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Iveagh Fellowship Programme

Iveagh Fellowship Programme 2023: awardees announced

The Department of Foreign Affairs, in partnership with Saothar, is pleased to congratulate the five fellows for 2023:

  • Alanna Grogan - UCD
  • Connor Stack - UCD
  • Diane Sheehy - UCC
  • Jessica Gill - DCU
  • Rachel Ardiff - TCD

Five Fellowships were made available nationally in 2023 with each participating third level institution requested to submit two nominees for consideration.

The Iveagh Fellowship Programme helps Irish students participate in high-quality internships in international policy organisations that could relate to international development, human rights, and humanitarian work with a view to furthering their future careers in the area.

The Fellowship is targeted primarily at students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences but is open to students of all disciplines.

About the Iveagh Fellowship Programme

The Department of Foreign Affairs, in partnership with Saothar, is running the Iveagh Fellowship Programme for a sixth year to assist Irish students to identify and participate in high-quality internships in international policy organisations.

Five Iveagh Fellows will be awarded €6,000 and mentorship support to help secure internships relating to international policy, including international development, human rights, and humanitarian work. The Fellowship is targeted primarily at students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences but is open to students of all disciplines.

Nominations will be made by mid-February 2024.

Fellowship Benefits and Responsibilities

Fellows will be awarded €6,000 and will be assigned a mentor who will advise them on their internship search strategy. Fellows will not be directly placed in organisations by the programme and are responsible for identifying and securing their own internships.

Funding will be transferred to fellows upon successfully securing an internship. Fellows are expected to find an internship within 18 months of being awarded the prize. Exceptions may be granted on a case by case basis.

Application Process

The application process for 2024 is now open. Please make contact with the Careers Office in your university to learn more about the application process. As each university manages its selection process, the procedure can vary by institution.

Generally, an applicant will need to provide:

  • A one-page CV highlighting the nominee’s academic achievements and any relevant extra-curricular or professional experience.
  • A statement of purpose briefly describing the nominee’s reasons and motivations for applying for the Fellowship as well as their suitability.
  • A reference letter from a university faculty member.
  • A writing sample (1000-2000 words)

Eligible Internship Organisations

The Fellowship is intended to support students who are interested in careers in international policy. This can include, but is not limited to work in international development, human rights, and in humanitarian organisations.

Fellows are encouraged to actively seek out opportunities in these areas by applying to internship programmes and reaching out directly to organisations’ staff to learn about opportunities.

Fellowship funds cannot be used to support internships in profit-making institutions except in exceptional circumstances and only where a clear public good can be demonstrated.

The Department of Foreign Affairs must approve of all internships before transferring funds.

Eligibility Criteria

Those applying for awards must be all of the following at the time of application:

  • Irish citizens
  • Enrolled in a full-time undergraduate or master’s degree programme in an Irish university

Assessment Criteria for Applicants

In awarding Fellowships, the Expert Panel will take into consideration a broad set of candidates’ qualities. These include:

  • Genuine interest in pursuing a career in policy and/or policy research, as demonstrated by previous work experience, extra-curricular activities or other experiences.
  • Clear communication of what the Fellow hopes to achieve through the Iveagh Fellowship award.
  • Evidence of taking initiative in professional, academic, or extracurricular work, detailed in the candidate’s CV or statement of purpose.
  • Demonstrated teamwork skills and ability to work collaboratively, as indicated by past academic, professional or voluntary experiences.
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas effectively.
  • Comprehensive writing and editing skills.
  • Track record of academic excellence, supported by a reference letter from an academic faculty member.
  • Candidates might wish to include any experience with statistical software.


Jessica Gill, Dublin City University

Iveagh Fellow, 2023

I was awarded the Iveagh Fellowship in 2023 during the final year of my undergraduate degree in International Relations at Dublin City University.

I completed a policy internship with ActionAid Denmark in Copenhagen, a global federation working for a world free from poverty and injustice. In this role, I supported the organisation of the 'Copenhagen People Power Conference'. This gave me a unique opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the power and potential of social movements to achieve climate justice, democracy and peace. I strengthened my policy development and advocacy skills by drafting recommendations on how decision-makers can stand in solidarity with social movements and visiting embassies to mobilise government representatives to participate in the conference.

Directly following the internship I was contracted to write a report on external stakeholders' support for social movements which the organisation has published.

