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US Government Professional Fellows Program 2022 for Disability Rights Professionals in East African Countries

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Professional Fellows Program supports 19 mid-career professionals (Fellows) from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia, who are committed to advancing inclusive employment for individuals with disabilities. 

Application Deadline: 18th March 2022

Eligible Countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia

To Be Taken At (Country): USA

About Professional Fellows Program: Fellows will participate in an intensive five-week program at a university-based research and education center for disabilities in the U.S. They will learn innovative strategies to promote economic empowerment of individuals with disabilities through the growth of inclusive employment opportunities.

The Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Civic Engagement is a professional program funded by the US Department of State for emerging leaders in Africa to exchange and implement best practices for inclusive civic engagement. The program will support approximately 19 disability rights professionals (Fellows) from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia to participate in a 5-week Fellowship Program in the US. Applications are due March 18, 2022.

As a Fellow, you can learn approaches to inform your efforts to build and strengthen fully inclusive civic societies for people with disabilities in your home countries. The core of the program is an individual Fellowship with a university-based research and education center for disabilities or similar host site organization in the US. As a Fellow, you will select a key policy or practice issue related to disability and civic engagement in your home countries. This policy or practice issue will provide a focus for your individual Fellowship placement training and will inform the project that you will design and implement upon returning home. The Fellowship training will also include weekly leadership seminars, mentorship, and community service.

  • Begin your US Fellowship: Work with US host site organizations, such as university-based research and education centers, during your customized Fellowship placement.
  • Develop a plan: Collaborate with colleagues from US host site organizations to design an individual project action plan that you will implement upon returning home (this is called the follow-on project).
  • Sustain your project: After your Fellowship in the US, your US host might visit your organizations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, or Ethiopia to facilitate project sustainability and long-term collaboration.

Type: Fellowship (Career/Professional)

Eligibility: US Government Professional Fellows Program is a merit-based competition open to candidates in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia.

To apply, you must meet the following eligibility criteria. You must:

  • Be between the ages of 25 and 40
  • Be a citizen and resident of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, or Ethiopia
  • Be eligible to receive a US J-1 visa (Visit the US Department of State website for information about J-1 visas.)
  • Be proficient in spoken English
  • Be proficient in reading and writing English*
  • Have at least 2 or more years of professional work experience
  • Not currently participate in an academic, training, or research program in the US
  • Be able to travel to the US for a 5-week Fellowship beginning in September 2022 or March 2023 (Please see the program dates below.)
  • Commit to return to your home country for a period of 2 cumulative years after completing the Fellowship Program

*Please let us know if you use American, Kenyan, Tanzanian, Ugandan, or Ethiopian Sign Language. We will provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation or cover the cost for arranging interpretation in any of the other sign languages.

How can I be selected for US Government Professional Fellows Program?

A panel of program staff and professionals working in the disability field in the US and in Africa will review all eligible applications and select and interview semi-finalists. Interviews will include an English language proficiency test.

The panel will evaluate your application based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated past leadership and collaborative skills broadly related to disability inclusion
  • Demonstrated ability as a leader to overcome obstacles and learn from failures
  • Professional interest and/or experience and motivation to work on disability and civic engagement in your countries
  • Knowledge and understanding of issues in disability and civic engagement in your countries
  • Quality of the proposed individual inclusive civic engagement project to be implemented in your countries upon completion of the US-based Fellowship placement (this is called the follow-on project)
  • Capacity to plan, implement, and sustain this follow-on project
  • English language oral and written proficiency*

Number of Awards: 19

Value of Professional Fellows Program: As a Fellow, you will receive funding and support for:

  • Passport application fees (if applicable)
  • Visa expenses
  • Round-trip travel between home country and the US
  • Fellowship-related travel within the US
  • Accident and health insurance for the duration of the Fellowship in the US
  • Living accommodations in the US
  • Living allowance to cover costs of meals, housing, and incidental expenses
  • Cultural allowance to spend on books and attending cultural events
  • Disability-related arrangements, if needed

Duration of Program: We will have two Fellowship exchanges, each with approximately 9-10 Fellows:

  • Fall (September 30, 2022 – November 3, 2022) plus travel time
  • Spring (March 24, 2023 – April 28, 2023) plus travel time

Note that Fellowship start and end dates may be subject to change.

The Fellowship training will be in-person in the US, unless otherwise specified. If COVID-19 or related travel restrictions occur, we will conduct the program virtually.

How to Apply for Professional Fellows Program:  APPLY HERE

Visit the Program Webpage for Details

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