FAQs

About the Oxford Policy Fellowship

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 2020-2022 cohort is therefore contingent on the amount of funding secured by the Fellowship.

Are certain ministries targeted?

We aim to provide a valuable service to a wide variety of under-served ministries in participating host countries. To date the Fellowship has partnered with ministries of finance, trade, agriculture, planning, environment, energy, health and education in eleven countries.

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.

Applying to become a Fellow

What should I think about before applying?

The Fellowship is a unique and exciting opportunity to work at the interface of law and public policy, embedded within a country government and living somewhere different. However this means that candidates applying need to consider:

    • Their willingness to be posted to any country in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
    • Our postings can be in countries with varying levels of healthcare provision.
    • We expect candidates who are successful in the panel interviews to be open minded to all postings in any country, by applying you are confirming that you would accept any posting. We will specify willingness to be posted in a specific country in the application form occasionally.

Is recruitment annual?

Yes. While postings are for two years, we recruit on an annual basis. Applications open in in early December. We will update the website regularly in run-up to the call for applications and on OPM's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).

The application form is not loading, what should I do?

If the online application form is not working please try different internet browsers such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. If you continue to have problems please contact fellows@policyfellowship.org.

Recruitment process

Can my supporting letter be submitted directly to the Fellowship team?

Some referees will prefer to submit their supporting letters directly to the Fellowship team rather than via the applicant, references can be emailed to fellows@policyfellowship.org by referees. Please make sure the applicants name is clearly referenced in the submission email otherwise it may not be included.

How is the recruitment process structured?

There are four stages to the recruitment for Fellows:

  • Applicationcandidates 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 'Apply Here' page.
  • Phone call interviews - based on the applications we receive, candidates will be shortlisted to participate in a first round phone call interview. These are informal 30 minute interviews with Two Fellowship representatives. Questions at this stage will be based on scenarios, technical and people skills. The phone interviews takes place in February/March.
  • 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 10 minutes presentation, competency based questions and group interaction. The panel interviews take place in person in one of Oxford Policy Management's international offices, depending on the candidates geographical location. The panel interviews will take place in March-April.
  • 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.
  • How do panel interview travel costs work?

    Candidates who are invited for the 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 accommodation. Insurance will also be provided for attendance at the panel interviews.

    In which countries do you have postings and can applicants choose the location?

    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. You can see where we work and have worked in the About section of the website.

    Successful applicants will be offered a posting in a specific country. Applicants to the Oxford Policy Fellowship should be open-minded to take up a posting in any country. We ask candidates to think carefully 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.

    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.

    Life as a Fellow

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

    Yes. We will hold an intensive Orientation Training course prior to each Fellow’s departure to their posting, and the opportunity to meet with current Fellows. Orientation 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.

    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, a supportive community of practice network, and technical backstopping support in situations where all other resources have been exhausted.

    A computer might be made available by the ministry, however, the Fellowship strongly advises bringing a personal laptop.

    How much does a Fellow earn?

    Each Fellow will receive a total salary of around £26,000 per annum. The Fellowship provides medical insurance and a duty of care for all Fellows as well as a housing financial contribution, if required.

    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 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.

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