The International Atomic Energy Agency has awarded fellowships to the first group of 100 female students from around the world under a new initiative to help close the gender gap in nuclear science and technology.
The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Program, named after the pioneering physicist, was launched by IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in March to support women pursuing nuclear-related careers.
The nitty gritty: The fellowship offers up to €10,000 (about $12,000) per year to each student to cover tuition for a master’s degree program, plus up to a further €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 fellowship application cycle is anticipated to be announced in the first quarter of 2021.
Who they are: Out of more than 550 applicants from more than 90 countries, the first 100 fellows represent a wide geographic balance, coming from 71 different countries. Their studies focus on a wide range of nuclear-related subjects, from nuclear engineering to nuclear medicine, and from nuclear security to nonproliferation and nuclear law.
Who’s involved: The fellowship program has so far drawn extra-budgetary funding pledges of more than €5 million (about $6 million), indicating strong support from IAEA member states. Canada, Finland, the European Union, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Poland, and the United States have all pledged money to the initiative. China, France, Pakistan, and Russia have pledged in-kind contributions, for example, by sponsoring students to attend universities in their respective countries.