Fellowships: What are they? Why should you apply?

What are fellowships?

These are short term opportunities, sponsored by different organizations such as NGOs, Foundations, and Universities, focusing on professionally developing individuals in a particular field of interest or study.  Examples are Mo Ibrahim, TED, Harambe, Obama Foundation Fellowship etc.


Fellowships are a great way of boosting your resume. They provide an opportunity to further develop your ideas 


Why bother applying

Fellowships bring in a whole life-changing package of benefits. 

Mo Ibrahim Fellowship
  • Funding. Most fellowships offer salaries, stipends or grants which are always handy to fellows.
  • Resources and Support. Once you become a fellow you begin to enjoy resources and support health insurance, guidance, mentorship and counseling offered by the fellowship.
  • Networking. Fellowships are a great way to meet new people in your field of interest. You will learn new ideas and forge lifetime partnerships that can prove vital for your personal growth.
  • Prestige. Fellowships are known for being rigorous and competitive in their selection process, so being a fellow surrounds you with an aura of being a tried and tested individual. This builds confidence in your abilities.
  • Exposure. Fellowships often involve traveling to another part of your country or world. You will be exposed to a new of doing things, surrounded by professionals in your field as mentors and facilitators.
    Takunda Chingonzo interviewed Barack Obama while on Mandela Washington Fellowship.
  • Professional Development. Fellowships are a great way of boosting your resume. They provide an opportunity to further develop your ideas be it in business, advocacy, lobbying, or studying depending on the type of fellowship you attend.



The application process often requires a lot of time to adequately finish compiling everything required.

Fellowships are competitive. They attract people with exceptional skills and abilities. You will have to put in extra effort to shine because of limited places.

You may be required to travel to a geographical location you do not like.


Where can one find Fellowships?

Check the following sites for regular updates on fellowships suitable for you


Opportunities for Africans

Opportunity Desk


Images not my own.


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