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Application Deadline: March 26, 2023

The application period for the 2023–2025 cycle of the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme is now open! Early-career conservation professional from Central or Eastern Europe, the Caucasus or Central Asia fulfilling the programme’s eligibility criteria, are cordially invited to submit their application.

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.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • 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. The programme aims at emerging conservation leaders that have the support of their home organizations to attend the course, and a clear commitment to a career in their country and region.


  • 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
  • Ability for continuous work on 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


  • Participation in the fellowship programme is free of charge. The participants will receive free accommodation and board 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 organisers.

Never the less, the participants have to make contributions towards their travel expenses. The proportion of travel expenses to be covered by participants or their home organizations is based on the following scheme, which relates to the gross domestic product of the respective countries

We look for participants with a strong leadership potential who are committed to play a central role in applied nature conservation in their home countries. The fellowship does not currently have a focus on field methods or environmental education, but aims at broadening participants‘ understanding of conservation strategies and policies from local to global level..

Visit the official website for details and application