The life-changing impact of a Churchill Fellowship

The life-changing impact of a Churchill Fellowship

Today we are pleased to share the findings from our annual survey of Fellows, which highlights their continuing contribution to society. The survey demonstrated that Fellows’ projects benefit thousands of people directly and indirectly and that their findings are influencing national policy-making.

Anna de la Vega (right) is tackling food insecurity through organic food production and worm composting practicesDownload image
“The Fellowship really opened my eyes to possibility and made me more confident to take the lead and develop new projects and ideas.” - Fellow, 10 years after Fellowship research

84% of Fellows reported a direct impact on more than 20 people, 89% had an indirect effect on more than 100 people, whilst 54% have indirectly impacted more than 1,000 people. 40% of Fellows reported that their work had directly impacted on UK-wide policy development, while 52% had shared their research findings with policy makers. 25% of Fellows reported that they had obtained an influential position on an umbrella body, regulator or commission, as a result of their Fellowship.

“I presented at a national NHS workforce meeting during the pandemic lockdown explaining the risks and benefits my Fellowship research had revealed in healthcare systems during crisis. I have heard that my presentation and research on this helped shape the thinking of key strategic leaders in the NHS leadership.” - Fellow, one year after Fellowship research.

The survey demonstrates that the Fellowship made an enormous difference to Fellows’ lives and their careers. The Churchill Fellowship was described as a life changing experience by 88% of Fellows and 100% of Fellows would recommend the Fellowship to others.

Fellows’ entrepreneurial skills are also evident. 18% of Fellows reported that they had set up their own organisation and 25% of Fellows reported they had expanded their freelance or consultancy work, as a result of their Fellowship.

“Having visited different organisations around the world, I feel much more confident to say that doing things differently is possible, and that we can make different choices in how we run and fund services.” - Fellow, one year after Fellowship research

Other highlights include:

  • 87% report on the positive impact of the Fellowship on their confidence.
  • 75% report being more respected professionally.
  • 85% feel confident in their capacity to lead change.
  • 84% say they have increased their professional network.
  • 71% secured further research funding.

The survey was completed by 62 Fellows who finished their Fellowship travels one year, three years, five years or 10 years ago. It confirms the trends seen in our previous similar annual survey. When looking at the data collected in the surveys over the last five years, a consistent picture of the impact of the Fellowship on Fellows’ careers emerges. On average, 46% of Fellows reported that they were able to pursue further research, 33% reported securing a promotion or changing their existing role, and on average, 14% of Fellows reported setting up their own organisation.

The common mission of all Churchill Fellows is to develop new solutions for today’s key challenges, based on learning from the world. The results of this year’s survey show that Fellows are fulfilling this aim and are making a major difference across UK society as a result.