The Global Science Diplomacy (GSD) program will harness the interest by students in higher education STEM, sustainability and environmental programs in science diplomacy through a formal internship (or fellowship) program, satisfying capacity needs for research assistance by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Global Environmental Outlook (GEO).
Based on a pilot initiative by the Global Council for Science and the Environment (GCSE) and the GEO Directorate during the academic year 2020-2021 which included 10 students from different universities across the United States, GCSE has identified a clear opportunity to scale the program to engage more students not only in the US, but from other countries via member universities. The Global Science Diplomacy program will provide a structured learning opportunity to students in STEM, sustainability and environmental science, that exposes them to multilateralism and the use of science for actionable knowledge. Masters and Ph.D. students at member institutions will be invited to apply.
The program structure will include:
- Nine-month program
- Monthly educational sessions for students provided by GlobalSTEM; attendance required
- Monthly check-in calls with the GCSE GSD program lead to ensure experience, program and work is consistent, supported by the UNEP lead, and productive
- Participation in the GCSE GSD Student Network to connect students with each other and form a sustained community of STEM, sustainability and environmental science scholars who understand through the GSD the importance and processes of multilateralism and science diplomacy
- Provide students with concrete opportunities and experiences through internships and fellowships focused on the role of science to inform environmental decision making in a multilateral context
- Teach participating students more about the United Nations, and specifically the UN Environment Programme and the Global Environmental Outlook
- Demonstrate how global environmental assessments like the GEO can be used to inform decision making at all levels of government and across sectors, as well as support research
- Convene and support a cohort of students through the GSD who build relationships through the year
- Establish a GSD alumni network to ensure sustained connection and engagement by participating students long beyond the year of participation
- Recognize students who complete the nine-month program with a certificate of completion
During the 2021-2022 year, GCSE and GlobalSTEM aim to engage 20 students in the program including undergraduates, graduates and postdocs depending on the research and technical support needs of GEO and UNEP. Each student will be paired with a UNEP lead. Every student will be required to participate in monthly calls co-organized and led by GCSE and GlobalSTEM.