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NEF Ambassadors Programme

The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is working to build a targeted team of 54 young Ambassadors, one from each African country.


NEF Ambassadors are the NEF’s young science and technology champions, one from each African country. NEF Ambassadors, who are all under 42 years, drive the NEF’s local public engagement activities while growing their own careers through the NEF’s partnerships that offer opportunities for mentorship and collaborations with established researchers.

In particular, the NEF Ambassadors attend the biennial NEF Global Gatherings. The next NEF Global Gathering will be held in 26-28 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.

This round of selection is open to: 

Angola, Djibouti, Tunisia, South Sudan, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho, Central African Republic and Guinea Bissau.

Other Ambassador benefits include:

  • Leading NEF Africa Science Week, with the support of NEF staff and resources.
  • Ambassadors will receive significant exposure to the NEF readership community.
  • Have the opportunity to network with other experts and NEF Ambassadors and NEF Fellows, as well as top scientists, social scientists and technology leaders from around the world.
  • Have the opportunity to influence science, social science and technology policy through NEF articles and documents and share their own work.
  • Get the chance to pitch their own projects and ideas to high profile NEF members and contribute to the establishment of a positive global view of science in Africa.

Conditions of Eligibility:

  • 42 years of age or less as of 31.12.2017 (Born after 1 January 1975)
  • Resident/citizen of an African country with a history of leadership and engagement in the residing community
  • Advanced studies or professional certificates, personal projects, demonstrated entrepreneurial achievements and similar – a PhD is not required
  • Applicants are encouraged from all fields of science, including basic sciences, STEM, health and social science fields.
  • Outstanding writing and keen critical thinking capabilities, and be comfortable working in a collaborative environment.
  • Demonstrated passion for raising Africa’s profile in science and/or social science
  • Having 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 Process:

The selection will be done by a panel of eminent scientists including members of the NEF Scientific Programme Committee (SPC).

The selection process will aim for the following:

  • At least 40% of selected NEF Ambassadors are women
  • At most one NEF Ambassador from each African country

The selection process will take into account the following criteria:

  • (20%) Advanced studies or professional certificates, personal projects, demonstrated entrepreneurial achievements and similar – a PhD is not required
    • Outstanding academic qualifications, as measured by the standards of the particular academic discipline. Examples of notable achievements include:
      • Publication record
      • Prizes and other awards, such as especially distinguished fellowships or memberships in prestigious academic circles (for example, in high-ranking committees, bodies, academies, etc.)
      • Independently raised funding from outside sources in a competitive process
      • Number of patents
      • The type and number of invited talks at international conferences
    • (20%) Demonstrated passion for promoting the sciences, including science, technology, engineering, mathematics or social science in Africa
    • (20%) Outstanding writing and keen critical thinking capabilities, and be comfortable working in a collaborative environment and the ability to clearly communicate to an audience in English or French
    • (30%): You must have an active presence either on one of the social media channels or in a reputable organization in your community. This criteria involves having a strong audience and consistent engagement with your followers.
    • (10%) Other distinctive characteristics

Download NEF Ambassador Call for Applications   ENG    FRA

Download NEF Ambassador Application Form        ENG    FRA

Deadline: Rolling basis until countries listed above filled 

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.