What we do



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

ODI Fellowship Scheme

Providing capacity, promoting careers. ODI's 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.

Fellowship scheme header pic.jpg

Since the first 3 ODI Fellows were posted in 1963, over 1,000 ODI Fellowships have been awarded with around 50 country governments and regional organisations taking part.

Governments draw up the terms for each two-year posting and view the Scheme as an effective way to employ early career professional economists and statisticians where gaps in local capacity exist.

A key aim of the Scheme is to provide postgraduate economists and statisticians with practical work experience in a developing country.

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.

What former fellows say

Portrait of Lord Andrew Turnbull KCB

Lord Andrew Turnbull KCB

CVO former Head of the UK Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary

'My posting as an ODI Fellow to Zambia in 1968 provided three things: a professional challenge applying the economics I was taught to real life policies and implementation, often at a level of seniority way above a first job in the UK; a personal challenge of resourcefulness, arriving in a new place with no house, no car and no money, though often with the support of other Fellows who will be friends for life; a rich choice of career options – back to academia, public service in the UK, international institutions or development charities.’

Portrait of Professor Dame Anne Mills CBE

Professor Dame Anne Mills CBE

Deputy Director and Provost, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

'The ODI Fellowship is a pioneering example of capacity strengthening – for the individuals themselves, and for the government agencies they support. For me it was truly a seminal experience, which was fundamental to the development of my future career.'

Professor Martin Weale CBE

UK Monetary Policy Committee

'The two years I spent at the National Statistics Office in Malawi from 1977-79 gave me an interest in economic statistics which has never died away. Nothing makes one more careful in the use of data than having collected them. Forty years later, the experience underpins my current work on improving economic statistics in the UK.'

Sir Suma Chakrabarti KCB

Chair of ODI Board

'Two of the best years of my professional and personal lives were as an ODI Fellow in Botswana in the early 1980s. I formed much of my thinking on development, governance and reform during this period and made lifelong friends.’

Application information

We are hoping to invite applications again in February, 2022, for Fellows starting in September/October, 2022.

Find out more about the application process

How the Scheme is funded

The cost of each posting is shared between the host government and ODI. The Scheme uses funds generously provided by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Fleming Fund, Frontclear, Comic Relief and Edutech to supplement the salaries paid by the host governments. Some governments will also fund the whole cost of Fellowship posts independently.

The team - [email protected]