BIOSECURITY DIPLOMACY WORKSHOP FOR YOUNG SCIENTISTS FROM
THE GLOBAL SOUTH
3rd Edition, 2022
The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) Geneva Branch and the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) are delighted to open the call for applications for the third edition of Biosecurity Diplomacy Workshop for Young Scientists from the Global South. The workshop is taking place in the framework of European Union Council Decision 2019/97/CFSP in support of the BWC.
The global norm against biological weapons cannot be maintained without youth voices being included in the multilateral discussions taking place in the framework of the BWC. As fast-paced innovation in biotechnologies raises global implications for biosecurity, the young scientists of today will be on the forefront of tomorrow’s collective and innovative global solutions. This vision was stated explicitly in the UN Secretary-General’s Disarmament Agenda “Securing Our Common Future”, in which youth participation is recognized as a pre-condition to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The workshop is an interactive training programme aiming at informing young scientists about their critical role in biosafety and biosecurity and bolstering global capacities against the misuse of biological agents. It will allow a new cohort of up to 30 future-oriented young biosecurity specialists from the Global South to reflect on how they envision an innovative and bio-secure future in connection with the BWC.
Finally, the workshop will seek to empower and motivate the youth group to promote sustainable change in their professional communities, in line with the BWC’s objectives.
With a view to harnessing the young scientists’ expertise for finding solutions to current biosecurity policy issues, the workshop will offer a space for dialogue between young scientists and BWC practitioners including diplomats and experts. The participants will be exposed to the multilateral biosecurity scene, at the crossroads between science and diplomacy, and to the challenge of transferring scientific know-how to BWC policymakers that could be utilized in diplomatic fora. In that regard, the workshop also aims at encouraging young scientists to take an active and forward-looking stance during the upcoming BWC Ninth Review Conference scheduled for August 2022 (please note that attendance at BWC official meetings is not part of the workshop).
Building on the “Youth for Biosecurity” alumni network and many partner institutions, the third cohort of young scientists will join a growing network of cross-disciplinary young biosecurity experts interested in contributing to multilateral diplomatic efforts to enhance effective biosecurity measures.
The workshop will be held virtually in February 2022 through a series on online sessions.
The workshop aims at immersing young biosecurity leaders into the practice of science diplomacy under the BWC. The main topics of the sessions, subject to further changes, will be i) The Biological Weapons Convention’s relevance and key provisions; ii) Science and Technology review under the Convention; iii) Dual-Use research of concern in life sciences; iv) Youth and women as forces for change in disarmament; v) Regional challenges for biosecurity in the Global South. Participants will also engage in interactive role-plays, peer-to-peer mentoring and networking with other networks of emerging biosecurity leaders.
The workshop is open to those who:
- are under the age of 40;
- are citizens of a low- or middle-income BWC State Party (for a full list of BWC States Parties, click here);
- have an advanced degree in the life sciences or a related discipline from a recognized university or institution;
- have backgrounds in other fields such as social sciences, but have a demonstrated interest in biosecurity and/or disarmament and non-proliferation; and
- have a strong command of written and spoken English, as the workshop will be fully conducted in English.
Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. The selection process will be guided by the need to ensure the highest quality of participants while maintaining a gender and regional balance.
HOW TO APPLY
The deadline to receive applications is 6 December 2021, midnight CET.
Applications will be carefully screened by an expert panel on the basis of the criteria specified above.
Applicants should fill in the application form accessible here and send the below documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
(a) curriculum vitae (maximum three pages);
(b) one-page description of your motivation to participate in the workshop;
(c) letter of recommendation from a senior member of your institution that addresses your qualifications and attests to the relevance of the workshop to the work of the institution; and
(d) digital image of the personal identification page of your passport or Identity document.
Incomplete or improperly filled-out application forms and applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
For any inquiries, please write to Mr. Rémi Bacouillard at email@example.com.