Fully Funded UNODA Youth for Biosecurity Fellowship 2024 | Apply Now

The 2024 United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) Youth for Biosecurity Fellowship is now accepting applications. This initiative, launched in 2019 as the Biosecurity Diplomacy Workshop held its inaugural fellowship in 2023. Building on this success, the fellowship is offering 20 young scientists from the Global South the opportunity to participate in an online interactive training program followed by a field visit during the BWC Working Group on the Strengthening of the Convention in Geneva.

Fully Funded UNODA Youth for Biosecurity Fellowship

The Fellowship offers a distinctive platform for learning and networking within the multilateral discussions of the Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva.

Objectives of the Fellowship

  • Enhancing expertise in biosecurity and disarmament to cultivate leadership skills.
  • Participating in discussions with seasoned experts and contributing to multilateral disarmament meetings.
  • Connecting with peers, joining an international youth network, and fostering dialogue between young scientists and BWC practitioners, including diplomats and experts.

Highlights of the program

The fellowship spans 3 months with minimal time commitments to accommodate fellows’ work or academic schedules. Key activities include:

  • An Online Biosecurity Diplomacy Workshop from June 5th to July 5th, 2024, featuring weekly sessions of two to three hours.
  • We are collaborating on a project throughout July 2024, culminating in a presentation at the BWC Working Group on Strengthening the Convention in August 2024.
  • Participating in an online briefing on the Working Group in July/August 2024.
  • A five-day field visit to Geneva from August 19th to 23rd, 2024, coinciding with the BWC Working Group meetings.

Fellowship Benefits

  • Fully funded trip to Geneva during the Working Group Meeting
  • One-month pre-Working Group online workshop
  • Small group interactions with experts in disarmament, biosecurity, biosafety, and health security
  • Networking opportunities with fellow young scientists, diplomats, experts, and international youth-driven networks
  • Inclusion in a growing network of early-career professionals in biosecurity.

Eligibility for the Fellowship

To be eligible, you must must:

  • Be under 35 years old
  • Be citizens of a low- or middle-income BWC State Party
  • Hold an advanced degree in life sciences or related fields
  • Demonstrate a strong command of written and spoken English
  • Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

As a Fellow, you must be committed to:

  • Participate in all online sessions and field visits
  • Active engagement in all Fellowship activities
  • Adequate preparation for sessions and discussions.

How to Apply for the Fellowship

The application process for the Youth for Biosecurity Fellowship follows a 4-step approach:

  • Understand the guidelines: Before you start the application process, you need to review the fellows’ expected commitments, workshop, and field visit dates. Ensure you have a clear understanding of what you’re signing up for. Fellows are responsible for securing relevant authorizations from their employers or universities.
  • Complete your application: Fill out the online application form thoroughly. You will provide the following documents in PDF format:
    • A concise curriculum vita (1-3 pages)
    • A recommendation letter from a qualified individual who can vouch for your qualifications
    • A copy of your passport (PDF, JPEG, or PNG)

Incomplete or incorrectly filled-out application forms will not be considered. Suppose you need additional time to obtain a recommendation letter. In that case, you can submit your application without it and send it separately to remi.bacouillard@un.org, specifying “Y4B Fellowship” and your name in the subject line. Note that all candidates must provide a recommendation letter to be eligible.

  • Selection process: The Youth for Biosecurity Fellowship is a competitive program. The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs will establish a shortlist of candidates based on eligibility criteria, ensuring geographical and gender balance. An international jury then reviews all shortlisted applications. Selection criteria include demonstrated interest and experience in biosecurity, biosafety, youth advocacy, and disarmament and non-proliferation.
  • Notification of results: Candidates will receive an email notification of their application status approximately one month after the deadline. Successful candidates will have one week to confirm their interest and availability to participate in the Fellowship.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is April 5, 2024.

To start the application click here. For more information, visit the Youth for Biosecurity Fellowship.

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