Apply for a Fellowship

Apply for a Fellowship

The Oxford Policy Fellowship (OPF) is an exceptional opportunity for qualified lawyers to work in international development and to make a real contribution to the development of their host country. We provide a comprehensive benefits package so the Fellow is well-supported throughout their posting.  


The Oxford Policy Fellowship is a one-of-a-kind programme that is the only programme for lawyers who want to go into development, and from that perspective, it is entirely unique and very very special.

Katie Taylor, Fellow 2017-2019, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda



Lawyer presenting in front of participants at the Oxford Policy Fellowship Annual Meeting

To enable Fellows to focus on their work, the OPF core team provides support throughout the programme. This includes:

  • Travel to and from the posting country
  • Introduction meeting before commencing posting
  • A monthly allowance (equalling ~£26,000 per annum)
  • A contribution towards rent
  • Comprehensive medical insurance
  • Support from a specialised safety and security company



  • Access to Thomson Reuters Practical Law
  • Technical backstopping scheme. If you face challenges with a legal issue, we will connect you to an expert in the field to provide support to you
  • ‘Community of Practice’. This is a network of law and public policy experts across the world. It includes the Annual Meeting when we meet in person to develop the programme and discuss current issues in the field. We also have the Fellowship Learning Forum that is a platform for Fellows to learn from each other and experts in the field.

What are the entrance requirements to become a Fellow?

OPF is open to people of all nationalities who have an LLB (or equivalent) and are qualified lawyers. We are looking for individuals who have excellent academic qualifications and depending on the specific post, an LLM, a Master’s in Law, a Master’s in Public Policy, or a related field.

Applicants should have about four to six years of post-qualification experience. Experience of working or volunteering in a low- and middle-income country is looked upon favourably. Strong interpersonal skills and a demonstrated interest in International Development are essential to becoming a Fellow. We encourage applicants from low- and middle-income countries.

We ask applicants to consider the following before applying:

  • Their willingness to be posted to any country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Our postings can be in countries with varying levels of healthcare provision.
  • By applying to become a Fellow, you are confirming that you will accept any posting that you are offered if you are successful at the second-round interview stage.
What makes a successful Oxford Policy Fellow?
Watch video

What is the application process to become a Fellow?

There are four stages to the recruitment for Fellows:

1. Application – candidates are required to provide a completed application form along with supporting documents in order to be considered. Details will be made available on the website when the application process is open.

2. Phone interviews - based on the applications we receive, candidates will be shortlisted to participate in a first-round phone interview. These are informal 30-minute interviews with two OPF representatives. Questions at this stage will be based on scenarios, technical and people skills. The phone interviews usually take place in February/March.

3. Panel interviews- a further shortlist of candidates will be invited to attend a panel interview. Requirements include a 10-minute presentation and competency-based questions. The panel interviews usually take place in March-April.

4. Shortlist to governments – the final stage of the recruitment is for OPF staff to present the final shortlist of candidates to each government line manager who will select their preferred candidate.

Estimated timeline

Applications open
Applications close
Phone interviews
Panel interview
Government Partners shortlist applicants
Successful applicants are offered a posting
Orientation meeting
Fellows start their postings

Statistics from the 2019 recruitment:

  • Received 171 applicants for ten posts
  • 86% of the applicants from the Global South
  • 47 first-round phone interviews and 26 panel interviews in Oxford, New Delhi, New York and Nairobi
  • Governments selected 10 Fellows: applicants come from Nigeria (2), Kenya (3), Malaysia, Australia, United States, Botswana, and India
  • Of the selected Fellows 7 are women and 3 are men.
The Oxford Policy Fellowship was my inroad to working in international development space. Not only did it give me the opportunity to improve my technical skills, but I was exposed to managing teams and projects, conducting capacity development and helped me to expand my professional network. All these have been invaluable to my career. Magalie Masamba, Fellow 2015-2017, Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Zanzibar