Ireland Fellows Programme - SIDS
The Ireland Fellows Programme enables early to mid-career professionals from eligible countries, with leadership potential, to benefit from a prestigious, world-class, quality education contributing to capacity building. It offers selected students the opportunity to undertake a fully funded one-year master’s level programme at a higher education institution (HEI) in Ireland. The award covers programme fees, flights, accommodation and living costs. Eligible master’s level programmes in Ireland commence in August or September each year and, depending on the programme, will run for between 10 and 16 months. The Ireland Fellows Programme promotes gender equality, equal opportunity, and welcomes diversity.
The Ireland Fellows Programme – SIDS is one of a number of commitments set out in the Government’s Strategy for Partnership with Small Island Developing States, launched in June 2019. The SIDS Strategy reflects the breadth of areas where Ireland and SIDS already collaborate, and where we have shared interests in global outcomes, including on climate action and ocean protection.
The aims of the Programme are to nurture future leaders; to develop in-country capacity to address climate change and its associated challenges; and to build positive relationships with Ireland.
The Programme is intended to support graduates on their return home, through the skills they develop, in strengthening their countries’ capacity to address the challenges posed by climate change and enhance the protection of the blue economy and marine life, and to become one of the next generation of 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 programme is managed by the relevant Embassy responsible for eligible countries. Programme implementation in Ireland is supported by the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS).
Eligible courses are in areas such as sustainable development, climate change, environmental science, sustainable technology and engineering.
Applications for the academic year 2024-25 will open in summer 2023
To be eligible for an Ireland Fellows Programme – SIDS award commencing at the beginning of the academic year 2023, applicants must:
- Be a national of one of the eligible SIDS countries and resident in one of the eligible SIDS countries – they can be a national of one country and resident in another, in the same region, as set out here:
Africa: Cabo Verde, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritius, Sao Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles.
Asia: Maldives, Timor-Leste.
Caribbean: Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
Pacific: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.
- Have a minimum three years’ substantial work experience that is directly relevant to your proposed programme(s) of study.
- Hold a bachelor’s level academic qualification from an accredited and government-recognised higher education institution, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) – i.e. a first class honour, or second class honour, Grade 1 (a second class honour Grade 2 may be accepted if the applicant has substantial directly relevant work experience). It must have been awarded in 2011 or later (i.e. within the last 12 years).
- Not already hold a qualification at master’s level or higher. Not currently undertaking a programme at master’s level or higher, or be due to start a programme at master’s level or higher in the academic year 2022/23.
- Be applying to commence a new programme at master’s level in Ireland no sooner than August 2023.
- Be able to demonstrate the following: leadership abilities and aspirations; a commitment to addressing climate change and its associated challenges within your own country; and a commitment to contribute to building positive relationships with Ireland.
- Have identified and selected three programmes relevant to your academic and professional background from the SIDS Directory of Eligible Programmes.
- Have a clear understanding of the academic and English language proficiencies required for all programmes chosen.
- Must not have applied to the Ireland Fellows Programme on more than one previous occasion.
- Be in a position to take up the Fellowship in the academic year 2023/2024.
The Fellowship covers the recipient only. Financial support or visas for spouses or dependents are not included within the scope of the programme.
Please read the Applicant Guidance Note carefully before completing as eligibility criteria may differ from country to country.
The application process consists of three stages:
- Stage 1 Preliminary Application;
- Stage 2 Detailed Application;
- Stage 3 Interviews.
All applicants who are selected to progress after the second stage will be required to sit an online Duolingo English Test. If shortlisted after the interview stage, all applicants will be required to take another English language test, normally the IELTS exam, unless they are already in possession of an IELTS certificate that is dated 2021 or later which shows the applicant has achieved the necessary score for the course(s) they intend to apply to. Early preparation for the IELTS exam is strongly advised, even for native English speakers.
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.