Cumberland Lodge is currently seeking applications from international postgraduate students based in the UK to join its Emerging International Leaders programme for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Launched in 2014, the programme supports 50 high-potential students drawn from the Chevening and Commonwealth Scholarship schemes each year, from universities across the UK.

The successful candidates participate in three residential retreats at Cumberland Lodge, where they have the chance to engage in multi-disciplinary discussions with people from a range of backgrounds, both professional and personal, on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB). This is delivered through a mix of lectures, workshops and peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

Residential retreats

The programme takes the form of three residential retreats in Windsor Great Park, spread throughout the academic year:

  • 13-15 December 2019
  • 24-26 January 2020
  • 3-5 April 2020

Participants examine topics such as: the role of religion in the public sphere, religious literacy and inter-faith dialogue, and practical responses to violations of FoRB around the world.

They also have the chance to visit different places of worship and to work collaboratively on practical responses to human rights violations.

Personal development

The goal of the programme is to empower international students to become advocates of human rights and impart them with the necessary skills and insight to drive debate, influence policy and build a powerful global network around FoRB.

At the end of each year, there is a graduation ceremony where students are awarded a certificate of completion.

Former participants continue to network and collaborate through our growing network of alumni, which links universities and countries from all over the world. 

'A rich intellectual space'

Khyati Tripathi, a Commonwealth Scholar from India who took part in our 2016-17 Emerging International Leaders programme, said: ‘The programme provided a rich intellectual space and knowledge with which to absorb and debate the intricacies of freedom of religion or belief around the world. We were provided with a safe space for unsafe conversations at Cumberland Lodge.

'The participants were from all over the world and each of us had our own set of ideas and perceptions, which initiated some thought-provoking discussions.’


Further information about our Emerging International Leaders programme, and details of how to apply, can be found here.

Please note that this programme is only available to postgraduate students who are based at UK universities and recipients of existing Chevening or Commonwealth Scholarship awards.

Applications for the 2019-20 cohort close on Friday 18 October 2019.