Commonwealth Professional Fellowships – information for prospective host organisations

Application for prospective host organisations is now closed.

Commonwealth Professional Fellowships are 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. These Fellowships are offered under six 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

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.


To apply for these fellowships, prospective host organisations must:

  • Be based in the UK
  • Have set up a programme of activities for the fellowship of between six weeks and three months
  • Have identified 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)
  • Organisations can be from any sector but must be able to demonstrate the capacity to set up and manage the fellowships on a day-to-day basis
  • Applications must be for fellowships starting between 15 April 2019 and 17 June 2019 (later start dates cannot be agreed)

For full details of the eligibility criteria for candidates, see the Commonwealth Professional Fellowships 2018 Terms and Conditions

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 candidates with a disability, see the CSC disability support statement at

The CSC is committed to supporting outreach activities and providing additional investment for Fellowships for people with disabilities and in subject areas related to the rights of people with disabilities. Institutions are strongly encouraged to put programmes forward in the 2018 application round that will support this commitment.

The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent manner – for more information, see the CSC anti-fraud policy.

Roles and responsibilities of Host organisations

Host organisations will be the CSC’s point of contact about all aspects of the fellowship, and are responsible for establishing a suitable programme of activities and the day-to-day supervision of the Fellows including (amongst others):

  • Verifying the identity of the Fellows they nominate (the CSC does not carry out background or qualification checks on applicants)
  • Confirming that the Fellows they nominate have the appropriate qualifications and sufficient experience
  • Assisting the ACU as the visa sponsor, by monitoring Fellows while they are in the UK and reporting any changes in their circumstances. Host organisations will be sent a document setting out their and the ACU’s responsibilities in this regard, which must be signed and returned. Further information on immigration obligations

Terms and conditions

For full terms and conditions including eligibility and selection criteria, see the Commonwealth Professional Fellowships 2018 Terms and Conditions

How to apply

Applications must be made using the CSC’s online application system.

A representative of all organisations wishing to apply will need to register to use our new online system. As part of this process, the CSC will undertake checks in order to ascertain whether each organisation has the capacity and resources to host a Professional Fellow.

To register, potential host organisations should write to the CSC on their organisation’s headed paper providing the following information:

  • Full name and email address of the person who is authorised by the organisation to make the application and full name and email address of the person who will act as the main contact for the CSC should the fellowship go ahead
  • Details of the status of the organisation (for example, company limited by guarantee, charity, etc)*
  • A link to a copy of the organisation’s latest accounts registered at Companies House and/or with the Charity Commission or (if the organisations is not a company limited by guarantee or a charity) a copy of the organisation’s latest audited accounts*
  • Details of any funding the organisation receives from the Department for International Development (DFID)

* UK universities and NHS Trusts do not need to provide this information

These letters should be sent as an attachment by email to

Once we have set a host organisation up on the online system, we will email instructions on how to apply.

Organisations applying for the first time are invited to contact the Secretariat at to discuss their proposed programme. Please note that advice can be given on the type of programme and level of information required, but not on the quality of any proposed programme.

There are three stages to the application process as follows:

  1. Once registered to use the online system, a representative of the host organisation must complete the Host Application Form. The closing date for submission of the Host form is 4pm on Friday 2 November 2018.
  2. Applications for Fellows will open on Monday 12 November 2018. Information on the Host programmes available through the Scheme in 2018 will be made available on our Website to Fellows along with an online application form (We will notify nominators once the application form opens for Fellows).
  3. The closing date for submission by Fellows is Monday 3 December 2018. Once the closing date for Fellows’ applications and references has passed we will upload all applications submitted to each host organisation to a folder in Huddle so that they can assess them and finalise their selections. Selections should be made to the Commission through Huddle.  Full guidance will be given on using Huddle.

Once selections have been made, successful host organisations will be asked to submit a tailored programme for each specific Fellow as part of the immigration documentation requested. We therefore suggest nominators keep a copy of the programme included in their application to adapt with more detail if necessary.

Access the Online Application System


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.