Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is the profile/seniority of people this programme is suitable for?

As we believe that every individual can be a leader of change, the IFRC Solferino Academy is intentional about creating this fellowship outside the ‘traditional’ leadership frameworks and competencies. We like to describe your suitability and readiness to participate in this programme in the following terms of leadership:

  • You are not (only) an individual contributor but a driver of organisational and network change;
  • You show an interest and understanding of how systems work and change;
  • You believe that the current way of operating and organising can be fundamentally improved;
  • You have interest to further develop skills related to prototyping, testing and adapting minimum viable products in response to complex problems;
  • Openness to learn (from others) and change your mind or existing way of working
  • You are willing to be connected to and learn from an international community of change makers within and outside of the RCRC network

In short, we are interested in leadership at all levels and across all age groups of the organisation to apply.

What is the competency framework for this fellowship?

We don’t use a competency framework for this fellowship – please refer to the previous question. The following indicators are examples of how we measure success of the programme

  • # of prototypes developed and tested
  • # of prototypes adopted by NSs within a year of the fellowship
  • Fellow’s self -assessed progress on transformation behaviour, knowledge and attitudes

Can I also apply if I’m an IFRC staff member?

No, this fellowship is only meant for National Society staff and volunteers. For IFRC staff members, please refer to IFRC learning opportunities.

What are the minimum requirements to apply for this fellowship?

Please consider applying when you are:

  • Motivated, ready to commit time, energy and meet the milestones at each stage of the fellowship
  • Fascinated by how humans and systems can transform
  • Interested in applying innovative thinking and approaches to persistent challenges
  • Passionate about addressing humanitarian challenges and social injustices
  • Ambitious about the future of the RCRC and your leadership role in it
  • Open to being challenged and collaborating with diverse opinions
  • Have a basic working knowledge of English (other courses in multiple languages will become available soon across the RCRC network)
  • Committed to social justice and inclusive, intersectional and anti-racist approaches to humanitarian & development work
  • A staff member or volunteer connected to one of the 192 National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies
  • Prepared to spend an average of 8-12 hours/month of remote work between March and November 2021, and possibly a face-to-face workshop in late 2021 (COVID-allowing)

We actively encourage applications from people with marginalised identities. In our selection we will aim to create a diverse group of FutureFellows that is spread globally across our various National Societies

Can multiple people from the same National Society apply and participate?

In principle there is no limit to the number of participants from one National Society. However, we do aim for the largest geographical diversity so it’s hard to imagine a scenario where more than two people would be able to participate from the same NS.

Why is this fellowship only offered in English?

This is the first year we run this fellowship, and we want to test the offering in English only first. However, we will aim to expand this in the next few years when we are (even) more confident about the course. There will be other training opportunities coming online this year in all RCRC languages.


How many fellows can participate this year?

We have place for up to 25 fellows this year. Depending on the experiences of both fellows and Solferino Academy, we will look at a larger intake next year(s).

How will my application be evaluated?

There will be two rounds of evaluation:

First round: your application will be reviewed by a small panel of Solferino Academy team members to check if you are meeting the basic criteria of the fellowship. From here a longlist is created.

  • Every fellow that is added to the longlist will be asked to generate a support statement from their NS. Solferino Academy will be able to help with this request for support.

Second round: from the longlisted fellows that have full NS support, a panel made up of National Society representatives, external experts, IFRC and Solferino Academy team members will create the final selection.

When will I know if my application was successful?

We will inform candidates who made it to the longlist no later than 26 March with the request to return a statement of support for your NS. Solferino Academy will be able to help with this request.

After the subsequent second evaluation round, we will inform successful candidates no later than 10th April.

When does the programme start?

The fellowship runs from 1st May 2021 until 30 November 2021.

What is the expectation from me after the programme?

As soon as the fellowship ends, fellows will become Solferino certified and join a pool of senior fellows. Senior fellows will be connected in a network with peers, and have opportunities to act as coaches in next iterations of the programme.

Solferino Academy does not have any influence on the professional trajectory of the fellows in their respective organisations. Although we hope this fellowship can help people to carve out and follow their personal growth paths, it’s up to the fellow and their National Society to discuss and agree how the skills gained through this programme might help in their professional development.


What will the programme look like?

The fellowship will run for seven months, and cover four spheres of change: individual, team, organisation and network. Every month, the fellows will work in small teams on practical assignments related to designing and testing solutions at different levels. In addition, there will also be ‘insight sessions’, where contributors share their experiences on leading transformation in their journeys. At the end of the fellowship, we aim to bring the fellows together to work on final change projects that can be shared for feedback with the rest of the RCRC network. Throughout the programme, fellows will be supported by coaches, who will help the fellows to reflect, document and adapt where necessary their approaches through the process.

If you are not ready to be a FutureFellow (yet), but want to dedicate some of your time to helping Solferino Academy in driving innovation and transformation in our network, check out our opportunities for volunteering.

Join us