Commonwealth Professional Fellowships – information for prospective Fellows


 All Commonwealth Professional Fellowships in the 2021/22 round are in the thematic area of Girls’ Education.

Commonwealth Professional Fellowships are for mid-career professionals from low- and middle-income countries to spend a period of time 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.

How to apply

Please note that all Commonwealth Professional Fellowships in the 2021/22 round are in the thematic area of Girls’ Education. All applicants must be professionals working on related issues.

Applications are now closed for the 2021 application cycle. Please monitor our website for future information on the next cycle.

All fellowships in this round will be tenable for three months from 15 January 2022.

Host organisation programmes

Cardiff University’s Phoenix Project

Mission Statement of the Organisation:

Cardiff University’s vision is to be a world leading, research-excellent, educationally outstanding university, driven by creativity and curiosity, which fulfils its social, cultural and economic obligations to Cardiff, Wales, the UK and the world. By fulfilling our vision we expect to improve our standing as one of the top 100 universities in the world and the top 20 in the UK. Cardiff University’s Phoenix Project and Social Science Centres are part of that vision.

Fellowship summary:

Phoenix Educating Girls Namibia fellowships will be hosted within Cardiff University’s Social Science Research Park (SPARK). SPARK is a brand-new innovation campus drawing together a range of social science centres addressing complex social problems through cutting edge approaches.

Centres include foci on health and wellbeing (DECIPHer), education (WISERD), and social care CASCADE). Fellowships will primarily be located at Centre for Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), prioritising development, adaptation and implementation of programmes and policies to improve health and wellbeing of children and young people. While addressing a range of health outcomes, it has a particular interest in sexual health, domestic violence and female empowerment. DECIPHer has four programmes, and fellowships will engage in cross-cutting learning across all: Healthy Public Policy; Healthy Settings; Healthy Social Relationships, Methodological Innovation. Full programme of Leadership and Reflective Learning will be provided.

Weblink for candidates: Cardiff Phoenix Project


Experienced (middle to upper grade) professionals working in public service education provision (Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture) in Namibia.

Experienced (middle to upper grade) professionals working in University Departments in Academic Education in Namibia. Our partner organisation is University of Namibia; however, applications will be considered from other higher education institutes providing education as a subject discipline in Namibia.

Experienced (middle to upper grade) Social Scientists and Social Workers interested in Empowering and Educating Women through Education Settings: Programme Development, Adaptation and Evaluation

Proposed Fellowship Dates: 17 January 2022 – 15 April 2022

Proposed activity:

These Fellowships offer a remarkable opportunity in this field with co-ordination by DECIPHer. DECIPHer has a broad range of studies highly relevant to girls education and empowerment. Fellows can contribute to and monitor these depending on their specialist areas of interest: mixed methods investigation of preparations for Wales-wide school reform and its impacts on health and well-being.

Choosing Active Role Models to Inspire Girls: feasibility study of a school-based, community-linked programme to increase physical activity levels in 9-11 year old girls.

Project Health Action in Schools for a Thriving Adolescent Generation: intervention development and feasibility study in Nepal and South Africa

School-based interventions to Prevent dating and relationship and gender-based violence: systematic review to understand characteristics, mechanisms, implementation and effectiveness.

Optimisation feasibility testing and pilot randomised trial: A sexual health and healthy relationships intervention for Further Education.

Family Recovery after Domestic Abuse: A feasibility trial and nested process evaluation of group-based intervention for children exposed to domestic violence and abuse.

Does local authority care make a differences to the lives of vulnerable children? Longitudinal Analysis of retrospective cohort

Mental Health and Wellbeing Interventions for Care-experienced Children and Young People (CHIMES): Systematic review of intervention theories, process, effect and equity.

There will be scope to be involved with DECIPHer’s key infrastructures and networks, notably the School Health Research Network.

Fellows will also have opportunities to progress their methodological development.

This will be facilitated through the research projects and infrastructure above. It will also be supported through engagement with the methodological innovation programme. As part of the fellowship, we will run bi-weekly methods seminars for fellows that map to DECIPHer’s intervention development, adaptation and evaluation short courses. Stakeholder engagement, particularly policy and practice engagement is a central principle of DECIPHer’s work. Fellows will be encouraged to engage with key stakeholder partners across projects and infrastructures detailed above.

