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IAEA Awards 150 Women Marie Skłodowska-Curie Scholarships

Recipients of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP) learnt about radiation detection instruments and measurements at the International School on Nuclear Security in November 2021. (Photo: A. Tarhi/IAEA)

More women are needed in the nuclear field to ensure a balanced workforce, and the IAEA is working to help achieve this. Following the third annual call for applications for the Agency’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP) launched in 2020, 150 new students from around the world have been selected to receive scholarships under the initiative, which seeks to boost the number of women developing careers in the various nuclear scientific, medical, engineering, safety, security and safeguards fields.

Attracting 522 applications from 97 IAEA Member States, the number of awarded scholarships in the latest round of applicants is the largest yet. In 2020, at the programme’s start, scholarships were awarded to 100 students. The new cohort is the third since the programme began, awarding 150 students. 

“We are pleased that our programme is expanding, enabling 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 per cent make up students from Asia and Africa, 15 per cent from Latin America and the Caribbean, 21 per cent from Europe, 4 per cent from North America and 2 per cent from Oceania.

The MSCFP provides financial support towards tuition and living costs, and an opportunity to undertake internships facilitated by the IAEA to gain practical experience.

“The areas pursued by this year’s students cover a broad range, from nuclear power to nuclear applications in medicine, agriculture, food and water safety, and the environment, as well as in forensics, safeguards and nuclear security,” said Tatjana Jevremovic, MSCFP Technical Selection Committee Chair at the IAEA. Of the 150 students, 64 are studying in fields related to nuclear applications, while 48 are furthering their education in the area 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 programmes in nuclear-related studies have been awarded scholarships. By the end of 2022, 100 MCSFP students had graduated from their Master’s programmes and have continued on to internships, PhD studies or employment. The IAEA and its partner organizations have hosted 53 internships so far.

Additionally, students have taken part in IAEA events, such as the IAEA School on Nuclear Security, International Conferences on Topical Issues in Nuclear Installation Safety (TIC) and the Symposium on International Safeguards. Last year, the IAEA also launched the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP) Students and Alumni LinkedIn Group to link current students and graduates.

The next MSCFP application cycle is expected to open in July 2023.

The MSCFP is made possible with the support of contributions from IAEA Member States and partners. More details and information about the MSCFP programme, including application information, student testimonials and donor information, can be found here.

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