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Applications Open for the 2023 IAEA Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme


Josephine Nikhula, an MSCFP recipient from Malawi and a 2022 intern at the Dosimetry and Medical Radiation Physics Section, IAEA Division of Human Health in Vienna, Austria. (Photo: Josephine Nikhula)

The fourth application cycle of the IAEA’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP) is now open. Women interested in studying nuclear related subjects are encouraged to apply by 30 September 2023. Interested applicants can find more information on how to apply here.  This year, the MSCFP is expected to award 200 students scholarships, which is the highest number per cycle to date.

Named after the pioneering physicist and twice Nobel Prize laureate, Marie Sklodowska-Curie, the MSCFP encourages women to enter and pursue careers in the nuclear field by providing scholarships for tuition and living costs along with internship opportunities. In addition, students also benefit from networking opportunities at technical events and through the MSCFP Students and Alumnae group.  By reducing this financial burden, the programme further motivates young women to complete advanced studies in the chosen nuclear disciplines. As the programme covers all IAEA Member States, it contributes to global gender parity in the nuclear field.

Amelia Jansen van Vuuren, an MSCFP recipient from South Africa, working as an intern at the Radiation Biophysics Division of National Research Foundation, iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Amelia Jansen van Vuuren)

Since the launch of the MSCFP in 2020, the scholarships have been awarded to 360 women from 110 Member States studying in 65 countries across the world. As of April 2023, 110 students had completed their master’s studies, the majority of whom had also received placements in internships facilitated by the IAEA. These internships are either hosted by the IAEA at its headquarters or laboratories, or at IAEA Collaborating Centres and other partner organizations.

“The MSCFP will help more women enhance their education in nuclear related fields, which is very important for present and future generations; 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,” said Carolina Gutierrez Bolanos, an MSCFP recipient from Mexico.

The MSCFP awards scholarships to students from around the world

Geographical distribution by region of MSCFP recipients as of April 2023. (Image: Ritu Kenn/IAEA)

More than a third of students have opted for master’s in nuclear sciences and applications, while the second most popular subject for students is nuclear energy, followed by nuclear safety, nuclear security, safeguards and non-proliferation, as well as nuclear law.

Carolina Gutierrez Bolanos, an MSCFP recipient from Mexico, working as an intern at the Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A., an IAEA Collaborating Centre, in Trieste, Italy. (Photo: Carolina Gutierrez Bolanos)

After completing the programme, some recipients have continued on to PhD studies while others have started their careers. Maryam Zarei, an MSCFP recipient from Iran, secured her PhD position thanks in part to MSCFP.

"MSCFP was a game-changer for my academic journey, providing me with the necessary resources and support to delve deep into my research and produce scientific papers in the field of medical radiation. My internship at the radiation protection of patients (RPOP) unit at the IAEA not only intensified my dedication to medical physics but also revealed new avenues for advancement. Being in close proximity to the experts at the IAEA guided my academic journey and boosted my confidence as I demonstrated my skills, ultimately leading to securing a highly desired PhD position," Zarei said.

The MSCFP is supported by contributions from IAEA Member States and partners. More information on the programme, including facts and figures, testimonials, donors and programme components can be found here.

The MSCFP is only open to applicants pursuing master’s studies. Eligible early- and mid-career women professionals interested in career development opportunities can consider applying to the Lise Meitner Programme.

Last update: 18 Jul 2023

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