These include, but aren’t limited to: Welsh Government; Public Health Wales and the Welsh Network of Healthy Schools Schemes (SHRN); Cardiff Women’s Aid (FReDA); The Fostering Network (CHIMES); and The Association for Young People’s Health (STOP-DRV-GBV).

In terms of day-to-day programmes for fellows, they will be welcome to engage with project team planning meetings and stakeholder engagement sessions. They will be encouraged to contribute to data collection, analysis and dissemination activities where appropriate. There will be methodological training. Furthermore, they will benefit from DECIPHer, SPARK and the broader School of Social Science regular lecture series, forums (e.g. Survey Data User Group) and academic working groups (e.g. The Gender and Sexualities Research Group) and DECIPHer’s specialist knowledge exchange staff.

Leadership training will be provided by Transformation Partners

Reflection workshops provided Chris Glynn

They are very experienced in providing training for Namibians as part of Phoenix Project activities.

Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

Mission Statement of the Organisation: The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation is the Commonwealth agency mandated in the field of telecommunications and ICTs. Fellowship summary: Today access to ICTs is considered a basis right of every human being in view of the central role ICTs play in socio-economic development. Impact of ICTs is being felt in all spheres of life, society and governance. Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 recognise the central role of ICTs in socio-economic development. Thus all the programmes developed by the CTO under this Fellowship would relate to the priority theme of technology. Indeed, the work programmes developed by the CTO under this Fellowship will focus on specific areas which are critical for leveraging the potentials of ICTs. All these programmes relate to the goals of the CTO’s Strategic Plan, not only enabling the outcomes of the Fellowship to be utilised for the benefit of the home countries of the Fellows but also having a catalytic effect on the entire CTO membership across the Commonwealth.

Weblink for candidates: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation


From a full member country of the CTO listed on the organisations’ website.

The CTO champions diversity in the workplace and applicants from people from all backgrounds living in Full Member Countries of the CTO are welcome to apply.

Proposed Fellowship Dates: 17 January 2022 – 15 April 2022

Proposed activity:

  1. Inclusion of Girls in ICT – Closing the gender digital divide

Month 1

  • Perform a review of home country policies.
  • Identify specific training needs.
  • Identify Stakeholders from home Country.

Month 2

  • Issue project status report
  • Participate in identified Training courses.
  • Data collection and analysis from home and selected Commonwealth Countries.
  • Formulate a strategy for inclusion of girls in ICT based on the data.

Month 3

  • Consult with home Country stakeholders on the formulated strategy.
  • Develop an implementation framework for successful execution of the Strategy.
  • Plan and present project to stakeholders
  • Issue final report


  1. Gender Digital Divide and E-Commerce

Month 1

  • Review of home country E-commerce ecosystem.
  • Formulate and administer questionnaire on girls in E-commerce.
  • Collect and analyse data and document findings.

Month 2

  • Issue project status report
  • Engage stakeholders
  • Design appropriate learning courses for girl empowerment in home Country.

Month 3

  • Devise a marketing strategy to promote the course.
  • Identify sponsors for the course in home country.
  • Project presentation
  • Issue final report


  1. Develop an Online Portal for life skills for girls

Month 1

  • Research gender-based abuse in home country.
  • Identify stakeholders involved in combatting abuse.
  • Identify specific training need.
  • Create the site layout, content, design and functionalities.

Month 2

  • Issue project status report
  • Test and debug
  • Attend training course
  • Execute web optimization.

Month 3

  • Devise a marketing strategy to promote the portal in home Country.
  • Launch the portal.
  • Make a presentation to solicit sponsorship
  • Present projects to stakeholders
  • Issue final report


  1. Promoting Girls Education through the Universal Service Fund

Month 1

  • Review the current USF scheme in the home country.
  • Identify specific training needs.
  • Review the home country education programmes in underserved areas.
  • Identify gaps in access to Education in underserved areas especially by the marginalised groups.

