Oxford Policy Fellowship 2022-24



Location (s):

  • United Kingdom
  • Worldwide


Whether you are looking for your next challenge, or planning a wholesale career move, becoming an Oxford Policy Fellow gives you a unique opportunity to apply your legal knowledge within an international development context.


Oxford Policy Fellows provide legal and policy advice to governments in low- and middle-income countries. Fellows work as local civil servants in government ministries for two years. They work alongside local colleagues supporting local agendas. The Oxford Policy Fellowship (OPF) offers lawyers an exceptional opportunity to work in public policy and international development.

What do Fellows do?

No posting is the same as each Fellow has a Terms of Reference tailored to meet the specific country context. Here are some examples of what Fellows do:

  • Draft, review and comment on contracts and Memoranda of Understanding
  • Draft and review legislation and policy
  • Coordinate and participate in negotiations
  • Advice on legal and policy issues
  • Carry out research
  • Represent and present on behalf of their Ministry in various fora
  • Coordinate and manage projects
  • Carry out administrative tasks
  • Facilitate capacity building initiatives.

How do Fellows spend their time in-post?

  • 48% on legal technical work
  • 24% on policy work
  • 15% administration
  • 14% on capacity development activities.

What is the application process to become a Fellow?

There are four stages to the recruitment for Fellows:

  1. Application – candidates are required to provide a completed application form along with supporting documents in order to be considered. Details will be made available on the website when the application process is open.
  2. Phone interviews - based on the applications we receive, candidates will be shortlisted to participate in a first-round phone interview. These are informal 30-minute interviews with two OPF representatives. Questions at this stage will be based on scenarios, technical and people skills. The phone interviews usually take place in February/March.
  3. Panel interviews- a further shortlist of candidates will be invited to attend a panel interview. Requirements include a 10-minute presentation and competency-based questions. The panel interviews usually take place in March-April.
  4. Shortlist to governments – the final stage of the recruitment is for OPF staff to present the final shortlist of candidates to each government line manager who will select their preferred candidate.

The commitment from all parties (governments, Fellows and OPF) is for two years (24-months). However, each posting is reviewed by all parties after a Fellow has been in post for 12-months. Candidates should only apply if they are prepared to spend the two full years in the post; it is very disruptive to the programme and our relationships with Government Partners if Fellows leave for non-critical reasons mid-posting. Fellows may continue working with the government beyond two years and this relationship will be agreed upon by the Fellow and the government. OPF can only offer a Fellow a Fellowship for a maximum of two years (24-months).

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

What are the entrance requirements to become a Fellow?

OPF is open to people of all nationalities who have an LLB (or equivalent) and are qualified lawyers. We are looking for individuals who have excellent academic qualifications and depending on the specific post, an LLM, a Master’s in Law, a Master’s in Public Policy, or a related field.

Applicants should have about four to six years of post-qualification experience. Experience of working or volunteering in a low- and middle-income country is looked upon favourably. Strong interpersonal skills and a demonstrated interest in International Development are essential to becoming a Fellow. We encourage applicants from low- and middle-income countries.

We ask applicants to consider the following before applying:

  • Their willingness to be posted to any country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Our postings can be in countries with varying levels of healthcare provision.
  • By applying to become a Fellow, you are confirming that you will accept any posting that you are offered if you are successful at the second-round interview stage.


Deadline: January 31, 2022

Cost/funding for participants:

Being a Fellow has enormous benefits, both personally and professionally. It is an opportunity to engage with another jurisdiction and get invaluable experience working as a lawyer in international development and public policy. As a Fellow, you will gain new skills and knowledge, as well as a wealth of new experiences. Fellows have access to our ‘community of practice’, consisting of professionals in the law and development field. This provides an excellent space for learning from other OPF Fellows and practitioners. The experience of being a Fellow offers the possibility of working with a range of international agencies, NGOs, development consultancies and governmental organisations.

Participating in the programme also offers an opportunity for personal growth. Living and working in a new country is both challenging and extremely rewarding. As a Fellow, you get the chance to immerse yourself in the culture and gain new perspectives on the world. By the end of your Fellowship, you will both have broadened your horizons and gained lifelong friendships.

To enable Fellows to focus on their work, the OPF core team provides support throughout the programme. This includes:

  • Travel to and from the posting country
  • Introduction meeting before commencing posting
  • A monthly allowance (equalling ~£26,000 per annum)
  • A contribution towards rent
  • Comprehensive medical insurance
  • Support from a specialised safety and security company
  • Access to Thomson Reuters Practical Law
  • Technical backstopping scheme. If you face challenges with a legal issue, we will connect you to an expert in the field to provide support to you
  • ‘Community of Practice’. This is a network of law and public policy experts across the world. It includes the Annual Meeting when we meet in person to develop the programme and discuss current issues in the field. We also have the Fellowship Learning Forum that is a platform for Fellows to learn from each other and experts in the field.
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