The ODI Fellowship Scheme sends young postgraduates in economic related fields to work in the public sectors of developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific on two-year contracts. It is sponsored by the Overseas Development Institute in the UK.
Fellowships are awarded annually, for a two-year period. Short-listed candidates are invited to attend a selection board in February which involves a panel interview and group exercises.
At the end of the selection process, offers are made subject to suitable posts being secured with host governments. Considerable emphasis is placed on personal contact and discussion both at the selection stage and in the careful matching of Fellows to posts.
ODI will also, once a year, invite governments interested in employing Fellows the following year to indicate their likely requirements.
Fellowship Goals

The Fellowship Scheme has two specific goals:

  • To provide governments of developing countries with high calibre junior professional economists where gaps in local expertise exist.
  • To provide recent postgraduate economists with practical work experience in a developing country.

Governments often face capacity problems and view the Scheme as an effective means of employing well-qualified and highly motivated economists. Fellows become line employees within the civil service making this a highly flexible form of technical support.
The host government draws up Terms of Reference for each two-year posting. The success of the Scheme and the respect it has gained from governments is demonstrated by the consistently high demand for Fellows and by the degree of responsibility often entrusted to Fellows.
Eligibility Criteria


  • Degree in economics or a related field
  • Postgraduate degree qualification*
  • Ability to commit to a two-year assignment

* For those studying for a postgraduate degree at the time of application, the award of a Fellowship will be conditional upon the successful completion of their degree.
Some specialisations at postgraduate level which are relevant include:

  • Agricultural economics
  • International economics
  • Development economics
  • Development Management
  • Development studies
  • Econometrics & Statistics
  • Environmental economics
  • Health economics
  • Public policy

This list is not definitive and each application is taken on its own merit with the overall aim of matching candidates to the requirements of a Fellowship post

  • Demonstrable interest in development
  • Relevant work or voluntary experience
  • Language competence for some posts (especially French, Portuguese or Swahili)
  • Strong IT skills

Intellectual qualities

  • A sound grasp of economic theory and its application, especially in a development context
  • Problem-solving and analysis of information
  • Communication of complex ideas

Personal qualities and interpersonal skills

  • Adaptive and flexible approach
  • Ability to work effectively with others
  • Confident and robust personality
  • Willingness to learn and accept advice
  • Ability to mix easily with diverse groups of people

Management and work-related skills

  • Ability to prioritise and delegate work
  • Consultative and advocacy skills
  • Time management and ability to work without supervision
  • Project management
  • Report writing


Although Fellows are selected and appointed by ODI, they are employees of the governments or public bodies for which they work. The latter bear local employment costs while ODI supplements Fellows’ income and meets the costs of the Fellows’ passage and other related expenses. The precise division of responsibilities is normally as follows:
The local employer is responsible for:
• Paying the salary for the post which would be payable to a locally recruited national with similar qualifications and experience.
• Providing similar conditions of service (e.g. accommodation, leave entitlements, expense allowances, medical insurance) that are offered to local staff in similar grades.
ODI is normally responsible for:
• Recruitment and selection of Fellows; arranging placements; providing Fellows’ pre-departure briefing and allowances.
• Paying monthly supplementation. This is an allowance which takes into account local income and costs. Supplementation is designed to bring Fellows’ income up to international junior professional levels.
• Fellows’ passage and baggage expenses at the start and end of the two-year contract.
• Medical emergency insurance cover in post.
ODI salary, including local supplementation as at 2012 amounted to around £21,000 p.a.

  • All candidates shall be informed as to whether they have secured an interview, or not, in late January
  • Selection interviews are held in mid-late February, with those selected taking up their appointments overseas in September- October 2013
  • You should complete the online form through the link below.

If you are unable to complete the form electronically, please return the hard copy, together with a passport size photograph and equal opportunities monitoring form to:
Fellowship Scheme
Overseas Development Institute
111 Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7JD
Deadline: December 17, 2013
If you have any questions about applying, email: [email protected]
For more information and to apply, click here.
To start the online application process, click here