On Think Tanks Fellowship Programme

Every year, On Think Tanks opens its doors to young and promising think tank leaders to co-develop the future of think tanks

No one would deny the increasing complexity, urgency and interdependency of the challenges involved in research and public policy. Our governments are facing 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.

To succeed, they will have to challenge the status quo – of their own business models, their policy research communities and the broader political, economic and social environments.

Younger generations bring a fresh and creative perspective to age-old problems. We want to embrace this to trigger change together.

Who is the Fellowship programme for?

Every year On Think Tanks opens its doors to young and promising think tank leaders to co-develop the future of think tanks The Fellowship has been developed for thinktankers who are committed to undergo a long term process of  personal and professional development. The OTT School offers other shorter courses and learning opportunities. Fellows must be willing to commit to a 9-month process including monthly meetings, substantive collaboration with peers and pro-active communication and engagement with the wider global think tank community.

Meet the 2018-2019 Fellows. In 2018, the OTT-TTI Fellowship Programme was designed in collaboration with the Think Tank Initiative. The programme aimed to help young thinktankers to become real agents of change capable of transforming their organisations and making them healthier, more aligned with global possibilities and challenges, and capable of achieving a larger and deeper contribution to their people and communities.



The 2022 OTT Fellowship programme

The offer

In 2022 the Fellowship programme will:

  • Provide future and emerging young leaders with an opportunity to strengthen capacities and fine-tune skills and competencies that will contribute to their leadership roles within their organisations;
  • Offer future think tank leaders an opportunity to network and learn from current and past leaders in the think tank world as well as exchange experiences and lessons with each other; and
  • Offer emerging leaders a chance to help shape the development of future think tanks.

The process

This will be delivered through a 6-month process of group mentoring and work. This involves:

  • Background preparation: Fellows will be selected from among the participants of the School for Thinktankers. During the School, prospective Fellows will explore different dimensions of think tanks and identify the challenges or opportunities that they wish to tackle during the Fellowship programme.
  • Application: Prospective Fellows will be invited to apply at the end of the School. Applications should outline the applicants objectives for the Fellowship and the contribution they hope to make to their peers, the field and OTT’s mission. +
  • Selection: This programme strives to ensure a diversity in location, gender and roles across the cohort of Fellows. Therefore, the selection will take into account both the individual qualities of the applicants as well as how their interests, experiences and background fit together.
  • The Fellowship: Fellows will embark in a process consisting of the following elements:
    • Teams: Fellows will join small teams on the basis of shared interests. They will work together to identify an opportunity or challenge to tackle during the Fellowship.
    • Group mentoring: Fellows will join monthly sessions with the Fellowship coordinator to explore progress in their teams, identify common or different experiences, and draw lessons across the cohort.
    • Communication and engagement: Fellows will be expected to share what they learn through the On Think Tanks platform as short articles, OTT Talks, Podcasts or other preferred media. All Fellows must host (and organise) at least one public event focusing on their team’s project on during the programme.
  • Graduation: Fellows will be expected to publish and share the results of their team projects with support from OTT’s communication team. Once the programme is over, Fellows will remain part of OTT’s community. They will be invited to join future editions of the OTT School for Thinktankers (if they need an update – and space allowing), gain access to a community of practice with all former Fellows, benefit from early-bird invitations to the OTT Conference and have the opportunity to host OTT Local Conferences.

How to support the OTT Fellowship programme?

We are looking for support for future Fellowship cycles. Every year, the Fellowship offers excellent learning opportunities about personal and professional development, mentoring, collaboration, etc. We take advantage of these opportunities to learn and adapt our programme.

We look forward for long term funding for the programme but are happy to discuss how the programme can cater for individual funders’ grantees.

Please get in touch.

Any questions about our capacity development efforts?

Please contact us on [email protected]

This initiative is kindly supported by the Hewlett Foundation