Next deadline: November 2023
The Payne Fellowship Program awards up to fifteen fellowships valued at up to $52,000 annually for a two-year master’s program in international development or another area relevant to the work of the USAID Foreign Service at a U.S. graduate or professional school. The award includes up to $24,000/year toward tuition and fees; a $18,000 stipend for each academic year for room, board, books and other education-related expenses; and up to $10,000/year in stipend, housing, transportation, and related expenses for summer placements. Fellows who successfully complete the Payne Program and USAID Foreign Service entry requirements commit to 5-year appointments as Foreign Service Officers with the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Prospective applicants should make an individual advising appointment with Keila Diehl in the OURS National Scholarships Office.
- be a U.S. citizen
- 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.
- have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application
The Payne Fellowship review committee seeks outstanding individuals who:
- have a strong academic background and good writing skills
- have a strong interest in pursuing a career in the Foreign Service of USAID
- represent diverse interests and backgrounds, including experience living, working or traveling overseas; international exposure within the U.S.; internship or work experiences in government, NGOs, service organizations, and/or business enterprises (experiences that show cultural sensitivity, including interest or experiences in languages or working with various cultural or socioeconomic groups)
- are involved in extracurricular, community, or volunteer activities that show a commitment to service and to social causes, public policy, and related issues
- have knowledge of fundamental U.S. foreign policy interests and goals, topical international development issues, and major foreign policy challenges facing the United States
- can demonstrate financial disadvantage or need to secure non-family economic assistance to attend graduate school
- Background information
- Personal statement (600 words) discussing applicant’s reasons for applying, interest in foreign affairs, commitment to pursue a USAID Foreign Service career, and any relevant experience or information.
- Statement (400 words) discussing applicant’s need for financial assistance to attend graduate school, including explanation of:
- Financial assistance received during undergraduate studies
- Overall education-related debt
- Ability/plans to pay for graduate school independently
- Two letters of recommendation (one from faculty; one from community leader or other individual who can comment on applicant’s non-academic accomplishments and potential to serve as a USAID Foreign Service Officer). Note: In online application, applicants will identify recommenders, who will be contacted by the program and asked to submit letters electronically.
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- Student Aid Report (SAR) generated from FAFSA form. Note: If applicant received financial aid during most recent academic year, s/he is required to submit the SAR form. If applicant did not receive financial aid during most recent academic year, s/he must complete the FAFSA to generate a SAR for 2022-2023 or 2023-2024 academic year.
- Official Financial Aid Statement from senior year, if received financial aid.
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities applicant has attended for credit. Use a school-generated transcript. An official transcript is best; a copy is acceptable. (If selected for an interview, applicant must bring official transcript to the interview.)
For more information about this opportunity, visit the Payne Fellowship website.