Month 2

  • Issue project status report
  • Identify model USF policies, projects and best practices in other Commonwealth Countries with successful programmes on extending access to education using ICTs.
  • Attend training course
  • Stakeholder engagement in home Country.

Month 3

  • Propose appropriate policy framework for using USF to extend broadband for education to unserved and marginalised communities
  • Present projects to stakeholders
  • Issue final report


  1. Show and Tell What Girls Can Do

Month 1

  • Identify specific training needs for executing the assignment
  • Perform an environmental review of barriers to girls in ICT and research school clubs in home country.
  • Develop criteria for participating schools hosting Girls’ ICT Clubs

Month 2

  • Issue project status report
  • Develop a curriculum for training
  • Develop a Request for Proposal document for engaging an appropriate trainer
  • Participate in training courses
  • Devise an innovative marketing strategy for promoting the clubs.
  • Prepare templates for invitation letters, a sponsorship prospectus and a personal safety charter for the girls’ club.

Month 3

  • Conceptualise national activities to highlight and celebrate the work of the Girls’ Club
  • Formulate a detailed programme for demonstrating what girls can do to a national


  • Present project to stakeholders
  • Issue a final project report and provide output documents

Knowledge For Change

Mission Statement of the Organisation:

Our charitable objectives are to improve the standard of healthcare and education provision for the poorest members of society in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). For over 10 years, we have been working across multiple hospitals and health centres in Uganda to sustainably improve the health system and achieve better standards of care for patients. Our work includes the placement of professional volunteers, infrastructural developments, the provision and repair of medical equipment, staff training and capacity building, working with local educational institutions to develop new and improved undergraduate and postgraduate curricula, organising staff exchange programmes and running elective placements.

Fellowship summary:

The Knowledge For Change (K4C) Fellowships will focus on developing skills in community mobilisation to identify girls who are not currently accessing education (in the pre-COVID context) and generate a suite of interventions/activities to improve educational engagement. Fellows will be exposed to multi-disciplinary approaches in the UK designed to access hard-to-reach children, with an emphasis on the relationship between youth/community work and education. Fellows will join students on a BA Youth and Community Work program at the University of Bolton in formal and informal learning. They will be provided with opportunities to undertake placements with organisations in the public and not-for-profit sectors. They will work as a team to develop a program of activities to improve girls’ exposure to educational opportunity in Kabarole District, Uganda. Whilst recognising the importance of attending schools they will identify a range of options linking schools with communities and encouraging enterprising ‘learning through doing’.

Weblink for candidates: Knowledge For Change


We seek to recruit Fellows who have a direct role in encouraging girls into and retaining them in education as well as supporting those girls who are unable to access formal education (often linked to gendered family decision-making in resource-constrained contexts) to receive educational input in the community. We will focus on ‘Senior Women’ (teachers allocated specific roles to engage with girls in local primary schools) and social/community workers engaged in community outreach work in Kabarole District, Uganda.

Proposed Fellowship Dates: 17 January 2022 – 15 April 2022

Proposed activity:

During the first two weeks of the Fellowship K4C will undertake an intense induction to life in the UK (food, travel, culture etc., links with Ugandan diaspora groups and churches) and any initial teething problems with their fellowship/accommodation/finances.

This will include detailed assessment of Fellows’ learning needs. In the past this has required an intense focus on IT, including the purchase of laptops/phones and mentoring to ensure they can use them effectively and provide access to on-line training and learning resources. As with previous fellowships, and given K4C’s strong relationship with Salford University, we will set them up on the Salford University system as Associate Staff and provide access to all basic skills training including basic writing and numeracy skills and accessing on-line resources. K4C will provide on-going mentoring throughout the entire Fellowship and take full responsibility for administration and pastoral care. In parallel to this K4C will kick-start a policy review/development process to identify key weaknesses in the current Ugandan system and iteratively apply their learning to a review of that and identification of opportunities for policy change. This will culminate in the presentation of detailed Action-Proposals for a multi-disciplinary ‘Girls into Education’ Program in Kabarole District in Week 12.

