Churchill Fellowships

"This was a truly life-changing experience, professionally and personally." - Headteacher John Boulton, Fellow

‘Travel to learn, return to inspire’ is the instruction we give each year to 150 exceptional people from across the UK who are awarded a Churchill Fellowship. Whether they are professors or paramedics, teachers or technologists, students, retirees or people in mid-career, they share a single mission: to learn from the world about the UK’s crucial issues and bring those global insights home.

Travel to learn

We fund this mission with a travel grant to spend four to eight weeks overseas, researching a project of their own choosing – one they believe can make a major difference to their profession or community when they return.

For example, a Fellow might be a firefighter who has discovered that basic medical training for his colleagues could save lives at an incident scene, or an architect keen to design better buildings for people with dementia. Ranging across many of today’s most important issues, the Fellows are uniquely qualified by their real-life experience to find new answers to key questions.

They do this by visiting the best places in the world to find those answers. Each Fellow may travel to many countries and continents to see the most innovative projects, meet the most inspiring practitioners, and study the most successful policy programmes worldwide.

All over the world, the Churchill name opens doors to knowledge – from Twitter’s headquarters in California to a refugee camp in Jordan, from police stations in Australia to hill farms in Romania. The selection of topics and destinations is universal.

Return to inspire

This is the range of global learning that our Fellows bring back to benefit the UK. On their return, they publish their findings in a detailed written report and put their recommendations into action.

For some this means starting an organisation, a business or an issue-based campaign. Others change professional practice across their workplace or their entire sector. Many succeed in influencing public policy at regional or national level, reaching as high as Downing Street itself.

We support their implementation with whatever assistance is required, whether post-travel grants or personal briefings with ministers, professional conferences or coverage in the media. And we stand by to help through the years to come, as they continue to make a practical and often profound contribution to the progress of their chosen field.

We track Fellows’ progress over many years and find that the effect on their sectors, as well as on themselves, can be profound. Many go on to become experts in their field, leaders of programmes and organisations, and opinion-formers in their areas. Decades later, they are still drawing on the insights and acceleration that their Fellowship provided.

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