NEF Ambassadors

The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is working to build a targeted team of 54 young Ambassadors, one from each African country, to participate in the NEF Global Gathering 2016, champion African science, technology, engineering and mathematics globally and become part of the growing NEF community.

Application for the NEF Ambassador cohort of 2015/2016 is now closed. We have received over 300 applications that meet all requirements and will enter the next round of applications in the near future. If you are interested in the programme, please contact nefambassadors@nef.org.

NEF Country Ambassadors Benefits

  • Represent your country at NEF events.
  • Attend the prestigious, invitation-only NEF Global Gathering with all costs covered. The event will include Nobel Prize winners, heads of state and representatives from leading global corporations.
  • Participate in interviews, panels and the showcasing of research, NEF work and articles on science, social science and technology, among other events during/following the NEF Global Gathering.
  • Have the opportunity to network with other experts and NEF Fellows, as well as top scientists, social scientists and technology leaders from around the world.
  • Influence science, social science and technology policy through NEF articles and documents and share their own work.
  • Pitch your own projects and ideas to high profile NEF members and contribute to the establishment of a positive global view of science in Africa.

NEF Country Ambassadors Responsibilities

  • Act as NEF’s ambassador, representing one’s own country at NEF events.
  • Write original content and cross-post content for the NEF, including but not limited to blog articles, news updates on science in one’s local community, profiles of scientists in one’s community, and other activities to promote the NEF.
  • Actively promote the NEF to social media followers and regularly contribute ideas to the NEF team about ways to keep the online community informed and interested in the NEF.
  • Ambassadors should expect to spend a total of between 1 to 2 hours per week writing, editing, posting updates, news and articles related to science in Africa and the NEF, and conversing with NEF Fellows and the scientific community at large. The hours may increase during the week of the Global Gathering event.
  • Make presentations to students, audiences, special classes and events about the NEF and science in Africa.
  • Other responsibilities suggested and recommended by the Ambassadors.

Conditions of Eligibility

  • 42 years of age or less as of 31 December, 2015
  • Resident of an African country
  • A history of leadership and engagement in the community
  • Advanced studies or professional certificates, personal projects, demonstrated entrepreneurial achievements and similar – a Doctorate is not required
  • Applicants are encouraged from all fields of science, including basic sciences, STEM, health and social science fields
  • Demonstrated passion for raising Africa’s profile in science and/or social science
  • An active profile in the community of work/study and/or online including social media
  • Able to clearly communicate to an audience in English or French

 Selection Guidelines

  • Selection of Ambassadors from individual countries will be based on merit and upon submission of a written application, CV and two-minute video answering the personal statement questions below.
  • Qualification will be based on academic and leadership potential. Examples of notable achievements to be considered in the selection of a NEF Ambassador include:
    • Membership in professional associations/bodies
    • Leadership role in projects/activities/communities
    • Entrepreneurial activities
    • Articles/blogs/applications published
    • Prizes and other awards in high ranking bodies, academies, communities etc.
    • The type and number of invited talks at national, regional and international conferences
    • Past academic achievements and involvements
    • Volunteer and internship experience
  • The personal statement should address the following two questions:
    • What I want to learn from and share at the NEF Global Gathering?
    • What are at least three strategies I will use to share this knowledge with at least 20,000 people when I return to my country?

Selection Process

  • The selection will be done by a panel of eminent scientists including members of the NEF Scientific Programme Committee.
  • The selection process will aim for the following:
    • At least 40 percent of selected NEF Ambassadors are women
    • At most one NEF Ambassador from each African country

Application Process

  1. Do you have residence or hold a passport in one of the countries listed above? (Y/N)
  2. If the answer to #1 is Y (Yes), then email NEFAmbassadors@nef.org and express your interest in applying for the program, as well as the country of your residence and/or passport. If you meet the eligibility requirements, we will email you the application form and the Call for Application in English and French.
  3. For further questions, please email NEFAmbassadors@nef.org OR view the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What are some tips for submitting a successful application?

A: Each part of the application should be taken seriously. The main purpose of the written statement is to give us a sense of your writing and your ability to clearly and convincingly communicate your thoughts. Please put some time into revising and editing your statements. Also, make sure your written statements adhere to the word limit guidelines. The purpose of the 2-minute video is to give us a sense of who you are and your personality. First, please make sure your video is uploaded to Youtube and the setting on Youtube is set to public. Also, make sure that your Youtube link is included in your application form. It does not have to be professionally made, but it can be creative and should be polished and well done. We should get the impression that the applicant invested time in planning and making the video. Second, attach your CV to the end of the application form. The final document should include the application form and CV in ONE file. Applications that do not follow this format and naming convention will not be accepted. Third, follow the naming conventions specified here and in the Call for Applications, which we will send to your email. Your final application should be in PDF format and it should be labeled CountryofCitizenship – Lastname, Firstname Middlename. For example, Jane Lyon Doe from Mauritius would label her final PDF file as Mauritius – Doe, Jane Lyon

Q: What is the time commitment for the Ambassadors Program?

A: The program is designed to help NEF Ambassadors improve their profile and enhance their careers by promoting the NEF and through activities that provide significant exposure to leaders from around the world. The activities will benefit the Ambassadors. That said, some work is required. This amounts to a total of 1 to 2 hours per week writing, researching, editing, talking with scientists, and leading activities online and in the community to promote the NEF and science in Africa at large.

Q: Who should apply to the NEF Ambassadors Program?

A: While the Program is open to all, emerging scientific or technology leaders with a visible public profile and a passion to share information with the community are encouraged to apply. This opportunity will be attractive to anyone who is looking to work in science and technology, communications, policy and diplomacy.

Q: I’m outside the continent of Africa. Am I eligible to apply?

A:  Our requirement states that all Ambassadors must be residents of an African country. We believe that in order for Ambassadors to effectively do outreach events to promote the NEF and to write content on science and technology updates happening in their own communities, they must be located within and/or engaged in activities in the local community. Applicants who do not hold an African passport, but are considered residents or its equivalency in an African country will be considered. We also encourage anyone in the African Diaspora who spend a majority of their time in-country in 2016 to apply.

Q: Is this a paid opportunity?

A: As the NEF is not a for-profit operation, there will be no financial compensation offered with this opportunity. Ambassadors receive a ticket and paid travel expenses to the NEF Global Gathering event in Dakar, Senegal from March 8 to 10, 2016 as well as sound non-financial benefits from participation, including high-impact exposure to Nobel Prize winners, Heads of State and representatives from leading global corporations. Other benefits include mentorship opportunities from the Scientific Programme Committee members, the NEF Fellows, and our larger networks of scientists and leaders around the world.

Q: What is the editorial process for publishing articles for the NEF?

A: As a NEF Ambassador, you will work closely with the NEF team and expect to receive editorial guidance on the content, structure and flow of our pieces. It is not uncommon for articles, and even short pieces to go through several drafts before appearing on our platforms. This will only enhance your work and public profile.