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 receive a certificate of participation.

The first 'Rising Stars' workshop

The inaugural NEA Global Forum Rising Stars Workshop in Nuclear Education, Science, Technology and Policy took place on 20-21 September at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States. The workshop offered professional development, panel talks and networking opportunities for female rising stars in science, technology, education and policy.

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Participants of the first 'Rising Stars' workshop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States

Ayame Hirasawa, one of the participants at the 'Rising Stars' workshop shared her experience about attending the event:

Throughout the workshop, I could enjoy rich and diverse conversations with talented researchers from around the world, as well as numerous conversations with experienced mentors, organisers, and visitors from the Nuclear Technology Faculty. It was a precious occasion to have interdisciplinary interactions from the natural science field of studies. The Global Rising Stars programme is also planning to provide us with multiple post-event gatherings and a more connected, sustainable chain of relationships among participants. I am excited to follow everyone’s paths from now on and hear about their achievements and updates in the future.

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Ayame Hirasawa, 'Rising Stars' participant and William D. Magwood, IV, NEA Director-General

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