Apply for the John Smith Fellowship Programme

The John Smith Trust has launched new Fellowship Programmes in Russia, the Caucasus, Wider Europe and Central Asia thanks to a two-year grant from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Wider Europe Fellowship Programme 2017, for candidates from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine begins with the UK residential programme. This includes one week in Scotland (based in Edinburgh) and just under three weeks based in London. This year it will run from 20 May to 16 June 2017. The initial engagement however is for one year: after the UK programme, Fellows commit to implementation of their Action Plan on return to their countries, ideally benefitting from support and mentoring based on contacts made in the UK.

The aim of the Fellowship Programmes is to give the next generation of leaders in the region the chance to explore issues of governance, social justice and the rule of law through an intensive four-week series of workshops, debates, visits and placements in the UK, reinforced by follow-up mentoring and support.

To apply you must:


  • Speak and write fluent English (preferably having already studied or worked in English)
  • Demonstrate your potential as a leader in your chosen professional field, committed to the positive future development of your country.
  • Demonstrate a clear professional interest in the areas of good governance, rule of law or social justice.
  • Propose an Action Plan addressing a policy or organisational issue of importance in your field of work which you intend to implement on return to your home country, and which will be informed by your experience in the UK.
  • Be prepared to make a substantial commitment if selected as a Fellow: to be available for a four-week residential programme in the UK and to participate actively in the JST Alumni Network in the long-term.


John Smith Fellows can come from any field, particularly politics, administration, business, the media, and civil society. The age band of Fellows will normally be 25 to 35 years.

How to apply

The process starts with a short application form including CV. If you are selected for the next stage we will ask you to complete a longer application form, with a deadline of 24 February. The final stage for shortlisted candidates is a face-to-face interview in their country in March.  Final selection and confirmation of Fellows will be by 7 April at the latest. 

If you meet the criteria above and are interested in the 2017 Wider Europe Fellowship Programme, please email applications@johnsmithtrust.org and you will receive a link to the short application form. 


For the past two decades, the John Smith Trust (JST) has successfully delivered over 20 fellowship programmes in countries of the former Soviet Union, and has more than 400 alumni from the region. This new phase of the programme will build on its track-record to create a powerful experience which is relevant to the challenges these young leaders face, and which forges enduring relationships with and between participants.

The John Smith Trust is a cross-party permanent memorial to Rt Hon John Smith QC, MP, who led the Labour Party between 1992 and 1994. For more information see www.johnsmithmemorialtrust.org 



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