Are certain ministries targeted?

We aim to provide a valuable service to under-served Ministries in participating host countries. For example, the pilot placements range from working with Ministries of Finance and Planning Commissions, with an emphasis on legal frameworks for Public Private Partnerships, to more general policy advisor roles in Ministries of Agriculture. To date the Fellowship has partnered with ministries of finance, trade, agriculture, environment, energy, health and education in ten countries.

What country options are there?

At this time, we are not sharing which countries are involved in the next phase. This is in part because these countries may change and/or expand. Further, we want to prevent any sort of preferential treatment of postings by applicants.

Do I need to be a qualified lawyer or have a law degree to be eligible?

All of our postings require Fellows to have at least a law degree and some experience in a legal area. Additionally, most postings will expect a Fellow to be a qualified lawyer. Applications from individuals who do not have a law background will not be considered.

Can my references be submitted directly to the Fellowship team rather than in the application?

Some referees will prefer to submit the references directly to the Fellowship team rather than via the applicant, references can be emailed to info@policyfellowship.org by referees. Please make sure the applicants name is clearly referenced in the submission email.

How is the interview process structured?

There are four stages to the recruitment for Fellows:

  1. Application – candidates will be required to provide a completed application form along with supporting documents in order to be considered. Details will be made available on the 'how to apply' page.
  2. Skype interviews – based on the applications we receive, candidates will be shortlisted to participate in a first round Skype interview. These are informal 45 minute interviews over Skype with two Fellowship representatives. Questions at this stage will be focused on hard and people skills.
  3. Panel interviews & group exercises - a further shortlist of candidates will be invited to attend an in-person interview and group exercise. Requirements will include a 15 minute presentation, competency based questions and group interaction.
  4. Shortlist to governments – the final stage of the recruitment is for Fellowship staff to present the final shortlist of candidates to each government line manager who will select their preferred candidate based on their needs.

When and where will interviews be held?

Skype interviews – selected candidates will be invited to participate in a first round Skype interview in between late February and early March. Candidates are expected to be available on Skype at the agreed time.

Panel interviews & group exercises - shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend a panel interview in person in Oxford or Sub-Saharan Africa (location TBC), usually in May. The Oxford Policy Fellowship will provide visa and logistical support to candidates.

How do interview travel costs work?

Candidates who are invited for the second-round panel interview will be reimbursed for their travel costs. If they are coming from overseas, we will organise and pay for your airfares and local Oxford accommodation.

When are successful candidates expected to start their Fellowship posting?

Successful candidates will attend an Orientation training in early September before deploying to their posting. All Fellows are expected to deploy in September/October each year, and by the end of November at the latest. However this will depend on the start date agreed with the government, taking the notice period of the Fellow and the government's preference into account.

Will you offer successful candidates a choice of locations or will only one offer be made?

Successful candidates will be given an offer for one specific country. Since we have a relatively small number of posts with specific demands, it is unlikely that one candidate will be appropriate for more than one post. Please seriously think about if you are prepared to deploy to a country for two years before applying for the programme and again before panel interviews. It is incredibly expensive, disruptive to our relationships with government and to running the programme if candidates drop out of the process once we offer their CVs to government. You will have a much higher likelihood of being posted (if shortlisted) if you are open to being posted to any ministry and we encourage candidates to be open-minded.

Are there likely to be placements relating to Human Rights?

The Oxford Policy Fellowship is a demand-driven programme, whereby participating governments come to us requesting a Fellow for certain Ministries that they feel would most benefit. We have not received any requests from Ministries of Justice to date, and given the nature of the programme it is unlikely that we will be securing placements relating to Human Rights specifically.

Please contact us at fellows@policyfellowship.org before applying if you are only interested in postings relating to Human Rights.

How long is the Oxford Policy Fellowship posting for?

The commitment from all parties (governments, Fellows and the Fellowship) is for two full years. However, each posting is reviewed at the one year mark by all parties to ensure continued value add. Candidates should only apply if they are prepared to spend the two full years in post; it is very disruptive to the programme and to our relationships with government partners if Fellows leave for non-critical reasons mid-posting. Fellows can continue working with the government beyond two years, but the Fellowship only provides support for two years.

Can the Fellowship fund my postgraduate studies?

No. The fellowship programme is specifically aimed at placing early-career professionals in low- and middle-income country governments to work as civil servants.

Can my family come with me?

Your partner or family are very welcome to go with you on your Fellowship posting. However we are unable to provide duty of care, insurance, further allowances or financial resources to cover this. Each Fellow will receive a total salary of around £26,000 per annum, and some assistance from their host ministry with visas and living arrangements, if possible.

What resources will be available in posting?

Fellows work directly for their ministries, and will be provided with the same resources available to local civil servants. The Oxford Policy Fellowship staff also provide some support to Fellows when they are in country, including pastoral care and technical backstopping support in situations where all other resources have been exhausted.

Whilst a computer will be made available by the ministry, the Fellowship advises bringing a personal laptop.

Will I meet my line manager prior to starting the posting?

Fellowship programme staff will have met with each line manager and been in contact with them regularly through the design of the terms of reference for each placement. The line managers in country will have the final say on selection of the Fellow for their posting, so Fellows can be assured that they are going to be working with a line manager who values their skills and experience. The Oxford Policy Fellowship Annual Meeting in September will provide the opportunity for the Fellow to meet the manager ahead of the posting, although we cannot guarantee that all managers will attend the Annual Meeting.

Will there be some type of pre-departure briefing for successful candidates?

Yes. We will hold a two-day intensive Orientation Training course prior to each Fellow’s departure to their posting. This briefing session will cover useful topics such as:

  • Acclimatisation and tips on adapting to a new culture;
  • Thinking and working politically on commercial law and justice in government;
  • Capacity development;
  • Information on what Fellows can expect from the Programme (in terms of technical backstopping, health and safety, finances and pastoral care);
  • Security training.

Is recruitment annual?

Yes. While postings are for two years, we recruit on an annual basis. Applications are opening in December 2019. We will update the website regularly. We also provide updates on the Fellowship, including the recruitment of Fellows, through Oxford Policy Management's social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

How is the Oxford Policy Fellowship funded?

The Fellowship is an initiative of Oxford Policy Management and its major funding partner is the UK Government's Department for International Development (UK DFID). It has also received funding from the New Venture Fund and a private donation.

Given the nature of its funding, the growth of the Fellowship in the fourth cohort is contingent on the level of funding secured. The size of the 2018-2020 cohort is therefore contingent on the amount of funding secured by the Fellowship.


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