Week 3 represents the start of Semester 2 programs at the University of Bolton. Fellows will be given the opportunity to join students in workshops on the Community Development and Youth Work degree and actively contribute to teaching and learning experiences. We will work with Fellows to identify the most relevant sessions on the following modules; Contemporary Issues in Youth Work; Community Development; Global Youth Work and Sustainable Communities; Management Governance and Organisational Development; Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice; Ethics, Values and Reflective Practice.

Each Fellow will have a dedicated placement organised with key agencies in the North West region to expose them to the educational/community work context in the UK. This will include placements in Local Authorities (Bolton or Salford Council Youth Services); Educational Institutions (such as Pupil Referral Units at Bolton Impact Trust) and Third Sector Organisations (including Greater Manchester Youth Network, Bolton-at-Home; Back-up-North West, Bolton Youth Zone and Participation Works, NW Burnley Youth Theatre amongst others).

We will also include meetings in local primary schools in some of the more disadvantaged areas to highlight the level of population diversity experienced in the UK (which may come as an absolute surprise) and some of the challenges these areas face, including support for excluded children, sexual health education and work on teenage pregnancies.

One day of every week will be set aside for a debriefing with K4C mentors and to discuss their learning and the application of that to the ‘Girls into Education’ Program. Special attention will be given to the impact that COVID-19 lockdown has had on access to education and its impact on girls specifically.

K4C has direct links with UNICEF teams supporting access to education globally and will provide a specific workshop on this.

Lifegate Outreach Centre

Mission Statement of the Organisation:

Lifegate Outreach Centre is a UK Registered Charity (No. 1154307) established with the purpose of spreading Abundant Life through outreach and high impact activities. Lifegate Outreach Centre has a strong passion for impacting lives positively mostly via her community outreach programs in the UK and abroad; skill empowerment; leadership and vocational programs for youth and women. This is achieved effectively networking with various learning centres, Faith-Based Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations to build capacity for the deployment of positive social values that can help promote peace, honesty, justice and equality.

Fellowship summary:

The nature of the Fellowship will be a continuous professional development programme of work. This will expose participating Fellows to a range of activities that will ensure the best opportunity for the transfer of knowledge, skills and experience. The programme will ensure that their individual project portfolios achieve the objective of promoting the girl child’s education theme. The approach for transfer of knowledge, skills and experience will encompass desk-based research, tailored training, practical hands-on training/ workshop (where applicable), Conference participation, presentation of work progress, mentoring, knowledge exchange project plan development and secondment (i.e., practitioner to practitioner shadowing at relevant organisations). It is expected that through this program, Fellows will develop capacity to promote girls’ education in their various spheres of influence through engagement with communities, school governance and local and national policymaker upon return to their home countries.

Weblink for candidates: Lifegate Outreach Centre


Selection of candidates will be based on a number of criteria. These will include alignment of aim, objectives and training needs of candidates with promoting girls’ education SDG goals, a bachelor’s degree minimum level of qualifications; 5 years of relevant work experience in profession relating to promoting girls’ education; citizen of developing commonwealth country and meets all CSC professional fellow eligibility criterial; ability to implement knowledge gained and influence positive change in girl child education after the fellowship and suitability of the candidate’s training needs to be supported through our community focused initiatives and partner organisations.

Proposed Fellowship Dates: 17 January 2022 – 15 April 2022

Proposed activity:

We plan to host talented and motivated Fellows to undertake focused training for three months. The Fellows will attend the training programmes together to develop the appropriate knowledge, improve their professional skills and specialisations through a blended learning approach. They will also work on individual portfolios of personal reflections and develop workplace/societal development project plans and transferable project ideas for future implementation in their home countries to be presented at a final seminar of the Fellowship.

