Fellows FAQs

If you have a question relating to Chevening Fellowships, please read the FAQs below. If you are still unable to find the information you need, please get in touch via our contact form.


Am I permitted to take a leave of absence during the fellowship?

Only if it is approved by both the Secretariat and your host institution in advance. In this event, the following entitlement applies:

  • 3 month fellowship duration- Up to 7 days travel outside of the UK
  • 6 month fellowship duration- Up to 14 days travel outside of the UK
  • 9 months fellowship duration- Up to 21 days travel outside of the UK

Can I extend my fellowship?

Extensions are only granted in exceptional circumstances and subject to funding. They are not automatic, and should not be assumed. 

Can I bring my family with me?

The Secretariat strongly discourages fellows from bringing dependants with them to the UK. Award allowances are calculated to cover the fellow’s costs only. Fellows will be solely responsible for all welfare and financial arrangements for any accompanying dependants.  

How much will my allowance be during the fellowship?

All allowances will be stated in your final award letter.


How do I activate my cash card?

Please see the finances section, and read the advice on activating your cash card.

What happens if I lose my cash card?

A replacement card will be provided, however there will be a fee to issue a new cash card and for the transfer of funds. This fee will be applied to you and deducted from the amount transferred on your replacement card.

Please advise the Fellowships team as soon as possible if your card is lost or stolen so that it can be suspended. 

Can I open a bank account in the UK?

Fellows are generally unable to open a UK bank account because most high street banks do not open accounts for individuals residing in the UK for less than six months (please consult your chosen bank for more information). As such, a cash card is provided for your award allowances.

If you already have an active UK bank account and wish to use this instead of the cash card, you are required to advise the Fellowships team as soon as possible. A transfer fee may be applied and deducted from the funds transferred. 


Can I change my flight once it has been booked?

Yes, but you will be responsible for payment of all additional costs associated.

Does my fellowship include any international travel during the programme? 

Some fellowships will include some international and domestic travel during the programme and will be listed in the course outline provided by your host university.  You will receive this information during your in-country pre-departure session and also directly from your host university. 

Can Diversity assist with personal travel arrangements? 

Yes, but this will be at your own cost.  

Welfare and immigration

Which visa do I need for my fellowship?

Your visa guidelines will be included in your pre-departure fellowgram which is sent shortly after the issuance of the final award letter. For further information, please contact our Welfare and Immigration team

Do I have to pay the health surcharge or take out travel insurance?

Depending on your visa, you may be required to pay the NHS health surcharge as part of your visa requirements. If your visa does not require you to pay the NHS health surcharge, you are strongly recommended to purchase travel insurance. A pro-rated contribution of up to £200 will be provided to assist with the cost of either the NHS health surcharge or travel insurance.  


Why do you need my biography? 

As experts in your respective fields, we would like to support you in activities or meetings you wish to engage in outside of your planned fellowship during your time in the UK. As such, we would like to share your biography with the wider Chevening and FCO networks (including universities, partner organisations and alumni) as there may be members of the UK academic community who would like to reach out to you.

Can the Secretariat put me in touch with the FCO or government ministries? 

In most cases there will be the opportunity to meet with members of the FCO at various events run throughout the academic year through Chevening’s schedule of events. However, one on one/small group events are most likely arranged by your host university and built into your fellowship course outline.

The Secretariat is unable to pass on third party contact details to any individuals without prior consent. 

I am scheduled to give a guest lecture/public lecture during my stay in the UK, is this permitted?

Yes, the Chevening Secretariat strongly encourages fellows to make the most of their time in the UK through additional activities like these. These activities should be scheduled around your course schedule/timetable and not distract from your ability to fully participate in your fellowship. We encourage you to advise the Fellowships team of any activities, as we may assist in promoting them amongst the wider Chevening network. 

Can you put me in touch with other fellows? 

Due to data protection law, we are unable to give out personal contact details of Chevening Fellows. However, there will be several instances where you can meet other fellows, including at your in-country pre-departure briefing, and at various events once you arrive in the UK. 

Can you put me in touch with other alumni? 

The Secretariat is currently developing a new way for fellows to find alumni mentors. Further information about this will be provided in due course.

In the meantime, please contact your embassy/high commission as they may be able to put you in contact with Chevening Alumni in your own country.


Is accommodation included in my fellowship? 

This will be dependent on your fellows and will be stated in your final award letter. Where accommodation is pre-arranged as part of your award, you will receive a reduced living allowance.

If accommodation is not pre-arranged as part of your award, your monthly living allowance will be calculated to include accommodation costs.

Can the Secretariat help me find somewhere to live? 

The Secretariat is limited in the assistance we can provide for accommodation, and encourage you to contact your university’s accommodation office for advice about finding accommodation before coming to the UK.