Become an Oxford Policy Fellow

    Oxford Policy Management


    The Oxford Policy Fellowship supports governments in overcoming the unique issues they face, by providing them with demand-led technical assistance.

    The program sources high performing early-career advisors to work within current government systems and processes for two years so that their work contributes to ongoing policymaking, rather than creating parallel structures for getting things done.

    By providing governments with key support that they themselves have defined and requested, the program delivers sustainable and locally-owned development impact. It also developing a community of practice of government practitioners working at the interface of law and public policy, promoting a culture of knowledge sharing and learning across governments and the wider community.

    The programme has three key objectives:

    • To provide governments with outstanding early-career advisors, where there is a need for additional capacity.
    • To create a community of practice of law and policy practitioners across governments.
    • To foster a culture of learning through our innovative monitoring and evaluation framework.

    Are you looking for a change of legal career? Become an Oxford Policy Fellow and use your legal knowledge in an international development context.

    The Oxford Policy Fellowship is currently accepting applications from lawyers to join the programme and take up a two-year posting in a government ministry. Fellows work at the interface of law and public policy, providing direct support to senior government officials and contributing to the delivery of strategic priorities of their posting country.

    Successful candidates will live and work in their posting country full-time for two years, supporting the senior officials and exchanging knowledge with peers within the ministry. A previous Fellow describes working with colleagues: “I feel privileged to have access to the unique experience that the Fellowship provides – by placing Fellows within the heart of local ministries, the Fellowship provides an unrivalled level of integration and local insight.  By being in essentially the same situation as my colleagues, we are able to exchange information and knowledge to the benefit of us all.  The warmth of welcome and level of trust that I have received have exceeded my expectations.”  To date, our Fellows have been placed in ministries of finance, health, environment, trade, education, amongst others, across Africa and Asia.


    Fellows will be asked to perform a variety of tasks while in their post, some technical, some administrative. Examples of the types of work expected of the Fellow include the following:

      • Coordinating and supporting various specialist consultants that may be providing advice to the Ministry;
      • Analysing complex contracts;
      • Contributing to procurement processes and contract management;
      • Drafting contracts, memoranda of understanding and regulations;
      • Providing inputs to drafting Public Private Partnership (PPP) policies, and conducting research on possible accompanying legal frameworks;
      • Facilitating capacity building in areas requested by the Ministry and where you observe clear gaps: from providing training or tools on how to review complex commercial contracts to side-by-side learning achieved through team work (e.g. working with colleagues to utilise track changes function in Word or refining drafting and formatting skills);
      • Assisting with Environmental Impact Assessments, particularly relating to disputes and appeals;
      • Providing support to Ministerial teams that are negotiating and implementing agreements, including: a) regional harmonisation agreements, laws, and policies, b) international environmental agreements (e.g. climate change and biodiversity), c) investment agreements with the private sector, d) bilateral agreements with other governments.
    • Acting as a liaison between the Ministry and other government departments and line ministries;
    • Assisting on advocacy and information dissemination on legal aspects pertaining to line ministry activities;
    • Reviewing existing policies and proposed legal instruments or tools to support the Ministry in their implementation;
    • Providing ad hoc legal advice to the Minister, PS and directors in response to both internal and external requests;
    • Providing technical drafting input to a range of legislative instruments including laws, regulations, and ministerial orders and well as contracts and memorandums of understanding;
    • Undertaking sector-specific legal research and analysis, often of a comparative nature, to inform policy development and or legislative drafting (e.g. regarding pharmaceutical sector reform, or regulation of private schools).

    Qualifications and experience

    Governments have a broad range of demands, and so the program is looking for a range of profiles to best fit each Fellowship posting. Below is a general guideline of the qualifications and experience required for an Oxford Policy Fellow:

    • Undergraduate or graduate qualification in law, or otherwise a qualified lawyer;
    • Master’s degree in other relevant discipline (international development, political science, international relations or related field) desirable;
    • Experience in commercial law and/or private international law practice desirable for some postings;
    • Experience in environmental law and climate change law desirable for some postings;
    • Experience in trade law desirable for some postings;
    • Experience in health law desirable for some postings;
    • Experience in education law desirable for some postings;
    • Demonstrable experience with legal analysis and drafting;
    • Previous experience working in public policy and capacity building desirable;
    • Strong interpersonal and team working skills. Ability to work closely with local counterparts and develop good relationships in an international and multi-cultural setting;
    • Ability to work independently and proactively;
    • Experience in developing countries and/or transitional economies desirable;
    • Demonstrated understanding (either from previous work experience or study) of key issues in international development, including an understanding of overseas development assistance, desirable.
    • Excellent research, IT and coordination skills.
    • Fluency in a language other than English is a plus.

    Accountabilities & Remuneration

    In all cases, the Fellow will be accountable to their host Government ministry and their line manager in Government. In all cases Fellows will be expected to contribute to the Fellowship’s monitoring, evaluation, and learning framework through regular reporting procedures. Inclusive of contributions from host Ministries, Fellows will receive a total salary of £26,000 a year, plus a housing allowance and, airfare to and from the posting.

    To Apply

    For further information about this opportunity and to apply, visit the official website here

    To apply for this job email your details to