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ODI Fellowship Scheme Application Information

We are unable to invite applications at the moment, please get in touch if you would like more information [email protected]

The ODI Fellowship Scheme selects postgraduate economists and statisticians through an annual recruitment round. We are hoping to invite applications again in November 2021.

Successful candidates need to have an interest in development and be able to demonstrate they can work effectively in challenging environments with people from a variety of backgrounds. They are expected to serve for the full two-year contract and be ready to work in any of the Scheme’s partner countries, except where exceptional circumstances apply.

The Scheme is open to candidates of all nationalities and strives for gender equality.


You need to 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 need to also be willing to commit to a two-year posting in any one of the participating countries.

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

For further information on requirements and application procedures, please see our brochure and FAQs below.


What qualifications do I need?

Applicants are expected to have a master’s degree or PhD in economics, statistics or a related field by the time they take up a Fellowship. A strong academic background in either economics or statistics is a prerequisite.

When/how can I apply?

We usually invite applications on an annual basis each November.

Once I start completing an application for a job is there a time limit?

Once you start your application you have seven days to complete it, otherwise the system will automatically delete it. Please ensure to check the application deadline in the advertisement which may be earlier than seven days. We recommend starting your application at a point you feel comfortable to finish it within seven days.

Can I send my CV or apply for a job via email to be considered for future roles?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept speculative applications. Also, we do not accept CV’s as a means of application. We ask all applicants to apply online in the interests of fairness.

What is the salary?

The salary is £21,000 for the first year, rising to £23,000 in the second. In addition, Fellows receive a rental allowance to cover the cost of their accommodation.

Where will I be based?

At the time of recruiting, we do not know in which posts or countries we will be placing Fellows. Following discussions with partner Governments in March – June, we will confirm the posts and locations we are placing Fellows.

It is likely many of the posts currently occupied by Fellows will receive a 'replacement' Fellow, but all posts are assessed and Government needs and preferences are taken into account.

Will I need a work permit/visa?

This varies from country to country, and it depends on the Fellow’s nationality.

ODI will provide support in terms of supplying an official letter of support, and requesting the employing Government supplies whatever documentation is required for a visa or work permit purposes. If related costs are not covered by the employer (e.g. in the case of a work permit) then ODI will reimburse.

We expect Fellows to use regular and economy services and any express or fast-track charges would require consultation with ODI before approval.

Can I apply if I graduated several years ago?

Yes. Work experience is valued by our partner Governments, with some posts well-suited to applicants with several years’ work experience.

What is the format of the interviews?

The interview usually consists of a panel interview and a group assessment. Attendance at both is essential and you should plan to be at ODI for a half day.

How can I prepare for the interviews?

It is useful to familiarise yourself with the countries that Fellows are posted to. Speaking to current and former Fellows can be incredibly helpful, as they are able to give a first-hand account of a two-year posting.

Are ODI my employer?

No, Fellows are employed directly by the Governments and organisations that they are placed with. In most cases, they receive an employment contract and local salary in-country. ODI arranges the placement, keeps in regular contact with Fellows and has a duty of care throughout their postings.

Can I defer my placement?

No, we do not offer to defer Fellowships.

However, we would not discriminate against a candidate if they had previously turned down an offer.

If unsuccessful, can I reapply in the future?


Does ODI cover expenses for partners?

The Scheme does not provide financial assistance to partners (married or not) nor does it provide assistance to partners for visas or in obtaining work in the country of posting.

Will I receive training prior to taking up post?

We usually hold a briefing week in London in July. This takes place over a whole week (Monday – Friday) and covers topics such as working in Government, administration of the Scheme, medical, security and insurance sessions.

Is it necessary to have work experience?

Many applicants take up Fellowships directly after finishing their master’s degree; however, the Scheme is very competitive and candidates with at least some work experience will be in a better position.

Employing Governments value work experience, as well as academic qualifications, in the candidates that they select.

Are there any restrictions regarding the nationality of applicants?

No, we welcome applications from all nationalities.

We try never to place applicants on their own, or a neighbouring, country. We take into account the logistics of placing certain nationalities in specific countries, e.g. if there are likely to be difficulties obtaining visas or work permits.

Are there any restrictions regarding placing LGBTQ+ or disabled candidates?

We support and encourage applications from LGBTQ+ and disabled candidates. To ensure candidates are not placed in difficult, dangerous or impractical situations we will disregard unsuitable placements during the matching process. We will discuss this with the candidate directly during the allocation process.

What personal qualities are you looking for in candidates?

It is important for applicants to have an open mind about the various postings and countries that we operate in. We expect them to be ready to serve the full two years in any of our partner countries, within reason.

Adaptability, commitment, perseverance and initiative can all be essential qualities for Fellows.

An ability to work in challenging environments with colleagues from very different backgrounds is necessary.

An interest in development is expected.

Are there any language requirements?

Most Fellowship posts are in English-speaking countries.

We would normally only post a Fellow fluent in the native language.

Portuguese, French and Swahili are useful for some posts.

ODI provides a language allowance when necessary to ensure Fellows are able to operate effectively in their roles.

What references do I need to supply?

We ask that applicants provide two academic referees and one professional referee.

One undergraduate and one postgraduate referee is suggested for the academic referees.

Should I provide my university transcript?

No. Please complete the application fully and include any relevant information on it. We will not accept any supplementary documentation in support of your application.

Does ODI provide insurance for me when I am overseas?

Yes, ODI provides emergency medical insurance for the period of your posting.

Contact us

203 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NJ

Tel: +44 (0)207 922 0356

Fax: +44 (0)20 7922 0399

[email protected]