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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

Competition Details

Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship

Goes By: Payne Fellowship

Be sure to consult the Fellowship Website for complete eligibility and competition requirements.


Payne Electronic Deadline
Thursday, October 26, 2023
11:59 p.m. EST

About this Fellowship

Offers graduate school funding and professional development for students interested in a career with the Foreign Service of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

This fellowship provides graduate school financial support for students looking for careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Payne Fellows are expected to obtain a degree in international affairs or another area of relevance to the work of the Foreign Service (such as public administration, public policy, business administration, foreign languages, economics, political science, or communications) at a graduate or professional school approved by the Payne Program and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 throughout their period of study. Following graduation, Rangel Fellows must commit to a minimum of five years of service as a Foreign Service Officer with USAID.

This program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need.

Upon accepting the fellowship, successful candidates will sign a contract that clearly outlines their benefits and responsibilities as a Fellow. Fellows must meet and maintain all Foreign Service entry requirements including security, medical and suitability requirements in order to remain in the program.

In evaluating suitability, the Suitability Review Panel takes into consideration the following factors:

  • Misconduct in prior employment, including marginal performance or inability to interact effectively with others.
  • Criminal, dishonest, or disgraceful conduct.
  • Misrepresentation, including deception or fraud, in the application process.
  • Repeated or habitual use to excess of intoxicating beverages affecting the ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of the employee’s position.
  • Trafficking in or abuse of narcotics or controlled substances.
  • Reasonable doubt as to loyalty to the U.S. Government.
  • Conduct which clearly shows poor judgment and or lack of discretion which may reasonably affect an individual or the agency’s ability to carry out its responsibilities or mission.
  • Financial irresponsibility, including a history of not meeting financial obligations or an inability to satisfy debts.

Important Note: Please be aware that while marijuana may be legal or decriminalized within your home jurisdiction it remains illegal under U.S. federal law. The use, possession, supply, or manufacture of marijuana may preclude you from obtaining the necessary clearances to participate in this program, even if you were initially offered a position.

More information can be found on the Selection Process page of the Payne website.

Award Value

Provides up to $96,000 in benefits over two years of graduate school, internships, and professional development activities, culminating in service as a USAID Foreign Service Officer.

Eligibility Requirements

Requirements Details
Year(s) of Application Senior, Alumni/Non-enrolled

Minimum Grade Point Average



US Citizen
Campus Nomination Required No

Last updated: March 22, 2024

Other Fellowships to Consider

Charles B. Rangel Graduate Fellowship

This fellowship provides graduate school financial support for students looking for careers in the Foreign Service. The Rangel Program provides $82,000 (over two years) toward completion of a two-year master's degree and up to $10,000 (per summer) for two summer internships.

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

Provides graduate funding to participants as they are prepared academically and professionally to enter the United States Department of State Foreign Service. Up to $42,000 annually for two years of grad school, plus 2 internships (one domestic and one international) at the US Department of State.

Charles B. Rangel Summer Enrichment

This summer program is designed for undergraduates interested in exploring a career in the Foreign Service. The Rangel Program provides tuition, housing, travel, and two meals a day for six weeks, plus a stipend of $3,300.

Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship

Supports IT students interested in working as Information Management Specialists with the US Foreign Service. Up to $43,500 annually for two years, either junior and senior year of undergraduate program, or a two-year Master's program in an IT-related field. Additional stipends and funding for two summer internships, one domestic and one international.

Foreign Agricultural Service International Agricultural Fellowship

The Foreign Agricultural Service International Agricultural Fellowship is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that identifies and prepares individuals interested in careers in USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The FAS Fellowship provides up to $24,000 a year for graduate school tuition, room, board, books, and mandatory fees for completion of their Agribusiness or Agricultural Economic degrees and an academic year stipend of $18,000. The program also includes two summer internships.

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