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Ireland Fellows Program Fully-funded Seán MacBride Fellowship 2025

The Ireland Fellows Programme enables early to mid-career professionals from eligible countries, with leadership potential, to benefit from a prestigious, world-class, quality education contributing to capacity building.?It offers selected students the opportunity to undertake a fully funded one-year master’s level programme at a higher education institution (HEI) in Ireland. The award covers programme fees, flights, accommodation and living costs. Eligible master’s level programmes in Ireland commence in August or September each year and, depending on the programme, will run for between 10 and 16 months.  

The Ireland Fellows Programme promotes gender equality, equal opportunity, and welcomes diversity. Our Development Policy is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 on building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels, and we are encouraging applications from the broadest possible base. The Programme welcomes applications from applicants with disabilities, and applicants who belong to a minority or disadvantaged group. We would like to increase the representation of female applicants and those whose gender identity does not align with the male/female gender binary.  

The Government of Ireland continues to work with the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation in Namibia to provide capacity building in the area of international relations/conflict resolution.  The Government of Ireland wishes to extend this relationship to the Ministry of Justice (including the Office of the Judiciary), the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Protection; the areas of capacity building are extended further to include human rights and international law. 

Seán MacBride was a former Minister for External Relations in Ireland and also served as the UN High Commissioner for Namibia during an important period in Namibia’s history pre-independence. Mr. MacBride was also a leading jurist and human rights activist. In celebration and in memory of the contribution of Seán MacBride, and towards deepening the links between Ireland and Namibia, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs – through the Embassy of Ireland in Lusaka – is offering one fellowship for master’s degree level study in Ireland in the areas of international relations, conflict resolution, human rights and international law.  

This scholarship has been established as part of a broader range of initiatives and engagements to further strengthen collaboration and cooperation with the Government of Namibia across a range of mutual interests. 

The Ireland Fellows Programme is fully funded by the Irish Government and is offered under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The Programme aligns with the Irish Government’s commitments under?Global Ireland?and the national implementation plan for the?Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing WorldA Better World: Ireland’s Policy for International Development, and?Global Citizens 2030 Ireland’s International Talent and Innovation Strategy, as well as Global Ireland: Ireland's Strategy for Africa to 2025Global Ireland: Delivering in the Asia Pacific RegionIreland’s Strategy for Partnership with Small Island Developing States; and Global Ireland: Ireland's Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean to 2025. The programme is managed by the?relevant Embassy?responsible for eligible countries. Programme implementation in Ireland is supported by the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS). 

Aim and Benefits 

The aims of the Programme are to nurture future leaders; to develop in-country capacity to achieve national SDG goals; and to build positive relationships with Ireland.?  

The Programme is intended to support graduates on their return home, through the skills they develop, to contribute to capacity building in their home countries and to become one of the next generation of leaders in their respective fields. It is also envisaged that they will contribute to building enduring positive personal and professional relationships with Ireland, promoting institutional linkages. 


Ireland Fellows Programme awards are fully funded. The award includes

  • The payment of academic fees; visa application fees;
  • Medical and travel insurance;
  • Economy flights to and from Ireland;
  • And the Irish residence permit fee.

Allowances include the following:

  • A settling-in allowance towards items needed on arrival in Ireland;
  • A completion and departure allowance at the end of the study period;
  • A monthly living stipend of €700 (subject to review);
  • Student accommodation arranged and paid for trimesters 1 and 2 (normally September to May), and in trimester 3 a monthly accommodation stipend of €800- €1000 depending on location in Ireland (subject to review).

In addition, the Ireland Fellows Programme features many extracurricular, training and volunteering opportunities to help you make the most of your experience in Ireland.

The Fellowship covers the recipient only. Financial support or visas for spouses or dependents are not included within the scope of the programme. 


To be eligible for an Ireland Fellows Programme – Seán MacBride Fellowship award commencing at the beginning of the academic year 2025, applicants must: 

  • Be a resident national of Namibia. 

  • Have a minimum of two years’ substantial work experience that is directly relevant to your proposed programme(s) of study. 

  • Be working with the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, the Ministry of Justice (including the Office of the Judiciary), the Ministry of Defence or the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Protection in Namibia. 

  • Hold a bachelor’s level academic qualification from an accredited and government-recognised higher education institution, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) – i.e. a first class honour, or second class honour, Grade 1 (a second class honour Grade 2 may be accepted if the applicant has substantial directly relevant work experience). It must have been awarded in 2013 or later (i.e. within the last 12 years). 

  • Not already hold a qualification at master’s level or higher. Not currently undertaking a programme at master’s level or higher, or be due to start a programme at master’s level or higher in the academic year 2024/25. 

  • Be applying to commence a new programme at master’s level in Ireland no sooner than August 2025.  

  • Be able to demonstrate the following: leadership abilities and aspirations; a commitment to the achievement of the SDGs within your own country; and a commitment to contribute to building positive relationships with Ireland. 

  • Have identified and selected three programmes relevant to your academic and professional background from Sections C and D of the Directory of Eligible Programmes

  • Have a clear understanding of the academic and English language proficiencies required for all programmes chosen. 

  • Must not have applied to the Ireland Fellows Programme on more than one previous occasion. 

  • Be in a position to take up the Fellowship in the academic year 2025/2026. 

Application Deadline

October 28, 2024

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to Irish Aid on to apply

Please read the Applicant Guidance Note carefully before completing as eligibility criteria may differ from country to country. 

The application process consists of three stages:

  • Stage 1   Preliminary Application;
  • Stage 2   Detailed Application;
  • Stage 3   Interviews.

All applicants who are selected to progress after the second stage will be required to sit an online Duolingo English Test. If shortlisted after the interview stage, all applicants will be required to take another English language test, normally the IELTS exam, unless they are already in possession of an IELTS certificate that is dated 2023 or later which shows the applicant has achieved the necessary score for the course(s) they intend to apply to. Early preparation for the IELTS exam is strongly advised, even for native English speakers.

PDF icon Ireland Fellows Programme Directory of Programmes 2025-26

PDF icon Ireland Fellows Programme MacBride 2025-26 Stage 1 Guidance Note

For more details visit: Irish Aid website.

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