JANUARY – Starting 17th of January 2022

  • 17th – 19th; Arrival/ Welcome/ Orientation – (Duration: 3 days)
  • 20th – 21st ; Communication and Interpersonal Skills – (Duration: 1 day training) [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 24th : UK Educational Framework and Transnational Educational Opportunities – (Duration: 1 day) [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 25th – 26th; Gender Based Analysis (Duration: 2 days) [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 28th – 31st: Social Visits, End of the month reflection and Seminar (Duration: 3 days)

FEBRUARY – Starting 1st of February 2022

  • 1st – 4th; Training the Trainer on gender responsive pedagogical training – Taught + self-pace study (UNICEF toolkit) – (Duration: 4 days) [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 7th- 9th; Educating Girls: Teaching Approaches to Helping Girls Thrive – (Duration: 3 days) [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 10th: Visits to/ Special Q&A Sessions YMCA, Base 25, Nissi Homes.
  • 11th; Self Directed Learning, Reflections and Reports.
  • 14th – 18th; Entrepreneurship Development Skills – (Duration: 5 days) [TP: West Midlands Open College]
  • 21st – 23rd: Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH) and Girl Child Education Nexus: Prospects and Impact (Duration: 3 days) [TP: WaterAid]
  • 24th – 25th: Girls’ education development in global south – (Duration: 2 days training) [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 28th: Reflections and Seminar (Duration: 1 day)

MARCH – Starting 1st of March 2022

  • 1st – 4th; Using Technology to Solving Inequality in Education – Taught + self- pace study (FREE) – (Duration: 4 days) – [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 7th – 8th; Visits to Mercian Trust Schools in Walsall.
  • 9th – 10th: Charity Funding, Funding proposals, etc (Duration: 2 days training) [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 11th; Self Directed Learning, Reflections and Reports.
  • 14th – 16th; The Right to Education: Breaking Down the Barriers – (Duration: 3 days) [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 17th – 18th; Digital Skill/ Innovation for Girl Education Development + Visit to Walsall Studio School – (Duration: 2 days training) [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 21st – 23rd: School-Related Gender-Based Violence – (Duration: 3 days training) [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 24th – 25th: Safeguarding in Education – (Duration: 2 days training) [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 28th – 29th: Visits to BAME Business Leaders in the West Midlands
  • 30th – 31st: Social Visits/hosting other Fellows, month-end reflection and Seminar (Duration: 2 days)

APRIL – Starting 1st of April 2022

  • 1st: Meeting Women Teachers/Professionals at Lifegate Centre.
  • 4th – 8th; Gender transformative educational approaches – (Duration: 5 days) – [TP: Lifegate Communities]
  • 11th – 12th; Gender in technical and vocational education and training – (Duration: 2 days) [TP Lifegate Communities]
  • 12th – 13th: Closing Strategy Seminars/Workshop Presentations

Windle Trust International

Mission Statement of the Organisation:

WTI challenges poverty and inequality by expanding access to, and improving the quality of, education and training for communities affected by conflict, displacement, neglect or discrimination in Eastern and Horn of Africa.

Occupational category: Programme Management – Education

Fellowship summary:

The Commonwealth Professional Fellowships hosted by Windle Trust International will help to prepare the next generation of Programme Managers for non-governmental organisations working in development contexts in Africa.

Throughout the programme, fellows will work on the real-word problem of increasing access to education for females in East Africa. They will develop and share knowledge and insights into the broad issues faced, whilst also building the necessary skillsets to effectively manage education and scholarship programmes on their return home.

Working with experienced professionals, fellows will practice the broad range of skills needed by modern programme managers: from developing programme strategies, policies, and frameworks, to understanding budgeting and finance concerns from a Programme Manager’s perspective, as well as managing media, marketing and fundraising campaigns. Through this, fellows will gain breadth of experience to take home and put into immediate practice in their home organisations.

Weblink for candidates: Windle Trust International


Prospective fellows should:

  • Work for national or international NGOs in East Africa.
  • Currently work at the Programme Officer level or equivalent.
  • Have demonstrable experience of working in the field of girls’ education and/or scholarships.
  • Empathise with the aims, objectives and values of the Windle family.

Proposed Fellowship Dates: 17 January 2022 – 15 April 2022

Proposed activity:

Throughout their time at WTI, fellows will explore the question: How do we increase

access to quality education for females in East Africa? They will be primarily attached to the WTI Programme Manager.

