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Irish Aid Fellowship Strands

Irish Aid Fellowships are funded as part of Ireland's wider development cooperation budget. They are awarded through a number of 'strands', each of which has a different focus in terms of eligible countries and subject areas, as summarised below. A detailed outline of each strand and relevant documentation can be accessed using the links on this page.

Fellowships are awarded for full-time study at Masters level at an Irish higher level institution, with a focus on courses that are relevant to Irish Aid's development objectives in a fellow's home country. On completion, fellowship recipients are committed to resume work and put their acquired skills into good use for the benefit of their home countries.

The eligibility criteria for each strand should be studied carefully. Applications will not be considered unless all eligibility criteria have been met.


  • Please note that some fellowship strands require applicants to be employed by and nominated by an Irish Aid partner organisation, rather than being 'open call'.
  • Fellowship applications may not be open for all eligible countries in all years. You should refer to the up-to-date listing below.

All applicants who apply to study in Ireland and are selected to go forward to second stage will be required to sit an IELTS exam, unless they are already in possession of an IELTS certificate that is less than 12 months old at the time of application which shows the applicant has achieved the necessary score for the course they intend to apply to. Early preparation for the IELTS exam is strongly advised, even for native English speakers.

Fellowship Training Programme

Eligible Countries: 
Sierra Leone
Eligible Courses: 

A directory of eligible postgraduate programmes is available for download below, covering programmes in up to 16 subject areas.

For applicants from Ethiopia, a separate directory of eligible postgraduate programmes applies. Please contact the Irish Embassy in Ethiopia for details.


IDEAS Programme

Eligible Countries: 
Eligible Courses: 

Masters programmes at Irish higher education institutes in Agriculture and Rural Development, Food Science, Pharmacy and Biotechnology, Engineering and Sustainable Technology, Information and Communication Technology, Management and Business.

Kader Asmal Fellowship

Eligible Countries: 
South Africa
Eligible Courses: 

Masters programmes in Ireland in: (i) business management, economics and finance; (ii) agriculture, food science, environment and rural development; (iii) gender and human rights (iv) engineering, sustainable technology and resource management; (v) information systems and communications technology; and (vi) tourism. A directory of eliglible courses is available for download at