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Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme: Internship Opportunities and Motivational Stories from the First Graduates


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme hybrid event featuring panelists and audience at the IAEA in Vienna. (Photo: A. Tarhi/IAEA)

Already in its second year, the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP) is open for applications until the end of September. Today’s event organized on the sidelines of the 65th General Conference featured some of the first graduates and briefed the audience on the status and prospects of the programme.

The hybrid event provided the opportunity for interested people worldwide to attend it virtually, as well as in-person, for those physically present at the headquarters of the IAEA this week.

The fellowship programme aims to inspire and encourage women to pursue a career in the nuclear field, by providing scholarships for master’s programmes and an opportunity to pursue internships related to their field of study, facilitated by the IAEA. Member States and non-governmental organizations have supported the programme with financial and in-kind contributions. The scholarship is made up of up to 20,000 euros for tuition and up to 20,000 euros towards living costs for a typically two-year master’s programme.

Starting this year, the number of young women awarded a scholarship will increase from 100 to 110, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi announced last week.

The internship component of the programme places successful graduates as interns at the IAEA or with IAEA partner organizations or industry players whose focus aligns with the students’ career plans and interests. “Internships at partner institutions, such as IAEA Collaborating Centres, allow graduates to gain hands-on experience at a relevant institution precisely in their particular field of study,” said MSCFP Project Manager Maria Naydenova.

Twenty-nine students are expected to graduate from the programme by the end of this year. The first interns will be hosted at the IAEA and outside organizations starting from October 2021 onwards.

During their maximum 12-month long internships, students will receive a monthly stipend of up to 1000 euros.

While the programme has secured contributions of over 7.2 million euros, continuous funding is needed to ensure sustainable operations after the initial years, she said.  

Meet the graduates

At the event, two graduates shared their experience and the impact of the programme on their studies and careers.

Inna Rodina, from Russia, completed her master’s programme in non-proliferation and terrorism at the US Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in the United States. She will start her internship at IAEA headquarters in Vienna in the beginning of 2022.

“Contributing to the IAEA has been my dream for many years, and the programme helped me make it a reality,” she said.

Carolina Gutierrez Bolanos from Mexico has been studying material sciences employing synchroton radiation at large scale facilities at the University of Munich in Germany. She will start her internship in January at the Elettra Synchroton, an IAEA collaborating centre in Trieste, Italy. She collaborated with the centre during her master’s studies and conducted part of her research at their lab in Trieste before finalizing her thesis. During her internship, she will study the properties of various materials under different wavelengths of synchrotron radiation for energy-related applications as well as memory storage.

“The MSCFP programme will help more women enhance their education in nuclear-related fields, which is very important for present and future generations,” said Gutierrez Bolanos. “We need to keep working together, women and men, to create opportunities for a more balanced workforce in nuclear. Both men and women’s creativity are needed to improve research in many scientific areas.”

The recording of the event can be accessed here: International Atomic Energy Agency WebEx Enterprise Site - Replay Recorded Meeting

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