The fellowship will be organised into 2 distinct stages:

Stage 1: Research, Understanding and Skills Development (8 weeks, Monday January 17th to Friday 11th March)

Stage 2: Programme Design and Planning (4 weeks, Monday 14th March – Friday 8th April)

Stage 1:

Stage 1 focuses on the challenges of girls’ education, whilst also building skills that can be implemented at Stage 2 and on return to the Fellows’ home countries.

Research project – understanding the issues in girls’ education – Throughout Stage 1, approximately 2 days per week will be spent on planning and conducting a research project. Alongside literature research, this includes: Sessions and interviews with girls’ education specialists to share their knowledge and understanding.

Skills Development – Throughout Stage 1, approximately 3 days per week will be spent with mentors on Skills Development. Skills Development sessions include:

  • Programme Strategy and Policy – Designing programmes to meet whole-organisation strategies and understanding the importance of policies such as Safeguarding, Privacy, Fraud and Corruption, Conflict of Interest amongst others – conducted by a member of the Windle Trust International Senior Management Team.
  • Finance for non-finance professionals – preparing budgets and understanding project pipelines and cashflow forecasts – conducted by an experienced Windle Finance Manager.
  • Communications – purpose, audience, message and medium including practical experience of writing articles and social media campaigns – conducted by the Windle International Global Communications and Advocacy Officer.
  • Fundraising – Creating and maintaining relationships with donors through a wide range of fundraising sources: individuals, corporates, foundations and institutions – conducted by the Windle International Fundraising Manager. Where available, fellows will meet WTI funders and donors to understand what from a donor perspective what they are looking for and what makes a project stand out.

Stage 2:

Stage 2 of the Fellowship is where the knowledge and skills learnt are put into real-world use. Fellows will design a programme for implementation. The programme will specifically target increasing school enrolment for females at the secondary level.

This will include all programme elements of Stage 1:

  • Designing a programme to best meets the educational needs of girls in East Africa.
  • Creating the programme strategies and policies.
  • Outlining budget needs and cashflow forecasts.
  • Designing a fundraising strategy
  • Establishing a communications strategy both for applicant recruitment and wider engagement


Priority Theme: Girl’s Education

Fellow eligibility

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
  • 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

The CSC aims to identify talented individuals who have the potential to make change. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination and encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates. For further information on the support available to fellows with a disability, see the CSC disability support statement.

Eligible countries

Antigua and Barbuda
The Gambia
Papua New Guinea
St Helena
St Lucia
St Vincent and The Grenadines
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Sri Lanka

Completing Fellow application form

Applications are now closed for the 2021 application cycle. Please monitor our website for future information on the next cycle.

In the application form, prospective fellows will be asked to:

  • List all undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained (if applicable)
  • List up to 10 publications and prizes (if applicable)
  • Provide details of your employment history and explain how each job is relevant to the programme you wish to undertake in the UK (up to 100 words per employment)
  • Provide a statement on the relevance of your previous work experience to the proposed fellowship (up to 300 words)
  • List names and positions of three referees who are qualified to comment on both your capacity to benefit from your proposed Fellowship in the UK and your ability to deliver development impact afterwards. One of your referees must be your current employer.
  • Provide a Development Impact statement in 4 parts. In the first part you should explain how your proposed Fellowship relates to:
  1. a) getting 40 million more girls in primary and secondary school by 2025 and improving learning levels, so girls can achieve their full potential
  2. b) development issues at the global, national and local level
  3. c) development issues connected to the theme of girl’s education and the wider sector

(up to 200 words)

  • In the second part you should explain how you intend to apply your new skills once your Fellowship ends (up to 100 words).
  • In the third part you should outline what you expect will change in development terms following your Fellowship, including:
    a) the outcomes that you aim to achieve
    b) the timeframe for their implementation
    c) who the beneficiaries will be

(up to 250 words)

  • In the fourth part you should write about how the impact of your work could be best measured (up to 100 words).
  • Confirm what your award objectives are and how each of them will be met by the Fellowship programme
  • Confirm what your objectives are for the next two years and how each of them will be met by the Fellowship programme
  • Confirm what your objectives are in the longer term and how each of them will be met by the Fellowship programme
  • Provide a personal statement to summarise the ways in which your personal 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 having overcome any personal or community barriers to your chosen career (up to 500 words).
  • Summarise the ways in which 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


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 £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 events
  • 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 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.