I am incredibly grateful for the Iveagh Fellowship as it enabled me to create meaningful connections with representatives of social movements and civil society organisations from around the world. Having felt inspired and motivated by the work of ActionAid, I have learned the importance of working for an organisation that aligns with my values as I progress in my career.

Through my postgraduate studies of the European Master's in Human Rights and Democratisation at the Global Campus of Human Rights, I am continuing to build on the knowledge and skills I have gained during the fellowship.

Codie Rossi, University College Dublin

Iveagh Fellows 2021

I was awarded the Iveagh Fellowship in 2021, while studying a Master of Public Policy at UCD. While I had completed two previous internships during my studies, I had always wanted to pursue one abroad. Coming from an economically disadvantaged background, the financial support provided by the scholarship allowed me to pursue opportunities that I would otherwise have had to pass up. The mentorship provided was excellent, enabling me to connect with a leading figure in the field and gain insights that have been foundational for my career growth.

I went on to work in the international organisation, the Global Center on Adaptation, in their floating office in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Here, I delved into international affairs and climate policy, working with the Climate Vulnerable Forum—a coalition of 55 nations most vulnerable to climate change. In my role, I worked with national governments from Bangladesh to Ghana, conducting policy analysis of national policies and tracking international negotiations at the UN level for countries that are capacity constrained. The experience and skills I gained during my fellowship laid the foundation for my current role as a Policy Associate on Carbon Capture at the environmental NGO, Clean Air Task Force. Today, I work on EU policy, collaborating with national governments and agencies, the European Commission, and other NGOs to develop policies to reduce and remove carbon emissions.

I am deeply grateful to the Iveagh Fellowship for being the springboard that propelled me into a career in international affairs and climate policy.

Ciara Kavanagh, Trinity College Dublin

Iveagh Fellow - 2020

The Iveagh Fellowship was a real game-changer for me. As part of the 2020 cohort, the Iveagh not only provided me with the financial means to jump head-first into a fantastic internship, but surrounded me with the mentorship, guidance and motivation I needed to bridge the gap between college and an exciting career in international affairs and development in the trying times of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The fellowship bursary supported me in taking up my role with Médecins Sans Frontières- Doctors Without Borders in New York City at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. In the Field Human Resources department, I learned from seasoned practitioners about International Humanitarian Law and humanitarian logistics, and provided support to the deployments of emergency medical personnel on mission in crisis and development contexts. I gained a solid understanding of emergency and resilience operations on the ground in response to armed conflict, economic shocks and natural hazards. Combining the technical and the theoretical, this experience prepared me well for my transition into the United Nations community in New York, where I first served with the Permanent Mission of Rwanda, and now work with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on matters of hunger and food security.

Beyond making an otherwise out-of-reach dream financially accessible, I was inspired by the mentors I met along the Iveagh journey. From listening to my fellow recipients speak of their experiences, to having former Iveagh Fellows share ideas, tips and best practices with us, I learned so much from the conversations the Iveagh afforded us. The staff and coordinators were at all times helpful and resourceful throughout the extent of the programme. What's more, the fellowship allowed me to build a network of like minded young professionals both here in New York and around the world, spanning a variety of disciplines, who I continue to learn from to this day.

The Iveagh Fellowship gave me the means and the motivation to work towards my goals. I cannot recommend the experience highly enough to students looking for that extra boost as they begin crafting the career they dream of.

Anna Carroll, NUI Galway

Iveagh Fellow, 2019

I was awarded the Iveagh Fellowship in 2019, shortly after finishing my undergraduate degree in Law, Politics and Sociology at NUI Galway.

I completed my Iveagh Fellowship internship with UN Women in Geneva, working to support the Human Rights lead as an Intergovernmental Support and Liaison Intern. In this role, I supported the engagement of the UN Women Liaison Office in intergovernmental processes at the United Nations. Working with UN Women gave me a unique insight into the role of intergovernmental negotiations in promoting human rights and international law. I observed sessions of the Universal Periodic Review, attended sessions of the Human Rights Council, and supported UN Women’s engagement with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

The opportunities afforded to me through the Fellowship programme enabled me to improve my understanding of international diplomacy and the UN system while developing professional writing and negotiation skills. This experience has been invaluable to me as an early career professional in the area of international law.

