On Think Tanks Fellowship Programme – Apply Now – Deadline extended!

13 November 2016

Every year On Think Tanks will open its doors to young and promising think tank leaders to co-develop a new global leadership paradigm.

Join and innovate within a unique exchange space!

Why Integral Leaders for Global Challenges?

No one would deny the increasing complexity, urgency and interdependency of the challenges involved in research and public policy. Our governments are facing a depth and width of problems that they will not be able to address without solid and fruitful alliances with non-State players: think tanks have a unique opportunity to broker these new relationships and strengthen old ones.

This demands, however, the emergence of a new generation of leaders who are eager to bring on an integral approach to their mission:

uniting both heart and mind, feminine and masculine qualities and acknowledging the interconnectedness of countries, people and the environment.

Younger generations offer a promise in this direction: they bring on fresh and imaginative perspectives to age-old problems. We want to embrace these to trigger change together. We want to help Fellows become real agents of change to transform their organisations and make them healthier, more aligned with global possibilities and challenges, and with a larger and deeper contribution to their people and communities.

At the end of the year-long On Think Tanks Fellowship Programme, Fellows will possess the skills and knowledge necessary to launch themselves into a path towards a new kind of leadership. They will have the confidence to set-up new think tanks or transform existing ones. Fellows will also contribute to the formation of future generations of leaders.

What does it involve?

We recognise that the traditional ways in which organisations have been set-up and are managed are increasingly being challenged by new generations, demanding greater flexibility, innovation, transparency, care for their staff, etc. How can we, collectively and wisely, bring on new ways of leading think tanks to embrace these challenges?

The On Think Tanks Fellowship Scheme has adopted a genuine collaborative approach, which throughout a one-year long programme, fellows will:

1. Develop and implement a learning and personal development plan

These plans will focus on three main fields, inspired by Acumen’s  + approach to leadership: moral imagination, operational expertise and financial experience. Plans will be shared among the group, enabling a joint path of discovery and support towards change. Plans will be reviewed and supported by mentoring from On Think Tanks School experts.

2. Participate in capacity building activities

Fellows will be able to join the courses offered by OTTS that are relevant to their own plans: this will give fellows the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas and the experiences of others.

3. Collectively develop of a new leadership paradigm

Guided by mentors and through a provoking set of virtual discussions related to their personal paths as well as relevant readings, the cohort of Fellows will co-produce actionable methods and ideas to inform the development of a new leadership paradigm for think tanks. To this end, we will apply the human centred design methodology so as to enable a collective creation and ensure that outputs are relevant and useful.

What will be expected of the Fellows?

We expect Fellows to actively engage in the process and share their progress and reflections with their peers and with the wider thinktanking community through On Think Tanks. Fellows will receive direct support from On Think Tanks’ Editor to publish, at least, bi-monthly articles on the platform.

At On Think Tanks we believe that sharing our experiences and knowledge is the best contribution that we can make to support a global community of think tanks and policy entrepreneurs.

Fellows will also be expected to keep up-to-date learning journals (based on their learning plans) and join monthly online group discussions with their mentors.

At the end of the fellowship programme they will co-produce new methods and tools and work together to improve how future fellows and thinktankers are supported.

What happens next?

The Fellows who complete the programme will join On Think Tanks growing community of associates, collaborators, and partners. You will be able to draw from your peer’s advice and support for years to come.

How to apply?


The application process is highly personalised. Applications should include:

  • Your Resume/CV, in English with contact information
  • Applicant Statement
  • An Essay
  • One Professional Reference

For Application Instructions, click here.

For Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

The Selection Process

Please make a note of these dates:

  • November 21st: Applications open
  • January 17th: Deadline to present applications
  • January 20th-February 10th: Skype interviews to short-listed candidates
  • Mid-February: A Selection Committee will select the final candidates. The committee will include On Think Tanks’ Director, Enrique Mendizabal, On Think Tanks School’s Director, Vanesa Weyrauch, a member of On Think Tanks newly appointed Advisory Board, and a representative of the Hewlett Foundation.
  • February 25th: On Think Tanks will notify the successful candidates
  • Mid-March: The Fellowship programme begins

Find out more