FAQ about the International Development Fellows Program
The International Development Fellows Program
How many Fellows do you take each year?
CRS accepts approximately 20-25 Fellows. In 2013 CRS will accept 21 Fellows into the program.
How many applications to you receive?
CRS typically receives about 600 applications each year.
When will I know if I am accepted?
125 candidates will be selected for phone interviews from late October through mid January. Of these, 50-60 will be chosen for a full day of interviews in March. We will make offers for the Fellowship in late April or early May.
In which countries are Fellowships available?
Each year different country programs submit requests for the Fellows. We usually have positions in all of the regions where we work, with the greatest number of position in Africa.
Do I have a choice on the country or region where I will be placed?
Fellowship placements are based on language first, then the experience of Fellows and the needs of the country programs. While preferences are taken into consideration, we do not guarantee a geographical or sectoral match. If either a specific sector or placement in a particular country are important to you above all else, then the International Development Fellows Program may not be the best fit for you.
Will I get to travel?
Fellow job descriptions vary widely depending on the needs of the country programs. Based on past experience, most Fellows travel within their country of placement and sometimes travel within the region during their Fellowship.
What will my housing be like?
CRS provides safe adequate housing for each Fellow. Fellows with CRS have a standard of living that could be described as above that of Peace Corps Volunteers but below that of someone in the foreign service. You will have electricity, running water and security if necessary but not a TV with 400 channels.
Can spouses accompany Fellows?
CRS will cover the costs of airfare, insurance and immunizations for accompanying spouses and dependants. As a Catholic agency, we cannot cover the costs of a non-married partner accompanying you.
Does CRS help defer student loan payments?
Deferment decisions are made at the discretion of lenders. CRS will provide documentation regarding participation in the program and stipend amount. Fellows have received deferments in the past.
Employment with CRS
Will Fellows have the opportunity to work with CRS after the Fellowship?
The International Development Fellows Program recruits and trains future leaders for our agency. It is the explicit purpose of the program to retain top performing Fellows, but employment is not guaranteed.
What is the process for joining CRS after the Fellowship?
Fellows develop performance objectives with their supervisors at the beginning of the Fellowship and are later reviewed based on their performance. Fellows who receive positive performance ratings are invited to apply for other positions within the agency.
How many Fellows are offered regular positions each year?
CRS does not guarantee employment to Fellows who receive positive performance ratings, however every effort is made to find a suitable match for the Fellow. In the past, over 80% of Fellows find regular employment with CRS after the Fellowship.
How long do staff members remain in CRS positions?
A career with CRS usually consists of many subsequent international postings over a period of time. Each international posting usually lasts from 2-5 years, depending on the position.
What kind of career path could I expect as a CRS employee?
While there is no one career path, Fellows typically choose a career path based overseas. Many Fellows follow a managerial path (Program Manager I, Program Manager II and Country Representative). Alternatively, Fellows can seek technical advisory positions such as Regional Technical Advisor for a particular sector. Often technical positions require additional qualifications beyond what is required for Fellows. Periodically, positions are available in headquarters in Baltimore, though this is not a typical career path for Fellows.