2019 USAID Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program

Deadline: December 21, 2018.

The USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program seeks to attract outstanding individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). If you want to work on the front lines of some of the most pressing global challenges of our times — poverty, hunger, injustice, disease, environmental degradation, climate change, conflict and violent extremism – the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development provides an opportunity to advance U.S. foreign policy interests and reflect the American people’s compassion and support of human dignity. The Payne Fellowship, which provides up to $96,000 in benefits over two years for graduate school, internships, and professional development activities, is a unique pathway to the USAID Foreign Service.




1. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

2. Applicants must be seeking admission to enter graduate school in the fall of 2019 for a two-year program at a U.S. university.

3. They can be in the senior year of their undergraduate studies, graduating by June 2019, or they can be college graduates.

4. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.



1. Orientation that introduces fellows to the program and their USAID Foreign Service career.
2. Summer internship in Washington, DC with USAID Foreign Service Mentor.
3. Completing Master’s degree in international affairs or a related subject.
4. 10-week overseas internship at a USAID Mission.
5. An appointment to the USAID Foreign Service, with a required three years of service.



A completed online application includes the following:

  • Background Information (e.g., name, contact information, international travel).
  • A personal statement (in 600 words or less) that discusses the applicant’s reasons for applying, interest in foreign affairs, commitment to pursue a USAID Foreign Service career and any relevant experience or information.
  • A statement (in 400 words or less) from the applicant that discusses his/her need for financial assistance to attend graduate school, including an explanation of:
    1. The financial assistance received during undergraduate studies
    2. Overall education-related debt
    3. Ability/plans to pay for graduate school independently




Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program

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