NEF Ambassadors Programme

NEF Ambassadors Programme

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 10-13 March 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya.


This round of selection is open to:

Equatorial Guinea

Central African Republic

• Lead NEF Africa Science Week, with the support of NEF staff and resources.

• Ambassadors 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.

  • 42 years of age or less as of 31.12.2019 (Born after 1 January 1977)
  • 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.

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

Call For Applications:

Apply to be a NEF Ambassador


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.


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.

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.

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 Gatherings event in Nairobi, Kenya from March 10 to 13, 2020 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.

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.

Meet our NEF Ambassadors