The fellowship period

“There are no failures amongst the fellows. Not one. For some, their time hadn’t come. I’m a good example - my time came after my Fellowship.”

  • Peter Murray-Rust
Your funded fellowship lasts for a maximum of three years, but you will always be a fellow. We provide you with a lifelong home to which you can return and share your new experiences, learnings and questions. At the same time, you start and maintain new relationships with advisors, collaborators and friends. Everyone benefits when the community grows and thrives, and each fellow brings a unique perspective and lasting value to the group.
Becoming a Shuttleworth Fellow gives you membership to a wonderful community of changemakers, regardless of whether your annual application succeeds or not. We ask all fellows to reapply at the end of each fellowship year to review and reflect on where they are and what they do next. This process can be nerve-wracking, and the reality is that sometimes our partnership doesn't work out. We will be frank and honest about the reasons why and, although hugely disappointing for fellows in their first or second years, most have maintained their connections with the community and us.
Sometimes, fellows do not reapply through choice. For example, Waldo Jaquith had a hugely successful start to his fellowship, helping the US government make its open data more usable and valuable. He achieved everything he set out to do by the end of his first year and felt the change he wanted to make in the world would be better served as an insider; by taking a role in an agency supported by the government. Waldo is still a highly active member of our community and continues to advocate for and pursue our shared vision of openness.
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