Following the completion of my internship with UN Women, I moved to New York in September 2020 to work as an Advisor at the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the UN. I supported Ireland's legal team at the UN Sixth (Legal) Committee throughout the busiest period of the General Assembly, contributing to the development of UN resolutions on Crimes Against Humanity, the rule of law, and universal jurisdiction.

Since January 2021, I have been employed as a Policy Advisor on the Legal team at the Permanent Mission of Ireland. I will work in this position for the duration of Ireland's term on the UN Security Council. I cover areas related to international law, including international humanitarian law, law of the sea, and the UN Sixth Committee. I also work with Ireland's Sanctions Coordinator to support our work on UN Sanctions Committees, liaising with UN Experts on conflict-affected countries including Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.

Eimear Duff, Trinity College Dublin

Iveagh Fellow, 2019

I was awarded the Iveagh Fellowship in 2019 while completing my Masters in Business Administration at Trinity College Dublin. As a doctor with a passion for global health and health policy, the Iveagh Fellowship enabled me to have the unique experience of relocating to Washington D.C. for three months and being embedded within the executive team of a global nonprofit. Here, I learned about working with change agents worldwide to create strong, self-sustaining health and education systems for all. During this time I also travelled to New York and met with global health leaders at the 2019 United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage.

My fellowship opportunity inspired me to seek a dual role in my career, one in which I engage with local, national and international health policy in addition to being a specialist patient-facing clinician. I am currently continuing my internal medicine training as a Senior House Officer at St James's Hospital, Ireland's largest acute academic teaching hospital. In addition to delivering direct patient care, I am a researcher at the on-campus Wellcome-Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility. In this role, I am furthering my interest in health policy by conducting pharmacoeconomics research. In addition, I am applying learnings from the strategy refresh project I supported during my Iveagh Fellowship programme to my current role. I was recently among the 24 outstanding young physicians below the age of 40 from all over the world that were selected to participate in the 2021 IAP Young Physician Leaders (YPL) programme. As part of this programme, I blogged about the 2021 World Health Summit (WHS) on the website of the Royal Irish Academy, and learned about interconnected topics such as vaccine policy for health equity, planetary health, and access to essential medicines. I am deeply grateful to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Saothar for this formative experience, which continues to shape my career journey.

Benn Hogan, University College Dublin

Iveagh Fellow 2019

I was awarded the Iveagh Fellowship while pursuing a Masters in International Development jointly run by Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. Having recently graduated, I travelled to the World Bank in Washington D.C. to complete my fellowship. My role within the Mind, Behavior and Development Unit gave me an inside look at practice of international development in a major multilateral organisation in my chosen field.

The projects I had a chance to work on underscored to me the necessity of a just, whole of society approach to addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality. I believe all actors, public and private, must work to ensure they do no harm and respect people as a fundamental baseline for development. Following the fellowship, I worked as a consultant with the World Bank’s education global practice before joining my current employer, the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI), where I put into practice many of the skills and ideas I developed during the fellowship. As Deputy Director at GBI, I lead a peer learning programme focused helping business implement respect for people in their operations and value chains across the world.

The Iveagh Fellowship gave me the chance to meet interesting people, work in a new country and clarify my career goals. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, I’d highly recommend you apply!

John Healy, University of Limerick

Iveagh Fellow, 2019

I was awarded the Iveagh Fellowship in 2019 while completing my Undergraduate Degree in Law and Accounting at the University of Limerick. Looking back at my experience within the Iveagh Fellowship in 2019, I can point to this as a developmental point personally and professionally. At a mid-point in my studies at the University of Limerick I rushed at the opportunity to pursue an internship at the Red Cross EU Office in Brussels. I had a great experience, from interviewing members of parliament to strategy planning – all within the offices lobbying function on behalf of the largest humanitarian organisation in the world. I was also able to provide research assistance to the IFRC’s Global Disaster Law Programme.

Since the Fellowship, I have successfully graduated from the University of Limerick and continued some work with the Global Disaster Law Programme. I have taken on a national role with the Irish Red Cross at home. My sights are currently set on my path to qualification in Ireland as a Solicitor and hopefully further afield in the future! I am concurrently completing my FE1s with the Law Society of Ireland and am a Master of Laws candidate in Public International Law at the University of Amsterdam. I will be completing my training at the world leading international law firm, DLA Piper.