Frequently Asked Questions


When does the Fellowship programme run? 

The Central Asia Fellowship Programme 2017, for candidates from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan 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 11th November to 8th December. 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. 


How does recruitment work and when is the deadline to apply?

The recruitment process consists of two application forms and a face to face interview for those who are shortlisted. It starts with a short application form. Selected candidates will then be invited to complete a second, longer application form which will include an outline of the candidate’s proposed Action Plan (see below).

The deadline for completion of the first application form is 18th August (now closed). The deadline for the second form is 25th August. Candidates selected from the second application form stage will be invited for interview in their country of residence during September. Final confirmation of selected Fellows will also happen in September.


Is there a set of criteria that candidates must meet?

Yes. The Trust aims to recruit exceptional and influential young leaders who are already making an impact in their field and will continue to make a substantial impact on the positive future development of their countries, in areas related to good governance, the rule of law and social justice.


The Fellowship Programme is open to young leaders in politics; local, regional or national government or other public office; civil society; the media; the legal professions; higher education; and the business sector, where a clear link can be made to good governance, the rule of law or social justice (social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility etc).


Fellows are normally aged 25-35. We are looking for people ready to make a substantial commitment to participate actively in the UK residential programme, to implement their Action Plan on return home, and to become an active member of the JST Alumni into the future.


Please note that the candidates selected are those who the Trust feel will make the largest long-term impact to their country's development and not the development of their own careers.


Please refer to our how to apply page for more detail on application criteria and what you can expect to gain from becoming a John Smith Fellow, before you apply.


What is an Action Plan?

The Action Plan is the heart of the Fellowship. Each Fellow will design and develop a project which will have a lasting impact in their community in terms of developing the rule of law and promoting good governance and/or social justice. Fellows write a first draft of their plan as part of the application process. It is then refined during the residential programme in the UK as a result of one-on-one development meetings, individually tailored attachments, and workshop sessions.


On return to their countries, Fellows commit to the implementation of their Action Plan, keeping in touch with the Trust on progress and, ideally, benefitting from support and mentoring from UK experts whom Fellows have established relationships with during the UK programme. The programme includes individually tailored attachments for each Fellow to spend up to three days inside a UK- based organisation whose work is relevant to their Action Plan, plus numerous opportunities for networking and meeting with counterparts and high level contacts while in the UK.


What level of English do applicants need to be accepted on the Fellowship Programme?

A high standard of written and spoken English is essential as the Fellowship Programme is conducted entirely in English Fellows have preferably already worked or studied in English.


Do you accept candidates from countries outside the Trust’s listed Fellowship countries?

No. The Trust can only accept applications from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan for the John Smith Central Asia Fellowship Programme Autumn 2017.


My nationality is one of the following: Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek but I currently live and work in another Fellowship country – can I still apply for the Fellowship Programme?

Yes, you are eligible to apply as a candidate of your country of residence.


My nationality is one of the following: Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek but I am currently living overseas – can I still apply for the Fellowship Programme?

No. The Trust recruits young leaders who will make a substantial impact on the future development of their countries. Therefore, applicants must be resident in a Fellowship country and in employment in that country.


I am under 25 years old/over 35 years old, can I still apply?

You can still apply, but the Trust will only consider candidates outside this age range in exceptional circumstances.


Please note that the Trust aims to recruit influential young leaders who have the experience and potential necessary to make a substantial impact on the future development of their country. Younger applicants may be encouraged to apply again in the future.


Can I apply again if my application has been unsuccessful?

Yes, applicants are often encouraged to apply again in future years.


What costs are covered by JST and how much will I be expected to pay?

JST covers the costs of return flights from a Fellow’s home country to the UK, visa if required, accommodation in the UK, travel within the UK in accordance with the final programme, and a daily subsistence allowance for the duration of the UK programme. All costs related to the workshops, visits, meetings and attachments in the UK are covered by the Trust.


Fellows are responsible for the cost and provision of their own medical and travel insurance during the UK programme.


If you have any other questions please email and we will reply to you as soon as possible.