MSCFP fellowship programme tackles gender gap in nuclear field
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has awarded fellowships to 100 female students from around the world under the new funding initiative, known as The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP).
The MSCFP fellowship programme, is designed to close the gender gap in nuclear science and technology and increase the number of women in the nuclear field.
According to the 2015 UNESCO Science Report: Towards 2030, women now account for 53% of the world’s bachelor’s and master’s graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) indicating a clear need for more women in STEM fields.
This initiative is in line with efforts to support an inclusive workforce of both men and women who contribute to and drive global scientific and technological innovation.
Increasing the number of women in this and other STEM fields will not only do wonders for diversity in the field but also plug the skills shortage.
The fellowship programme received 550 applicants from more than 90 countries. The first 100 fellows in this round of funding originate from over 71 countries – representing a wide geographic balance.
According to the IAEA website, this “fellowship programme has so far drawn extra-budgetary funding pledges of over €5 million, indicating strong support from the IAEA Member States”.
Additionally, Canada, Finland, the European Union, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Poland, and the United States have all pledged money to the initiative.
Other countries such as China, France, Pakistan, and Russia have pledged in-kind contributions, for example by sponsoring students to attend universities in their respective countries.
The MSCFP fellowship programme “aims to inspire and encourage young women to pursue a career in nuclear science and technology, nuclear safety and security, or non-proliferation, by providing highly motivated and talented female students scholarships for Master’s programmes and an opportunity to pursue IAEA internships”.
The fellowship offers up to €10 000 per year to each student to cover tuition for a Master’s degree programme.
Additionally, recipients can expect to receive an additional €10 000 annually for living costs for a maximum study period of two years.
Fellows will also have an opportunity to undertake an internship, facilitated by the IAEA, in activities related to their field of study.
The next MSCFP application cycle is anticipated to be announced in the first quarter of 2021.