Who can apply?

  • Anyone who has an innovative idea for social change through fresh thinking that adds value in the areas of knowledge, learning and technology.
  • Anyone who has a clear vision of how the world can be a better place and the contribution they can make to bringing about the change.
  • The fellowship is not limited to any specific geographic location. However, applicants must be fluent in English.
  • Fellowship applicants must have attained the age of majority by the date of application.

Which topics/disciplines?

The Foundation offers fellowships to individuals to implement their innovative idea for social change. We are most interested in exceptional ideas at the intersection between openness, technology, knowledge and learning. Ideas that would really move the dial on access to global knowledge, social and economic development.

The fellowship is not an academic fellowship aimed at research or academic study. Applicants should be social change agents who push boundaries and challenge accepted norms. They need not have all the answers, but should ask the right questions in a practical context.

Take a look at our current and past Fellows to see which applications have been successful.

Why apply?

This fellowship offers you the freedom and financial ability to bring about the change you envisage for the world as well as an enabling support structure and an existing network of social change agents.

We will provide technological, financial, and legal support, enabling all administrative processes such as contracting with 3rd parties, done in an efficient and risk free manner. We will also work to support you by connecting you with our network of projects, funders and institutions where we think you can offer value.

The Foundation will support the Fellow to take their good ideas and turn them into successful initiatives. You will also be part of a continually growing alumni network to share learnings and experiences.

What is the value of the grant?

The equivalent of a year’s salary, a contribution towards expenses plus access to a travel allowance. In addition, the Fellow will have access to potential project funding from the Foundation, who will match the Fellow’s personal investment in projects by at least ten fold. The total grant amount will be based on the Fellow’s qualifications, experience and comparable cost of time for their skill level.

What is the duration?

1 year, with the possibility of renewal, based on reapplication.

How to apply

Send us your CV (no more than 3 pages)
Send us a 5 minute video on your ideas
Answer the 4 questions below (no more than 2 pages)

  • Describe the world as it is. (a description of the status quo and context in which you will be working)
  • What change do you want to make? (a description of what you want to change about the status quo, in the world, your personal vision for this area)
  • What do you want to explore? (a description of the innovations or questions you would like to explore during the fellowship year)
  • What are you going to do to get there? (a description of what you actually plan to do during the year)

Where is the fellowship based?

Fellows work from where they are, with an open door to visit the Foundation’s head office in Cape Town, South Africa.

What are the conditions?

Fellows are expected to commit 100% of their time and attention to the focus area selected for their fellowship. The fellowship aims to free up the time of the Fellow to pur
sue their ideas in this area. The Fellow must submit any outside work, volunteer or otherwise, that they may want to conduct whilst on a Foundation Fellowship, to the Foundation for approval.

Fellows are required to attend the bi-annual Fellows gatherings.

Fellows are asked to live out loud, communicating openly and actively on their ideas, projects and strategies.

The fellowship must be taken up on 1 March or 1 September.

How are the Fellows selected?

Fellowship applications are reviewed by the Shuttleworth Foundation management team and advisors. Shortlisted candidates are invited for interviews. The Foundation reserves the right not to award a fellowship if the submission does not meet the requirements.

Application timing

Applications for the 1 September fellowship intake closes 1 May. Applications for the 1 March fellowship intake closes 1 November. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

If you have specific questions about this process, or you would like to apply, please email: fellowships@shuttleworthfoundation.org