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Fellowships Explained

Irish Aid is the Irish Government’s programme for overseas development, managed by the Development Co-operation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. We provide a broad programme of support to capacity building in developing countries

As part of this overall mission, Irish Aid Fellowships aim to address capacity deficits that hinder the attainment of long-term development goals through the training and development of key individuals, generally drawn from the public services and NGO sectors.

Operating for over 40 years, Irish Aid Fellowships have supported more than 2,000 successful awardees who have returned to their organisations on completing their studies, committed to putting their acquired knowledge and skills into practice for the benefit of the wider community. Some of their stories can be found in the case study profiles throughout this site.

Irish Aid concentrates long term development assistance in eight Key Partner Countries - mainly in sub-Saharan Africa - and a small number of other countries affected by conflict. Fellowships are targeted to specific countries in the same way. Potential applicants should carefully note all eligibility requirements. These may include being employed by an Irish Aid partner organisation. Applicants who do not meet eligibility criteria will not be considered.


Eligible Countries

The countries eligible for Irish Aid Fellowships are Burundi, Cambodia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Palestine, Rwanda, Somalia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Details of the different fellowship strands and eligibility critera are set out in the For Applicants section.


Management and Administration

Policy and strategic decisions regarding Irish Aid Fellowships are determined by Irish Aid headquarters in Limerick, Ireland.

Day-to-day management arrangements for each of the different fellowship strands will involve some or all of the following:

Irish embassies - handling initial applications and short-listing, IELTS (English language) testing and financial administration for regional fellows.

Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) - handling applications short-listed by embassies on behalf of Irish Aid and providing a range of support services for fellowship holders. » Read more.

Colleges - undertaking certain fellowship management functions on behalf of Irish Aid (e.g. organising accommodation) in cases where the fellowship strand is operated in partnership with a specific college.