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Ireland Fellows Programme – Pilot PHD Exchange

The Ireland Fellows Programme Pilot PhD Exchange is a new initiative under the Ireland Fellows Programme to provide a prestigious award for excellent research. It offers selected suitably qualified PhD students in partner higher education institutions in Vietnam the opportunity to study for one year at a higher education institution in Ireland as part of their PhD programme. The award is fully funded and covers programme fees, flights, accommodation and living costs for the year in Ireland, as well as eligible direct research expenses of up to €3,250 to enable the awardee to carry out the research project in Ireland. Up to three awards will be made in 2022. The Ireland Fellows Programme promotes gender equality, equal opportunity, and welcomes diversity.

The aims of the Programme are:

  • To nurture world-class future leaders;
  • To develop in-country capacity to achieve national SDG goals;
  • To build positive relationships with Ireland.

The Programme is intended to enable researchers on their return home and on completion of their PhD to leverage their high-level skills, knowledge, and talent to contribute to capacity building in their home country. Successful awardees under the programme are recognised as demonstrating world-class potential as future leaders in their respective fields. It is also envisaged that they will contribute to building enduring positive personal and professional relationships with Ireland, promoting institutional linkages.

The Ireland Fellows Programme is fully funded by the Irish Government and is offered under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The Programme aligns with the Irish Government’s commitments under Global Ireland and the national implementation plan for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World, A Better World: Ireland’s Policy for International Development, and Ireland's International Education Strategy.

The Ireland Fellows Programme PhD Exchange initiative is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the Irish Research Council (IRC). Programme implementation in Ireland is supported by the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS).

The support provided is for research purposes and will not result in a separate qualification.

Eligible Countries: 
Applications for the academic year 2022/23 are now open

To view application documents, confirm your eligibility under Application Information below. Applications and supporting documents must be submitted by email to no later than 29 May 2022. 


Potential applicants should carefully ascertain whether or not they are eligible in advance of applying to the programme.
To be eligible for an Ireland Fellows Programme – PhD Exchange award commencing at the beginning of the academic year 2022, applicants must:

  • Be a resident national of Vietnam.
  • Be currently enrolled full time in year 1 or year 2 of a PhD programme at an eligible Higher Education Institution or research performing organisation in Vietnam. In the case of PhD programmes that run for 5 years or more, students in year 3 are also eligible to apply (in addition to those in year 1 or 2). (Please see list of eligible Higher Education Institutions in the Call for Applications).
  • Be engaged in a PhD research topic in an eligible subject area aligned with Ireland’s Development Programme. (Please see list of eligible subject areas in the Call for Applications).
  • Be in receipt of an agreement from both the applicant’s own Higher Education Institution and a partner Higher Education Institution in Ireland to complete one year of their PhD programme in the Higher Education Institution in Ireland, and to return to their own Higher Education Institution to complete their PhD. (Please see list of eligible Higher Education Institutions in the Call for Applications).
  • Not already hold a qualification at PhD level.
  • Be applying to commence a one-year placement at an HEI in Ireland no sooner than August 2022, and be in a position to take up the Fellowship in the academic year 2022/2023 if successful.
  • Be able to demonstrate the following: leadership abilities and aspirations; a commitment to the achievement of the SDGs within your own country; and a commitment to contribute to building positive relationships with Ireland.
  • Have the English language certification required by the Higher Education Institution in Ireland.


Application Process

Expression of Interest form

Applicants who are interested in making an application for the Programme should complete and submit an Expression of Interest form, provided in Annex 3 of the Call for Applications. Expressions of Interest should be submitted by email to the Embassy of Ireland, Hanoi, at

Applicants who do not yet have the English language certification required by the Higher Education Institution in Ireland can request a coupon in order to take the Duolingo English Language Test. This is an online test that can be taken at home. This test should be taken in good time for your results to be confirmed before submitting your application. The coupon can be requested in the Expression of Interest form.

Application Form

When you meet all of the eligibility requirements, you should complete and submit an application form together with the required documents. The application form and required documents will be provided to applicants who send in an Expression of Interest form.

Indicative copies of these documents are provided as annexes to this document solely for information purposes; please note some differences between these and the final version of the forms may occur.

Applications and supporting documents are submitted by email to The deadline for receipt of applications is 29 May 2022.

Shortlisted eligible applicants will be invited to interview by the Embassy of Ireland, Hanoi.

You will be contacted by the Embassy of Ireland, Hanoi, once final decisions have been made and informed whether you have been successful. Please do not otherwise contact the Irish Embassy during this period.


Required Documents

  • A form completed by the applicant’s home institution, i.e. the Vice President/Dean of Research or their authorised nominee, confirming that the applicant is currently enrolled fulltime in year 1 or year 2 of a PhD programme at their institution (or in year 1, year 2 or year 3 in the case of PhD programmes that run for 5 years or more). This form also includes an endorsement of the application to study for one year in Ireland as part of their PhD programme, and to return to their own institution to complete their PhD.
  • A Letter of Commitment completed by an academic supervisor within an Irish Higher Education Institution endorsing the application and confirming that they are willing to actively support the applicant during their placement in the Irish organisation, and work with the applicant's supervisory team in Vietnam to guide the research.
  • Forms completed by two academic referees – the referees should know the applicant sufficiently well to provide a reference. The signatory of either of the endorsement forms may not act as one of the applicant’s referees.
  • A copy of the identity page of the applicant’s passport, or another form of certified official identification if you do not have a passport.

    Successful applicants will be required to submit a certified copy of the identify page of their passport. If their existing passport expires before December 2023, they will be asked to provide a new passport.

  • Copies of the Masters and undergrad transcripts.
  • Evidence of meeting the English language requirements of the HEI to which they are applying.



8 April 2022 – applications open

29 May 2022 - applications close

30 June 2022 – successful and unsuccessful applicants notified

Late August / early September 2022 - successful applicants travel to Ireland


Application Information

Applications will not be considered for this fellowship unless all eligibility criteria are met. You should carefully check that you can meet the above criteria before requesting application information.