International Development Fellows Program

Photo by Sam Phelps/CRS

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Catholic Relief Services' International Development Fellows Program prepares dedicated global citizens to pursue a career in international relief & development work. CRS empowers Fellows to hone their skills and gain practical field experience while contributing to impactful work. Each Fellow works alongside experienced CRS staff to address critical issues facing developing countries today. CRS invites applicants of diverse backgrounds who are committed to our agency mission and strategy to join our global team.

Develop Critical Project & Management Skills

Designed To Prepare Fellows For Success

The Fellowship is a unique 12-month professional development opportunity, designed to prepare Fellows for success in a range of onward positions with CRS. The Fellowship is centered upon skill building in the following four areas:

Project Management

  • Activity planning & implementation
  • Monitoring, evaluation, accountability & learning
  • Resource/budget management
  • Reporting

Project Design

  • Research, assessments, analysis
  • Participatory design
  • Results framework & theory of change
  • Proposal development

Systems & Operations

  • Supply chain and logistics
  • Human Resources
  • Finance & compliance
  • Safety, security, risk mitigation


  • Project planning
  • Program implementation
  • Capacity strengthening
  • Reflection & assessment
Former Fellows, Victoria Johnson and Caroline Agalheir (pictured in blue), support program monitoring activities in Cameroon. Photo by Louis Blaise Djilo for CRS.

Engage In Impactful Work

Make A Difference

CRS works with a vast network of partners to engender sustainable change and provide lifesaving help when emergencies arise. Fellows support CRS' impactful work in a wide variety of sectors and assume varying levels of responsibility.

Common Fellowship Tasks

  • Lead new emergency response projects
  • Serve as interim project manager
  • Participate in the design of new projects
  • Oversee assessments and data collection
  • Develop accountability frameworks
  • Write reports and proposals

Prepare For Future Career Opportunities

Realize Your Potential

Many Fellows build a career with CRS after completing the Fellowship. Each year, most graduating Fellows apply and accept offers for onward positions with CRS. Fellows often transition directly to positions in project design and proposal development, program management (especially in Emergency Response), program quality, and monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning. As they grow with CRS, former Fellows often move between technical and managerial roles, working from the countries where we serve or remotely. Hover over the pictures below to view some of the positions that Fellows have held since their Fellowship year.

Enjoy Comprehensive Benefits

A Partnership For Health & Success

At CRS, we value employee health and well-being and provide comprehensive benefits to meet your needs and those of your family. Benefits include an international medical plan, dental and vision insurance, generous leave, a highly competitive retirement program, and family-friendly allowances for overseas staff. CRS also prioritizes and invests in staff safety and security and provides travel and property insurance, disability coverage and Employee Assistance Programs.


Fellows enjoy an international medical plan as well as vision coverage with zero deductible for in-network providers and low coinsurance and copayments.

Safe Furnished Housing

CRS provides each Fellow with basic furnished housing, which includes electricity, running water, internet and security services (if necessary). The Fellow's housing is usually an apartment or house near the CRS office.

Paid Time Off (vacation, sick, & personal)

CRS provides Fellows 20 days of paid vacation along with 12 days of sick leave annually. In addition, we offer 4 personal days to attend to emergency or non-emergency situations occurring during a normally scheduled work day.

Travel & Medical Evacuation

CRS covers relocation costs such as transportation to and from the country of assignment, visas, inoculations, etc. Additionally, CRS provides 100% employer-funded medical evacuation coverage for the Fellow and their dependents.

Retirement Benefits (403B)

CRS offers a 50% match on the first 6% of contributions as well as a contribution of 7% of pay regardless of employee contributions, after six months of service. (Note: Employees without a social security number are eligible to participate in an offshore retirement fund with the same contribution calculation.)

Continued Education

Upon hire, Fellows have access to CRS' robust online learning platform. Additionally, CRS will reimburse up to $5,200 per year for employees pursuing degrees and professional certifications, after one year of employment.

Explore more benefits in detail on the CRS benefits page.

Review Program Requirements

Candidate Profile

At CRS, we celebrate diversity within our workforce and are committed to developing local leadership in the communities we serve. We recruit Fellows from around the world, including nationals of the countries where we work and from underrepresented groups in the U.S. and globally. We welcome applications from candidates of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.

Minimum Fellowship Requirements

  • Graduate degree in a relevant field
  • At least six months work or volunteer experience in a developing country
  • Fluency in English with strong oral and written communication skills
  • Professional proficiency in a second language (preference given to French, Arabic and Portuguese)
  • Able to work in locations with infectious diseases and limited access to medical facilities.
A Mother-in-Law Support Group gathers in South Sudan to discuss maternal health and child nutrition. Photo by Hugh Rutherford for CRS

Please visit the FAQs to review the cover letter requirements.

Apply To Fellowship

Three Simple Steps

Prepare a cover letter

Please see FAQs for requirements.

Prepare your resume/CV

Apply online

Selection Process & Timeline

The IDFP application closed on November 1, 2023. The top candidates will be invited to complete a video interview, language assessment, phone screen and final interview. Please visit the FAQs for more information.

Due to the high volume of applications, candidates will only be contacted if and when they advance to the next stage of the selection process.

The IDFP application will re-open in the Fall of 2024.

Children enjoy clean water from a pump in Ethiopia. Photo by Melikte Tadesse for CRS.

Engage With Us

Let's Talk

We encourage you to join us for a webinar on the CRS Fellowship. Our webinars are an opportunity for you to informally exchange with our team—learn more about the Fellowship program, ask your questions, etc. We offer webinars at the times listed below. Simply click on this link to join any session. You may also call in at +1 443-290-6516, conference ID: 991213265#

Information Sessions

Wednesday, October 12, 2022
9:00am–10:00am EST

Thursday, October 27, 2022
2:00pm–3:00pm EST

Thursday, November 10, 2022
1:00pm–2:00pm EST

Monday, November 21, 2022
8:00am–9:00am EST

CRS works in solidarity with communities around the world to achieve lasting results. Photo by Asad Zaidi for CRS

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

We are glad you are interested in learning more about IDFP. In our FAQs, we strive to answer questions you may have around the application and selection process, overseas assignments and travel, housing and family, career and more. If you have a question that is not answered in the FAQ, please attend an information session or email us at [email protected].


More Opportunities

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

CRS is proud to be an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Selection and hiring decisions are made without regard to sex, gender identity, race, age, disability, religion, national origin, color, veteran status or any other protected area.

We are committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If, due to a medical condition or disability, you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please email [email protected].