Exciting Global South Opportunity: Apply for the Fully-funded 2024 United Nations Youth Biosecurity Fellowship, Switzerland for Young Leaders from the Global South

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The importance of engaging youth voices in global discussions, particularly concerning the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), cannot be overstated. Recognizing this, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in Geneva, in collaboration with key international partners, is proud to announce the Youth for Biosecurity Fellowship. This fellowship offers a unique opportunity for the next generation of biosecurity leaders from the Global South to participate in online interactive training and a field visit in Geneva, Switzerland.

About the Fellowship

The Youth for Biosecurity Fellowship is designed to integrate youth perspectives into multilateral discussions within the framework of the BWC. Launched in 2019 as the Biosecurity Diplomacy Workshop, the initiative has evolved to provide a comprehensive learning and networking experience. In 2023, the fellowship hosted its inaugural session, and it continues to expand its reach.

Objectives of the Fellowship

The fellowship aims to:

  1. Learn & Lead: Deepen participants’ expertise in biosecurity and disarmament to cultivate leadership skills.
  2. Think & Act: Engage in discussions with senior experts and contribute to multilateral disarmament meetings.
  3. Engage with Community: Connect with peers, join an international youth network, and foster dialogue between young scientists and BWC practitioners.

Eligibility and Application

Prospective fellows must:

  • Be under the age of 35.
  • Be citizens of low- or middle-income BWC State Parties.
  • Hold an advanced degree in life sciences or related fields.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in English.

Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply, and the selection process prioritizes gender and regional balance.

Link to application page

Program Overview

The fellowship spans three months and includes:

  • An Online Biosecurity Diplomacy Workshop (June 5 – July 5, 2024).
  • Collaborative projects and online briefings in July/August 2024.
  • A five-day field visit to Geneva (August 19 – 23, 2024) during BWC Working Group meetings.

Fellowship Benefits

Fellows will receive:

  • Fully funded travel to Geneva.
  • Mentorship from leading experts.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Membership in a growing network of biosecurity professionals.

Testimonials and FAQs

The fellowship has garnered positive feedback from alumni, highlighting its impact and value. FAQs address common queries regarding eligibility, commitments, and visa requirements.

Fellowship Partners

The UNODA collaborates with established organizations like the IFBA Global Mentorship Programme and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Fellowship, among others, to enrich the fellowship experience.


The Youth for Biosecurity Fellowship offers a platform for young leaders to contribute meaningfully to global biosecurity efforts. By empowering the next generation, this initiative fosters innovation, collaboration, and long-term engagement in the fight against biological threats.

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