More women are needed in the nuclear field to ensure a balanced workforce, and the IAEA is working to achieve this. Following the third annual call for applications for the Agency’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Program (MSCFP) launched in 2020, 150 new students from around the world have been selected to receive fellowships under the initiative, which aims to increase the number of women developing careers in the various fields of nuclear science, medicine, engineering, safety, security and safeguards.
Attracting 522 applications from 97 IAEA Member States, the number of fellowships awarded in the latest round of applications is the largest yet. In 2020, at the start of the program, scholarships were awarded to 100 students. The new cohort is the third since the start of the program, rewarding 150 students.
“We are delighted that our program is growing, allowing us to recruit more and more students each year to help increase the number of women in the nuclear field,” said Maria Naydenova, IAEA MSCFP Project Manager. Within the new cohort, students from 91 countries are represented, including 18 countries for the first time. Fifty-eight percent are students from Asia and Africa, 15% from Latin America and the Caribbean, 21% from Europe, 4% from North America and 2% from Oceania.
The MSCFP provides financial support for tuition and living expenses, and the opportunity to undertake IAEA-facilitated internships to gain practical experience.
“The fields pursued by this year’s students cover a wide range, from nuclear energy to nuclear applications in medicine, agriculture, food and water security and the environment, as well as forensics, safeguards and nuclear security”, said Tatjana Jevremovic, MSCFP. Chairman of the technical selection committee at the IAEA. Of the 150 students, 64 are studying in fields related to nuclear applications, while 48 are continuing their training in the field of nuclear energy. Other areas of study include nuclear safety and security, nuclear law, and non-proliferation.
Since the launch of the MSCFP, 360 women pursuing master’s programs in nuclear-related studies have received scholarships. By the end of 2022, 100 MCSFP students had graduated with a master’s degree and pursued internships, doctoral studies, or employment. The IAEA and its partner organizations have hosted 53 courses to date.
In addition, students participated in IAEA events, such as the IAEA School of Nuclear Security, the International Conferences on Current Issues in Nuclear Installation Safety (TIC), and the International Safeguards Symposium. Last year, the IAEA also launched the LinkedIn group of students and alumni of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Program (MSCFP) to connect current students and graduates.
The next MSCFP application cycle is expected to open in July 2023.
The MSCFP is made possible through the support of contributions from Member States and IAEA partners. More details and information about the MSCFP program, including application information, student testimonials, and donor information, can be found here.