Home Fellowships Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme 2023/2023

Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme 2023/2023

Deadline: March 26, 2023

Applications are open for the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme 2023-2025. The Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme takes an integrated approach to the development of the personal capacity of early-career conservation professionals from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The programme puts high-potential individuals into the centre of capacity development, while closely cooperating with the delegating institutions and promoting the participants’ commitment and contribution to them.

The Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme is implemented by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) – the central scientific authority of the German federal government for both national and international nature conservation – in partnership with IUCN, the CBD Secretariat, the Secretariat of the CMS, and UNEP-WCMC. The programme is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) through the Advisory Assistance Programme (AAP) for Environmental Protection in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.


  • Participation in the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme is free of charge. Participants will receive free board and accommodation at the training venue and during excursions, as well as a contribution towards their travel expenses.
  • Health insurance during stays in Germany and visa application fees will also be covered by the programme. Nevertheless, participants have to make a contribution towards their travel expenses. The proportion of expenses to be covered by participants or their home organizations is based on a scheme, which relates to the gross domestic product of the respective countries.


  • Open to early-career conservation professionals (Government, NGOs, Academia or similar), from Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, who preferably have at least three years of professional experience and preferably are not older than 35 years.

In order to be eligible for participation in the programme, applicants need to fulfil the following criteria:

  • Submission of a complete application before the deadline.
  • Nationality and place of residence in one of the eligible countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
  • University diploma in a field that is relevant to the programme and its focus (Biology, Geography, Agriculture, Silviculture, Landscape Planning, Nature Conservation, Environmental Policy, Macroeconomics, Law – or other similar subjects relevant to nature conservation practice).
  • 3+ years of working experience in applied nature conservation (work experience in parallel to academic studies can be taken into account).
  • Currently working in an institution concerned with nature conservation.
  • Age should preferably be under 35 years, and should not exceed 40 years.
  • Be fluent in English, both written and spoken.
  • Endorsement of application by current employer.
  • Low likelihood of absence from one or several course modules, as the modules build upon each other and as participation in the programme requires continuous attendance.
  • Have developed a concept for a personal transfer project benefitting from the course, which would improve the effectiveness of their organisation. And the ability for continuous work on the transfer project and assignments in between the modules on a weekly basis, during the whole programme period.
  • Regular internet access with stable internet connection and high bandwith.


The following documents are required for application:

  • Completed application form.
  • Diploma of highest academic degree.
  • Language diploma if available – highest level obtained.
    Note that English language skills are a prerequisite to participate in the programme. If no language diploma is available, language skills may be tested via telephone interviews and/or online examinations.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Nomination letter of employing institution
  • Endorsement form filled in by employing institution and one additional person
  • Scan copy of passport

Mark all application documents with your name (e.g., application_firstname_lastname.doc) and send the documents as word or pdf files electronically to ktf@bfn.de.

For more information, visit Klaus Toepfer Fellowship.


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