General conditions

  • A Commonwealth Professional Fellowship covers a contribution to the Host organisation costs, approved fares, and personal maintenance. Other Fellowships, awards, or bursaries that cover the same costs may not be held concurrently.
  • In order for the CSC to administer a Fellow’s application effectively and efficiently after they have submitted, it will be necessary to create a record in their name. The details of Fellows who are nominated to the CSC will be kept on file. Basic anonymised demographic data for all applicants will be kept for analytical research. The CSC is committed to protecting personal information and to being transparent about the information we are collecting about individuals and what we do with it. To find out more, see our privacy notice.
  • Fellows must submit a Health and Disability Form before a Confirmation of Award can be issued
  • Fellows will be required to  sign  an undertaking to return to their home country within five days of the end of their  award
  • Fellows are expected to start and complete their award on the dates stated in their Notification of Award. The CSC is usually not able to agree any changes to these dates after the Notification of Award has been issued
  • Fellows require a Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5) visa to come to the UK for their award and must meet all relevant immigration regulations set by UK Visas and Immigration. These regulations are subject to change at any time. See immigration conditions for more information.
  • Fellows must reside in the UK throughout their award, and seek approval from the CSC in advance for any overseas travel, which will be granted in exceptional circumstances only
  • Fellows must not undertake paid employment during their award
  • The CSC cannot provide a letter of support for any Fellow to remain in the UK after their award
  • An award may be terminated at any time for reasons of unsatisfactory conduct, progress, attendance, or violation of visa conditions, or if the Host organisation decides it is unable to proceed with the fellowship for any reason before or during the award
  • Applicants and selected Fellows must adhere to the CSC’s Code of Conduct for award holders and Disciplinary Policy and Procedure which states:

As a Commonwealth Scholar or Fellow, you are an ambassador for both the CSC and your home country, and your actions and remarks will have an impact on the reputation of both. You are therefore expected to adhere to high standards of conduct and behaviour and to show respect to others and your surroundings at all times.

The CSC aims to enable a free exchange of ideas during all its activities in order to achieve the maximum potential impact for all participants. Recognising the diversity of backgrounds among our award holders – in terms of race, religion, gender, sexuality and cultural values – you are reminded to always be respectful to others.

The CSC is committed to proactively safeguarding and promoting the welfare of Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows, and to protecting all those with whom the CSC comes into contact. The CSC requires Commissioners, Secretariat staff, and Scholars and Fellows to fulfil their role and responsibilities in a manner consistent with requirements for safeguarding.

See the CSC safeguarding policy for more information.

Any complaints received will be taken very seriously and any behaviour that does not adhere to the above values and expectations will be addressed by the CSC.

  • In line with the UK Bribery Act 2010, any applicant convicted of bribery will be banned from reapplying for a Commonwealth Scholarship or Fellowship for a period of up to five
  • The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent For more information, see the CSC anti-fraud policy and procedure and the FCDO guidance on reporting fraud.
  • All terms and conditions of award are subject to UK local law and practices and are subject to change by the

For more information, see the Handbook for Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows. Please note that the conditions outlined in the Handbook at subject to change.

Immigration conditions

Commonwealth Professional Fellows require a Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange (T5) visa to come to the UK for their award, and must meet all relevant immigration requirements. All UK immigration regulations are set by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and are subject to change at any time. The CSC has no control over these regulations.

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), which provides the CSC Secretariat, acts as the Tier 5 sponsor on behalf of the CSC.

In accordance with immigration regulations, sponsorship duties relating to record keeping, monitoring, and reporting of Fellows must be completed. While the ACU (on behalf of the CSC Secretariat) is responsible for assigning Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) and submitting reports to UK Visas and Immigration, Host organisations are required to assist in these activities as per the Host organisations’ obligations below. Failure on the part of the Host organisation to provide the ACU with the required documentation and to report relevant details may result in the loss of the ACU’s Tier 5 licence and ability to sponsor Fellows’ visas. Host organisations will be sent a document setting out their and the ACU’s responsibilities in this regard, which must be signed and returned.

