The NEA Global Forum Rising Stars Programme
Photo: ThisisEngineering RAEng/Unsplash

Over the years, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) has worked to increase direct engagement with academic institutions that are responsible for developing the next generation of nuclear science and technology experts. In 2021, the NEA established the Global Forum on Nuclear Education, Science, Technology and Policy in partnership with academia to provide a platform for sustained co-operation amongst academic institutions, policy makers and key stakeholders in the nuclear energy sector and civil society.

As part of the NEA Global Forum, the Rising Stars Programme puts the weight of the Agency and the Global Forum’s academic institutions behind efforts to build new pipelines that improve gender balance in the nuclear field. It does this by connecting participants with resources, people, and support that helps to welcome and integrate them into the global nuclear community.

Mission and objectives

The Global Forum Rising Stars Programme’s mission is to reach within the nuclear field, adjacent disciplines, and beyond to welcome female rising stars in science, technology, education and policy into the global nuclear community. The programme achieves these goals through an annual workshop and additional activities to:

  • Offer professional development and resume-building opportunities for female undergraduate, graduate and postgraduates in the nuclear and nuclear-adjacent fields;
  • Introduce participants to mentors and advocates who can discuss strategies and opportunities and help with navigating career paths in the nuclear field; and
  • Create cohort groups that provide opportunities for peer-to-peer networking and support that can last an entire career.

Programme activities

The programme is organised as an annual event, the NEA Global Forum Rising Stars Workshop in Nuclear Education, Science, Technology and Policy. This is a multi-day workshop with a series of activities, including panel talks by experts and networking opportunities for the participants.

The annual workshop features:

  • Keynote and plenary speakers
  • Invited talks by selected participants
  • Poster session for all participants
  • Awards for the best posters
  • Career development panels
  • Networking opportunities

All attendees will receive a certificate of participation.


The inaugural ‘Rising Stars’ workshop will be hosted by the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on 20-21 September 2023. It will be held in person in Cambridge, Massachusetts (United States).

Each department head or academic programme head may nominate one female ‘Rising Star’ from their department or programme for the workshop. Universities need not be Global Forum members or be located in the United States to nominate a candidate. Nominees may be undergraduate students, graduate students, or early career postdoctoral scholars.

The nomination package consists of four elements:

  • 1-page letter of support from the department or programme head
  • 1-page statement of purpose from the nominee
  • Nominee's CV or resume
  • Proposed title and abstract for the presentation (noting if a poster or talk is preferred).

The nomination package should be sent as a single pdf to the e-mail address with the name of the file as: “nominee’s_family_name_Rising_Stars_2023.pdf”

The nomination deadline is 1 June 2023.

Travel funds for all selected participants, including those outside the United States, will be provided by the Rising Stars Programme for the 2023 workshop (self-funding is not required).

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