2015/2017 Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme for emerging nature conservation leaders.

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Application Deadline: June 30th 2015

Promoting excellence and leadership among emerging nature conservation leaders from Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia

The Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme aims to strengthen organisations from the nature conservation sector in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, by developing the personal capacity of early-career conservation professionals to overcoming global biodiversity loss. The training programme catalyzes personal capacity development through training on international best conservation practice and policy, management training, and personal network development.

Key features of the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme:

  • The only extra-occupational training programme for established conservation professionals from both government and non-governmental organizations of the region
  • A broad biodiversity policy focus
  • Promoting professional excellence
  • Focusing on technical, management and leadership skills
  • Considering the ecological, historical and political linkages among the transition countries of the Eurasian region
  • Fostering a professional network in support of regional cooperation in biodiversity conservation
  • Combination of highly interactive seminars held in English language, field-trips and inter-sessional assignments, e-learning as well as a transfer project.


In order to be eligible for participation in the programme, applicants need to fulfill 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, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkey, 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)
  • At least 3 years of working experience in the nature conservation sector (work experience during academic studies can be taken into account)
  • Currently working in an institution concerned with nature conservation (e.g. governmental institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGO), research institutes or similar)
  • Age should preferably not exceed 35 years
  • Be fluent in English, both written and spoken
  • Endorsement of application by current employer
  • Regular internet access


  • Participation in the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme is free of charge.
  • Participants will receive free accommodation and boarding 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.
  • The  contributions towards travel costs to be covered by participants are the proportion that participants have to pay themselves.
  • In the unlikely case (e.g. for applicants from Poland) where travel costs are lower than the amount of money mentioned, only the actual costs will have to be covered by participants.


The following documents are required for application. Please note that there are three standard forms (application form, endorsement form, nomination letter) that need to be downloaded and filled in for application:

– Completed  application form (please download template)

– Diploma of highest academic degree

– Language diploma if available – highest level obtained

(please note that English language skills are a prerequisite to participate in the programme. However, an official language diploma is not part of the eligibility criteria of the programme. If no language diploma is available, English language skills will be tested via telephone interviews and/or online examinations, in addition to the self assessment on the application form)

– Curriculum Vitae

–  Nomination letter of employing institution (please download template)

–  Endorsement form filled in by employing institution and one additional person/institution (please download template)

– Scan copy of passport

Please name the application form and all other files with your name (e.g., application_firstname_lastname.doc) and send the documents as word or pdf files. Please note that applications that do not include ALL the above documents can not be accepted.

All of the documents should be written in English. Only the endorsement letter can be written in Russian as well.

You are cordially invited to submit your application documents electronically to  ktf@bfn-vilm.de, no later than 30 June, 2015.

If you do not receive confirmation of the receipt of your application within three working days, or in the event of other problems, please contact   andrea.strauss@bfn-vilm.de.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme

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