Is recruitment annual?

Yes. While postings are for two years, we recruit on an annual basis. Applications open in late December/early January of each year. We will update the website regularly in run-up to the call for applications.

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.

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 a law degree to be eligible?

Currently, all of our postings require Fellows that have at least a degree and some experience in legal areas. Most postings will expect a Fellow who is a qualified lawyer. Applications from individuals who do not have a law background will not be taken to the first round interview stage.

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 when the call for applications opens.
  2. Skype interviews – based on the applications we receive, candidates will be shortlisted to participate in a first round Skype interview. These are informal 30 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 the weeks commencing 06 March and 13 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 at the end of April or beginning of May. The Oxford Policy Fellowship will provide visa and logistical support to candidates.

How do interview travel costs work?

Candidates who are invited to Oxford 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.

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.

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 did not receive any requests from Ministries of Justice for the pilot of the Fellowship, and given the nature of the programme it is unlikely that we will be securing placements relating to Human Rights specifically.

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 basic resources available to local civil servants. We advise bringing a personal laptop. The Oxford Policy Fellowship staff also provide some support to Fellows when they are in country, such as pastoral care and some technical backstopping support in situations where all other resources have been exhausted.

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

No. Fellows will not have an opportunity to travel to their host country before departing on their posting. However, 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.

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

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

  • Acclimatisation and tips on adapting to new cultures;
  • Thinking and working politically on commercial law and justice;
  • Guidance on writing succinct policy briefs;
  • Information on what Fellows can expect from the Programme (in terms of technical backstopping, health and safety and finances);
  • Security training.