Fellows’ obligations

Commonwealth Professional Fellows must provide the following documents before the ACU (acting on behalf of the CSC Secretariat) will assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS):

  • Visa information form
  • Award acceptance form (signed)
  • Copy of passport personal details page

The CSC Secretariat will send the details of the assigned CoS to the Fellow by email, to enable them to make their visa application, and will keep a copy on file.

After a CoS has been assigned, Fellows must provide copies of the following documents to the CSC Secretariat:

  • UK visa, before they travel to the UK
  • Passport entry stamp and/or a used boarding pass and checked baggage receipt, at the end of their fellowship and every time they travel outside the UK during their fellowship

Host organisations’ obligations

Host organisations must provide the following documents before the ACU (acting on behalf of the CSC Secretariat) will assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the Fellows:

  • Signed Memorandum of Understanding
  • Signed host agreement form
  • Detailed programme information
  • A completed UK work locations form

Once a Fellow has arrived to the UK, host organisations are required to verify original immigration documentation. This must be completed immediately following the Fellow’s arrival to the UK and before the Fellow commences their fellowship. The following documents must be provided to the CSC Secretariat within 24 hours of the Fellow’s start date in the UK:

  • Copy of passport biometric page
  • Copy of UK visa and date of entry stamp
  • UK lodging address and telephone number(s)
  • Change of circumstances form, if Fellow arrives late (including if they miss a flight or if there are visa delays)

Host organisations are also required to monitor a fellow’s attendance whilst they are in the UK and inform the ACU immediately of any changes in a Fellow’s circumstances – for example, early homeward departure, change or addition of work sites in the UK, absences from work (including authorised absences), and/or changes to contact details. When required, the ACU will be responsible for submitting reports of these changes to UK Visas and Immigration as detailed below.

Reporting to UK Visas and Immigration

Once a Fellow has been issued with a CoS and while they are in the UK, the ACU is required to report to UKVI within ten working days if:

  • The Fellow does not arrive to start the programme on their expected start date. This includes if the Fellow misses a flight and will be arriving at a later date agreed by the host organisation.
  • The Fellow is absent from their work location. The ACU requires details of all absences; however, only unauthorised absences of ten working days or more will be reported to UKVI.
  • The fellowship finishes before the end date stated on the CoS (e.g. if the Fellow withdraws, has their fellowship withdrawn, or finishes their programme early).
  • The Fellow defers their fellowship.
  • The Fellow no longer requires sponsorship under Tier 5 (e.g. if they switch to a different visa type).
  • There are any significant changes to the Fellow’s circumstances (e.g. a change of work location, passport details, etc).
  • There is any information which suggests that the Fellow is in breach of the conditions of their visa (including engaging in criminal activity).

Travel outside the UK during the fellowship

Commonwealth Professional Fellowships are tenable in the UK only, and Fellows must seek permission from their Programme Officer and Host organisation if they wish to travel outside the UK for any reason.

Further information

This information is subject to changes in UKVI policy guidance and the immigration rules which is available on the UKVI website. UKVI may make changes to the terms and conditions of visas at any point.

Further information can be obtained from the CSC’s Senior Welfare and Immigration Officer, at

Previous hosts

The following organisations were approved by the Commission to host Professional Fellowships in 2021. 


  • British Geological Survey
  • Cardiff University, The Phoenix Project
  • Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Conciliation Resources
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospital NHS Trust
  • Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London
  • Justice Defenders
  • Knowledge for Change
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • Meriden Family Programme
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Law Society of England and Wales
  • The Royal Veterinary College
  • UK Statistics Authority
  • University of East London- School of Health, Sport and Bioscience
  • University of Salford


If you have any queries about Commonwealth Professional Fellowships, please email General enquiries about applying for Commonwealth Scholarships or Fellowships sent to this email address will not be answered; please use the Contact us form instead.