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Apply for Overseas Development Institute Fellowship Scheme 2019 – 2021


Overseas Development Institute Fellowship Scheme 2019 – 2021 (£21,000 Salary Per Year) for Young Professionals

Overseas Development Institute’s (ODI) prestigious Fellowship Scheme gives postgraduate economists and statisticians the chance to work in developing country public sectors as local civil servants on two-year contracts.

The Scheme has two objectives: to provide developing country governments with high-calibre junior economists and statisticians where there are gaps in local capacity; and to give postgraduate economists and statisticians practical work experience in a developing country.

Since 1963 we have sent more than 1,000 economists and statisticians on two-year postings to more than 40 countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific, with many going on to successful careers in government, multilateral institutions, academia and the private sector. More than one hundred Fellows are currently in post.

The Scheme is open to candidates of all nationalities provided they have a master’s degree or PhD in economics, statistics or a related discipline. Postings are determined primarily by the needs of partner governments rather than the preferences of candidates themselves.


Which countries participate?

The aim of the Scheme is to support low-income and high-poverty countries. In October 2018, 28 low- and middle-income countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific hosted ODI Fellows.

We are always keen to consider incorporating new countries into the Scheme. New country governments wishing to participate must make a formal request to ODI. We then follow up with a detailed scoping visit to ensure conditions are suitable for hosting ODI Fellows.

Where do Fellows work?

Most ODI Fellows work as economists, planning officers or statisticians in government ministries or agencies. Often this will be ministries of finance or planning, but many also work in ministries of trade and industry, regional integration, agriculture, environment, water, health and education. Several also work in central banks, revenue authorities, statistics offices and regional organisations.

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What kind of work do Fellows do?

The posts are extremely varied – Fellows could be involved in anything from preparing national budgets to devising strategic responses to HIV/AIDS. See our booklet for more examples of the work Fellows are typically assigned to.

How is the ODI Fellowship Scheme funded?

The cost of each posting is shared between our partner governments and ODI. Host governments generally pay a local salary which is supplemented by ODI to the level of a junior UK civil servant. Grants from the Department for International Development (DFID) in the UK, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Australia and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation currently provide the funding for ODI’s financial contribution to the Scheme.

Practical information

ODI selects and places Fellows in consultation with our partner governments. Fellows then become employees of the governments or public bodies they work for and are bound by the public sector rules of the governments they work for. Governments pay a local salary and may provide other benefits such as accommodation and annual leave while ODI covers travel and other expenses at the start and end of the contract, emergency medical insurance, as well as monthly supplementation. Overall, Fellows typically receive a total of approximately £21,000 per year (£23,000 in the second year), plus an accommodation allowance.



The Fellowship Scheme is open to candidates of any nationality. You must have a master’s degree or PhD in economics, econometrics, statistics or a related field. Suitable specialisms include agricultural, environmental, international, health or development economics. You must also be willing to commit to a two-year posting in any of the participating countries.

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We are looking for candidates who have a demonstrable interest in development; relevant work or voluntary experience in a developing country, and strong computer skills. Although most Fellowship posts are in English-speaking countries, French, Portuguese or Swahili language skills are an advantage for several posts.


Application and selection process

We are now inviting applications for the 2019-2021 Fellowship Scheme; the deadline is December 2nd, 2018. To apply, please complete our online application form.

We interview short-listed candidates in February at ODI in London, before making either firm or conditional offers to the successful candidates.


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