Call for Applicants: Inclusive Science Leadership Program for Early- and Mid-Career Researchers in APEC

In recognition of the role that research plays in sustaining economic growth and societal well-being in the region, many economies in APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) have made significant investments to enhance their science and technological capacity. Young researchers play an important role in the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) landscape in APEC. Besides possessing relevant expertise and experience, they are flexible to adapt to the rapid changing nature of STI and are at the most productive phase of their career. Young scientists are also future leaders who can influence relevant policies and the implementation of STI to effectively address societal needs. Unfortunately, the participation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics remains low in many APEC economies; especially in leadership roles. Based on the available data of the APEC Women and The Economy Dashboard 2017, it is clear that women are still the minority in many STEM fields, including research and development. Female graduates in science programs represented less than 50 percent of the graduates in all 12 economies between 2013 and 2015. Once graduated, the opportunities to get trained and gain leadership positions after the successful completion of their PhD are often limited. The Inclusive Science Leadership Program for Early-and Mid-Career Researchers in APEC is designed to support the goal of increasing women participation in leadership positions at all levels of decision-making by equipping them with necessary skills and networking opportunities to realize their potential as future leaders in their respective economies and the region.

In line with the APEC 2020 theme of optimizing human potential towards a future of shared prosperity, the Inclusive Science Leadership Program for Early- and Mid-Career Researchers in APEC 2020 aims to enhance the leadership capacity of early- and mid-career researchers; in particular amongst women researchers in the region. Sustainable and inclusive leadership is essential for ensuring the innovative capacity of scientific talent in APEC. A series of six 3-hour workshops will be organized via an online platform from 2-5 March 2021. The program will focus on women researchers from across all disciplines with 5-10 years post-PhD experience. The participants will acquire skill sets and competencies that will enable them to respond to emerging challenges in the region and to support the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth (2019-2030) as well as the APEC Women in STEM Principles and Actions 2019. The participants will also be tasked to develop and execute thematic group projects that romote collective leadership as well as identify and overcome challenges that are inhibiting the inclusive advancement of earlyand mid-career researchers in APEC. All participants will be invited to report their group project progress report(s) at the 2nd workshop on 23-24 March 2021. The winning team will have an opportunity to present the results of their completed project(s) and share their experiences at the APEC Meeting in 2022 in Thailand. Seed funding may be available subject to the outcome and output of the project.

The objectives of the Inclusive Science Leadership Program for Early- and Mid-Career Researchers in APEC 2020 include to:

  • build capacity in inclusive leadership amongst early- and mid-career researchers; in particular women through a series of workshops that will better support the PPSTI Priorities on the Inclusivity in Science to promote social inclusion and gender equality in science; the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth (2019-2030); the APEC Women in STEM Principles and Actions 2019 and the PPWE Strategic Plan 2019-2020;
  • design thematic group projects that correspond to the priorities/pillars of the PPSTI and PPWE such as policies to improve access of women to leadership positions in all levels of decision making; and women’s education, training, and skills development;
  • promote international scientific and innovation cooperation that involve interdisciplinary collaboration; and
  • support a shift in the research process that encourages more and improved interactions between scientists, entrepreneurs, policy decision makers and relevant stakeholders in society.

Format of the Training
The Inclusive Science Leadership Program for Early- and Mid-Career Researchers in APEC will be conducted via an online platform. This is a certified training that involves robust participation in a total of six 3-hour workshops over two periods in March 2021. The workshops will be run by professional facilitators with extensive experiences in running regional leadership programmes in Africa, ASEAN, and Latin America respectively. We expect to run these workshops on the following dates (2-5 March and 23-24 March). To be eligible to receive a certificate of participation, a minimum requirement of 80% workshop attendance is required including successful completion of relevant assignments.

Selection Criteria
The program is open to all APEC economies. The target participants are early-to mid-career researchers, in particular women, 5-10 years after successful completing their PhD; from, but not limited to, Higher Education Institutions, Research and Development Institutes and private sector. Selection will be based on a formal application, including a CV. The excellence of the selected participants will be reviewed based on the factors including but not limited to research excellence, vision, and commitment to science, women, economy, and societal community. Candidates should have an underlying and demonstrable capacity as leaders. The purpose of the training is to enhance this capacity rather than basic skill training. At a maximum, the programme can take up to 42 participants (two quota/APEC economy). This Call for Applicants will be distributed via the PPSTI Working Group and the network of National Young Academies in the respective economies in the region.

The Selection Committee seeks to identify, select, and recognise young APEC researchers in all disciplines of sciences including engineering, natural sciences, medicine, social sciences, arts, and the humanities as APEC SLP Young Researchers Fellows. To promote transparency and equality, a maximum of two fellowships will be available for each APEC economy.

As of the 1st of February 2021, the applicant (preferably females) must:

  • be an APEC national; i.e. holding citizenship in one of the APEC member economies
  • be ≤ 45 years old
  • be an individual who has demonstrated excellent research track and interest in women and economy
  • possess expertise in any field of sciences
  • currently residing in one of the APEC member economies

Beyond research excellence, candidates should also be able to show an on-going commitment to service or delivering practical benefit from their work. Successful applicants are expected to demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • A continuing research/academic position at a research institute, institution of higher learning, or industry;
  • A sustained record of outstanding scientific output;
  • Interest in translating and communicating the results of their work to create impact in society;
  • Demonstrate leadership ability in research and beyond;
  • Interest in collaborations across disciplines and sectors (e.g. industry, government, etc.);
  • Commitment towards engaging in the activities of the fellowship; and
  • Intent to share what is learned in the programme with their broader networks.

All applicants have to provide the name of at least one referee whom we could contact. (Details are provided in the APEC SLP Young Researchers Fellowship Application Form). The referee should note their willingness towards supporting the fellow’s professional development and their emerging role in promoting women and economy in APEC region.

Deadline of applications is on the 1st of February 2021.
Please scan for application form

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