of application to confirm the agreement).
- Organisations wishing to nominate a Fellow or Fellows will need to set up a suitable programme and identify the Fellow(s) themselves. A programme can include time spent within their own organisation, learning from colleagues in a structured manner and undertaking project work which meets their learning objectives, as well as time spent at other organisations within the UK and at conferences and a limited time on short courses.
- Funding can be given for programmes of between one and six months (though typically for three months). Justification is required for awards of more than three months.
- Applications are sought for programmes within the broadly defined fields of agriculture/fisheries/forestry, economic growth, education, engineering/science/technology, environment, governance, and public health.
- Organisations can apply to host up to six Fellows in one year.
- Fellows must be Commonwealth citizens, refugees, or British protected persons and must be permanently resident in a developing Commonwealth country.
- Fellows must normally have at least five years’ relevant work experience in the field within which they wish to undertake the Fellowship.
- A Commonwealth Professional Fellowship covers the living expenses for the Fellow as well as a return airfare to the UK. It also provides £800 funding support to the host organisation, with a budget of up to £3,000 available for attendance at conferences, on short courses, and other eligible costs.
- Commonwealth Professional Fellowships are not for academic study or research of any sort. However, academics can be nominated for programmes of professional development in academic management.
Commonwealth Professional Fellowships 2013 prospectus – includes full details of the scheme and terms and conditions