Encouraging a strong American presence abroad that respects and reflects the nation’s diversity and strength the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Programme aims to entice exceptional people who are considering careers in the Foreign Service. If you wish to contribute to solutions for some of the most urgent global issues of our day, including as injustice, climate change, illness, conflict, and poverty, you should fight to advance foreign policy objectives that share the compassion of the American people and uphold human dignity. The Payne Fellowship is a special route to the USAID Foreign Service, offering up to $104,000 in benefits over two years for graduate education, internships, and professional development activities.
Up to 30 fellowships, each worth up to $52,000 for a two-year program, may be awarded through the Payne Fellowship Programme. The award includes up to $24,000 per year towards tuition and required fees for finishing a two-year master’s degree at a U.S. institution; a $18,000 stipend for each academic year for room, board, books, and other education-related expenses; and up to $10,000 per year in stipend, housing, transportation, and associated costs for summer placements. The Payne Fellow is required to graduate from a U.S. graduate or professional school recognized by the Payne Programme with a degree in international development or another field pertinent to the work of the USAID Foreign Service after completing two years of study. Fellows who successfully complete the Payne Program and USAID Foreign Service entry requirements will receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers with the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The Payne Fellowship is chosen by a committee of experts with backgrounds in academics and the USAID Foreign Service. The selection committee will take into account each candidate’s academic performance, interest statements, letters of recommendation, honors, and awards, as well as their involvement in the community, extracurricular activities, and leadership roles. Qualified candidates who exhibit financial need in addition to exceptional leadership abilities and academic success will be taken into consideration. Finalists will be selected by the Payne selection committee at the start of December 2023. In the middle of January, candidates who have been chosen for final consideration will be invited to take part in the virtual final-round interviews. Following the interview, the program will work to finish the selection process and extend offers to 30 fellows.
- The Payne Fellowship Program awards up to 30 fellowships valued at up to $52,000 annually for a two-year program.
- The award includes up to $24,000 per year toward tuition and mandatory fees for completion of a two-year master’s degree at a U.S. institution; a $18,000 stipend for each academic year for room, board, books, and other education-related expenses; and up to $10,000 per year in stipend, housing, transportation, and related expenses for summer placements.
- At the conclusion of two years of study, the Payne Fellow is expected to obtain a degree in international development or another area of relevance to the work of the USAID Foreign Service at a U.S. graduate or professional school approved by the Payne Program.
- Fellows who successfully complete the Payne Program and USAID Foreign Service entry requirements will receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers with the U.S. Agency for International Development.
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
- Applicants must be seeking admission to enter graduate school in the fall of 2024 for a two-year program at a U.S. university. They can be in the senior year of their undergraduate studies, graduating by June 2024, or they can be college graduates.
- Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.
- Register: Click on the “Register” link and complete and submit the registration form.
- Login: Login to the award with your email and password.
- Create: Create your online application. For a list of required information and attachments, please review the “Application Requirement Guide”
- Save: During the Call for Applications period, your application can be saved as DRAFT until all the required information is completed and attachments uploaded. As each section is complete, you will see a appear in the category tab when the application is saved. Please ensure that all attachments are in Acrobat PDF format. At any time, you can download and print your application by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section.
- Submit: On completion, save your Nomination as FINAL. Download and print a copy of your application for your records by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section in the right column.
Note: If an update is required prior to the Call for Applications period, you can make the update and resave it as final.
Application Deadline: October 26, 2023Application ClosedOfficial link