Fellowship Program

Supporting education is one of the priorities of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation and an important part of its strategic work to form a community of creative leaders and to consolidate their efforts in solving holistic social problems. Since 1999, the Foundation has been implementing charitable educational programs for talented students and professors of leading universities in Russia.

Vladimir Potanin Fellowship Program unites professionals from the field of higher education and related fields who are ready to contribute to the development of society and ensure sustainable change. Common principles and values are the basis for the joint initiatives of the Program participants — specialists and organizations.

The Program involves the active interaction of the Foundation with partners and grantees. We create a favorable environment to unleash the creative capabilities, to develop creative thinking, to expand professional and creative opportunities, to search and scale up the best experience in tackling significant objectives of our society.


Our goals:

  • To develop an educational environment that supports the values of knowledge, professionalism, creativity and volunteerism.

  • To create a community of leaders in various fields of knowledge that can ensure positive social changes and bear personal responsibility for the result.

  • To ensure the inclusion of the Russian educational community and future university alumni in the multicultural landscape.

  • To expand the domestic market for the professions of the future and the training system for sought-after professionals for that market.

  • To strengthen partnerships between all educational process participants for scaling up joint initiatives and increasing their effectiveness.

  • To provide the participants with the environment and resources for the development of skills, professional growth, the realization of creative and leadership potential.


Expected Outcomes:

The program will help Russian universities and their partners expand the range of educational models and practices for students and professors by supporting multidisciplinary and intersectoral partnerships, academic mobility, the organization of professional dialogue and flexible social skills, which are essential for developing the economy of the future.

The development of the Program will help increase the status of Russian universities and their effective integration into the international educational and social space. It will also provide the university alumni with new opportunities for scientific and professional fulfilment. 

For this, the Program pays equal attention to the development of academic knowledge of the participants in subject areas and the formation of social skills essential for career growth, competitiveness on the labor market, and answers to social challenges:

  • Teamwork and personal example;

  • Resource mobilization;

  • Strategic vision;

  • Systemic thinking;

  • Cross functional communication skills;

  • Creation of partnerships;

  • Transfer of experience and knowledge.



Program Activities:

  • Olympic Scholarships competition. Making grant to Russian International Olympic University to support students of the English language program on Sports Administration. The grant is awarded on the annual basis once a year. Fellows are selected internationally on the competitive basis. Up to 20 students from all over the world to be selected annually. Then duration of the scholarship is 9 months. And also making grants to internationally recognized scholars to teach at the Russian International Olympic University. Grants are awarded annually on the competitive basis in partnership with Russian International Olympic University.

  • Fellowship Competition for Master's Students. Making scholarships to first and second year graduate students in full-time education from 75 leading Russian universities to empower them to take the leadership roles in professional life and society. Fellows are selected by independent experts through the open call competition based on their academic, professional and leadership qualifications. Competition is taking place annually once a year. The competition cycle includes: information dissemination and promotion, online application, two-step review process. Total number of fellows to be selected each year – 750. The fellowship duration: minimum - 6 months, maximum – 18 months. Monthly scholarship – 25 000 rubles.

  • Master's Program Faculty Grant Competition. Making grants to university professors from 75 leading Russian universities to empower them to take leadership roles in academic, professional life and society. Fellows are selected be independent experts through the open call competition based on their professional and leadership qualifications. Competition is taken place annually once a year. The competition cycle includes: information dissemination and promotion, online application, review process. The grants awarded are aimed to support development of new MA programs and courses, including online programs and courses, programs and courses to be taught on foreign languages. Total number of grants to be awarded each year – 150. The grant duration: up to 12 months. Maximum grant amount – 500 000 rubles.

  • Practices of Individual Giving & Volunteering. Making grants to individuals, which won in grant competitions of Fellowship Program of all years, to realize social projects.

  • Organizing and supporting annual gathering of Fellows – Foundation school – to develop their social skills though working together in socially significant projects. The total number of participants of each school – up to 350 people. The Foundation School is organized once a year on the annual basis to the winners of the Fellowship Program.

  • Organizing and supporting annual conference to discuss issues related to the development of MA programs in Russia in partnership with one of the leading Russian universities. Conferences brings together university professors, educators, researchers, university administrators. The total number of participants – about 150 people. Conference duration – 3 days. Conference results are published to be available to the educational community.

  • Ranking of 75 leading Russian universities participating in the Program to provide an aggregate evaluation of the interests and achievements of students and professors of each participating university, to assess the educational environment in the participating universities. Ranking is conducted once a year as an end of the cycle. The Foundation has developed the unique methodology that is reviewed annually to make necessary modifications.

  • Making grants to support research that is aimed to help to develop graduate education in Russia. Grants are awarded on the rolling basis to research groups that represent educational and research institutions. 2-3 grants to be awarded each year. Publication of research results on the Foundation website, specialized journals and magazines to make them accessible to the public and professional communities.

  • Making grant to Moscow State Institute for International Relations to support international mobility of graduate students and traineeships at Russian diplomatic missions and international organizations. Grant is awarded annually to support up to 80 students. The international mobility of MGIMO students is supported in partnership with Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

  • Organizing roundtables, discussions, online conferences, workshops, publications on the key educational issues, development of social skills, improving quality of teaching, etc.

Success Stories

  • Aberdeen Sean Allister

    In Sochi he received his MSA diploma with honors, visited Moscow during an opening of the “Luzhniki” stadium after its reconstruction, had a successful practice with the football school “Junior” in Kazan city

  • Adhiambo Sarah Susan

    Susan has a number of achievements in a big tennis. During her studies in the RIOU, Susan visited national tennis centre in Moscow and managed to establish contacts with the Russian Tennis Federation.