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The Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship Program

Promoting a positive U.S. presence in the world that reflects and respects the strength and diversity of America.

The USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program seeks to attract outstanding individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). If you want to work on the front lines of some of the most pressing global challenges of our times — poverty, hunger, injustice, disease, environmental degradation, climate change, conflict and violent extremism – the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development provides an opportunity to advance U.S. foreign policy interests and reflect the American people's compassion and support of human dignity. The Payne Fellowship, which provides up to $104,000 in benefits over two years for graduate school, internships, and professional development activities, is a unique pathway to the USAID Foreign Service.

Program Overview:

The Payne Fellowship Program awards up to fifteen 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.

2022 Application Deadline: Monday November 15th, 2021 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

The program expects to have all documents to be submitted electronically. Should applicants have insuperable problems submitting a document electronically, they can consult with program staff about alternate methods (paynefellows@howard.edu). However, we strongly encourage you to submit documents electronically.

Selection Process:

A panel of individuals with experience in the USAID Foreign Service and academia makes selections for the Payne Fellowship. The selection panel will consider candidates’ academic work, statements of interest, letters of recommendation, and honors and awards, as well as their community, extracurricular, and leadership activities. Consideration will be given to qualified applicants who, in addition to outstanding leadership skills and academic achievement, demonstrate financial need.

The Payne selection panel will choose finalists in the beginning of December 2021. Candidates selected for final consideration will be invited to Washington, D.C. for interviews in mid-January. The program will pay the cost of accommodations and travel to Washington, DC from within the continental United States, Hawaii, and Alaska. The program will strive to complete the selection process and make offers to fifteen fellows soon after the interview.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  2. Applicants must be seeking admission to enter graduate school in the fall of 2022 for a two-year program at a U.S. university. They can be in the senior year of their undergraduate studies, graduating by June 2022, or they can be college graduates.
  3. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.

Process

1. Register

Click on the "Register" link and complete and submit the registration form.

2. Login

Login to the award with your email and password.

3. Create

Create your online application. For a list of required information and attachments, please review the Application Requirements Guide

4. 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.

5. 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 as FINAL.

If you require assistance or additional information, please contact the Program staff at paynefellows@howard.edu.

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Contact Us

The Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship Program.
2218 6th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20059
Phone: (202) 250-5355
Email:   paynefellows@howard.edu
The Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship Program