Frequently asked questions
How will John Smith Trust fellowship programmes be affected by COVID-19?
- Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are currently unable to confirm the dates of the next John Smith Trust fellowship programmes.
- We anticipate that the next Central Asia programme will start in November 2022 and the next Wider Europe programme will start in spring 2023.
- Applications already submitted for the 2020/21 Wider Europe and Central Asia programmes will be considered for the 2022/3 programmes.
- If you are interested in applying, please register your interest and we will let you know when applications are open!
- As soon as programme dates have been confirmed, we will publicise these on our website and social media and inform all applicants of the timeline for the selection process.
Which countries are included in the Wider Europe programme?
- Only candidates from the following countries may apply: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia or Ukraine.
- The Trust cannot accept applications from any other country or territory for the Wider Europe programme.
Which countries are included in the Central Asia programme?
- Only candidates from the following countries may apply: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan.
- The Trust cannot accept applications from any other country or territory for the Central Asia programme.
When does the fellowship programme run?
- Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are currently unable to confirm the dates of our next programmes.
- We anticipate that the next programmes will take place in 2022/3.
- As soon as dates have been confirmed, we will publicise these and inform all applicants of the timeline for the selection process.
How does recruitment work?
- The recruitment process consists of an online application form, an online interview for those who are shortlisted, and a final stage face-to-face interview.
- Please note that if you are successful in the final interview, we will require a letter of support from your current employer before we formally offer you a place on the programme.
When is the deadline to apply?
Is there a set of criteria that candidates must meet?
- The Trust selects exceptional and influential future leaders who are already making an impact in one or more of the following areas 1) governance and justice, 2) climate and sustainability and 3) equality, diversity, and inclusion.
- Fellows can work in any sector, e.g., public sector (public administration at local, regional or national levels, politics), non-profit sector (civil society, NGOs, think tanks, research/education institutions, media) or private sector (legal professions, business/social business, finance).
- Fellows are normally aged 25-35.
- We are looking for people ready to make a substantial commitment to participate actively in the UK residential programme, to implement their Action Plan on return home and to become an active member of the JST Alumni in the long term.
- Please note that the candidates selected are those whom the Trust feel will make the most significant long-term positive impact on their country’s/territory’s development and not the development of their own careers.
- Before you apply, please read our website thoroughly and refer to our information for applicants. There is more detail on application criteria and what you can expect to gain from becoming a John Smith Fellow.
What level of English do applicants need to be accepted onto the fellowship programme?
- A high standard of written and spoken English is essential as the programme is conducted entirely in English. Fellows have preferably already worked or studied in English.
What level of commitment is expected during the fellowship programme?
- We are looking for people ready to make a substantial commitment to participate actively in the UK residential programme and in the monthly online events that make up the rest of the fellowship year.
- Fellows are expected to implement their action plan on return home, and to become an active member of our Fellowship network in the long term.
- We facilitate open and honest discussion about the challenges our societies face, the solutions we’ve tried and what we’ve learned. As such, Fellows are expected to demonstrate the John Smith Trust’s shared values of tolerance, respect and openness towards one another at all times.
What is an action plan?
- The action plan is a project related to each Fellow’s field of expertise which would be enhanced by UK expertise. It should contribute to the positive development of your society within one of our thematic areas: climate and sustainability, governance and justice, and equality, diversity and inclusion. The project should be ambitious yet feasible to implement.
- Each Fellow writes a first draft of their action plan as part of the application process. The plan is then developed and finalised during the UK residential programme as a result of one-to-one meetings with UK experts and practitioners, as well as group discussions and workshop sessions.
- On return to their countries, Fellows commit to the implementation of their action plan. They are required to report to the Trust formally on the implementation of their project 6 months and 12 months after the completion of their UK residential fellowship programme.The Trust cannot provide any financial assistance for the implementation of action plans.
- Take a look at some of our Fellows’ profiles to see the sorts of action plans that have been implemented in the past. Our News and Insights page also contains updates from our Fellows on the impact of their projects and their work following the fellowship programme.
What is an action plan meeting?
- As part of the fellowship programme, the John Smith Trust sets up four days of individually tailored meetings for each Fellow with organisations and senior experts in the UK whose work is relevant to their plan.
- Action plan meetings give Fellows the opportunity to ask questions and discuss ideas directly with practitioners and seek input from experts. The meetings also provide numerous opportunities for high-level networking.
- On the application form, Fellows are required to identify potential action plan meeting hosts – a wish list of specific UK individuals, institutions and organisations they would ideally like to meet – and explain how these meetings would help them design and implement their action plan. If selected, in the lead-up to the UK fellowship programme, each Fellow is required to work remotely with the Trust to develop this wish list into an individually tailored programme of action plan meetings.
- The Trust cannot guarantee meetings with specific institutions, organisations or individuals, but will do everything possible to secure appropriate meetings for each Fellow.
Do you accept candidates from countries outside the Trust’s listed fellowship countries?
- The Trust can only accept applications from:
- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia or Ukraine for the Wider Europe programme.
- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan for the Central Asia programme
I am a national of one the countries/territories listed for the fellowship, but I currently live and work in another fellowship country/territory – can I still apply for the fellowship programme?
- Yes, you are eligible to apply as a candidate of your country/territory of residence.
I am a national of one of the fellowship countries/territories, but I am currently living overseas – can I still apply for the fellowship programme?
- The Trust selects young leaders who will make a substantial impact on the future development of their countries/territories. Therefore, applicants must be resident in a fellowship country/territory and in employment in that country.
I am under 25 years old or over 35 years old, can I still apply?
- You can still apply, but the Trust will only consider candidates outside this age range in exceptional circumstances. Please note that the Trust selects influential young leaders who have the experience and potential necessary to make a substantial impact on the future development of their country/territory. Younger applicants may be encouraged to apply again in the future.
- Please note that if you were within the age range when you applied for the 2020/1 programmes, you will still be considered for 2022/3 programmes, even if you are over 35 years old when applications reopen.
Can I apply again if my application has been unsuccessful?
What costs are covered by JST and how much can I be expected to pay?
- We cover the costs of return economy flights from a Fellow’s home country/territory to the UK, a visa if required, accommodation in the UK, travel within the UK as required by the programme, and daily subsistence for the duration of the UK programme. All costs related to the workshops, visits, meetings and attachments in the UK are covered by the Trust.
- Please note: Fellows are responsible for the cost and provision of their own medical and travel insurance during the UK programme.
What happens after the fellowship programme?
- Following the four-week residential programme, we expect Fellows to attend and actively participate in monthly online events during the rest of the year-long programme.
- Becoming a John Smith Fellow is a lifelong opportunity and commitment! Fellows become part of a collaborative community of change-makers from across Central Asia and Wider Europe. We provide ongoing opportunities for Fellows in our network to connect with and learn from the experiences of counterparts beyond their cohort, working in the public, private and civil society sectors, as well as high-level leaders, in the UK and across Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Fellows are invited to regular online events as well as occasional regional in-person events, and often help conceptualise and facilitate events for the network.
- We keep in regular contact with Fellows after the residential Fellowship Programme and expect Fellows to provide updates on the implementation of their action plans and other work towards positive societal developments in their country or region, which we share on our News and Insights page.
- Fellows can also connect and learn about upcoming events via our online networking platform, the Hub.
If you have any other questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply to you as soon as possible.