IREX Community Solutions Fellowship Program 2015-16

IREX Community Solutions Fellowship Program 2015-16

Deadline: October 27, 2014

IREX is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Community Solutions Program. The Community Solutions Program is a professional development program for the best and brightest global community leaders. Through tailored fellowships, leaders gain hands-on experience in community work; collaborate and learn best practices through IREX’s online Community Leadership Institute; and create action plans for community-based initiatives in their home countries.

CSP is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and implemented by IREX.

Selected candidates will participate in:

  • a four month U.S. fellowship with a local nonprofit organization or government agency;
  • structured virtual learning and networking via the Online Community Leadership Institute;
  • the design and implementation of follow-on projects in their home countries.

Fellowship Themes

Applicants must select ONE professional theme from the list below that he/she intends to focus on while in the U.S.

  1. Transparency and Accountability
  2. Tolerance and Conflict Resolution
  3. Environmental Issues
  4. Women and Gender Issues

Financial Provisions of the Grant

  • J-1 visa support
  • Round-trip travel from participant’s home city to the U.S.
  • Accident and sickness insurance
  • Living Allowance to cover housing, meals and incidentals


Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, national origin, or gender. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Competition for the Community Solutions Program is merit-based and open to community leaders, ages 25-38 at the time of application, who meet the following criteria:

  • From a participating country (U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the U.S., and individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years are not eligible for this program)
  • Currently living and working in his/her home country (Individuals participating in academic, training or research programs in the United States at the time of application and individuals residing or working outside their home countries at the time of application are not eligible for this program)
  • Currently working on a community project or initiative in his/her home country; and, has at least 2 years of professional experience in this capacity at the time of application
  • Able to begin the program in the United States in 2015, and is committed to returning to his/her home country after completion of the program
  • Able to receive a U.S. J-1 visa (Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. Government who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of application are not eligible for this program)
  • Proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application

Selection Criteria

The Community Solutions Program is conducted as a merit-based open competition. After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed by a selection panel. Chosen semi-finalists will be interviewed by a panel and will take an English language exam or submit existing TOEFL or IELTS scores. All applicants will be notified of their status by spring 2015.

Selection panels will use the following criteria to evaluate applications (not in order of importance):

  • Working/volunteering on substantive community projects for non-profits, government offices, or community-based organizations; preference will be given to applicants of local organizations.
  • Knowledge of and experience in one or more of the four CSP fellowship themes (Women and
  • Gender Issues, Transparency and Accountability, Tolerance and Conflict Resolution, and Environmental Issues);
  • Leadership experience and potential;
  • Professional and program goals;
  • Follow-on project idea;
  • Intercultural/English language skills;
  • Preference will be given to individuals with four (4) months or more academic exchange or professional training experience in the United States.

Eligible Countries

Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

East Asia & the Pacific: Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam

Europe: Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey

South & Central Asia: Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Near East & North Africa: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and West Bank/Gaza

Western Hemisphere: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago

Read the Application Instructions before applying.

For more information, visit IREX Community Solutions Program.