Kopernik Fellows are insightful, adaptive, entrepreneurial quick thinkers seeking hands-on experience in international development. Fellows volunteer for three months or more, either in the last mile or at Kopernik headquarters in Bali, Indonesia.
In the last mile:
- Kopernik Fellows work with our local partners in Asia, Africa, or the Pacific to support the implementation or assess the impact of a Kopernik project.
- They become socio-economic researchers, supply chain managers, trainers, troubleshooters, data analysts, report writers, photographers, bloggers, interpreters, and honorary members of the local community.
At Kopernik HQ:
- Kopernik Fellows work with our team on projects requiring specialised skills.
- Former fellows have lent their skills to software development, videography, school outreach, fundraising and communications.
What makes a great Kopernik Fellow?
Our fellows have included graduate students, recent graduates and professionals from a range of backgrounds. To thrive in this role, we are looking for people who:
- Are insightful, adaptive, entrepreneurial quick thinkers with leadership skills and humility.
- Have graduated from university with a Bachelor degree. Graduate studies are a plus.
- Have skills in appropriate technology or a relevant language.
- Have experience in conducting quantitative research, analysing data and writing reports.
- Have a proven passion for international development.
- Have experience in last mile locations and enjoy the challenge of living with limited access to electricity, running water and the internet.
The lowdown from former fellows
"Going to western Kenya as a Kopernik Fellow was a unique experience in every sense of the word. For three months, I was immersed in an exotic country where I performed impact assessments of previous projects and carried out research to determine the best distribution strategy for future projects. Thus, I crossed paths (and makeshift bridges) with people from all walks of life, which revealed life stories from a dimension that I have never known before. In addition to furthering my passion in appropriate technology, the fellowship stretched my resourcefulness to unprecedented levels: successfully navigating the public transport network in rural Kenya as a solo female traveller is a personal triumph to me. All in all, I am very glad that Kopernik gave me this opportunity to challenge myself while contributing to international development!"
Denise Law- Kenya, 2013
"I wanted experience implementing rural projects, working on M&E issues and being based 'in the field.' I feel like I gained a lot of skills and confidence in M&E and program management. I was also pleasantly surprised by how much blogging contributed to what I got out of the experience – I loved having an outlet to process my experiences, especially in the absence of a strong collegial environment. I was thrilled with the support I received from Kopernik. I was concerned with being based so remotely, but I felt I had as much access to my immediate supervisor and Kopernik staff as I needed/wanted. I loved conducting the assessments for the opportunity they provided to learn a little bit more about the customers. I also really enjoyed working on the drip irrigation installations – it was the first job I had that was so hands on."
Annie O'Brien - India, 2011
"The fellowship is a job that does require certain organisation and communication skills. But more important than training, the job needs someone who is driven and detail oriented, and inquisitive and adaptable, and of course very social. All the work is through people, as the path to sustainable projects is for all the capacity and all the management to be done eventually by the local partner. Every fellow is put in a different situation and will probably face different scenarios. I don't think a similar experience to a Kopernik fellowship exists, and a fellow will have to do a lot of thinking and decision-making on his/her feet. All the fresh experiences gained from all the different parts of the program become skills that he/she can use in the future (it's not unlike starting a business, but of course not quite as crazy). The fellowship definitely 'builds character', to quote."
Michael Woon -Timor-Leste, 2010
Completing a Kopernik Fellowship
Kopernik Fellows have gone on to work for organisations including the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Red Cross, International Development Enterprises, Generation Rwanda, or have launched their own social enterprises. Want to meet them and find out what they’re working on now?
Are you our next Kopernik Fellow?
Kopernik Fellows are unpaid, volunteer roles that offer unique hands-on experience. We encourage fellows to seek funding through university or grant programs. Kopernik stipends may be available to outstanding candidates for priority projects.
We are not currently recruiting, but please follow us to be the first to find out when we are recruiting.