Inaugural SciDEAL Cohort Announced! 

The NSPN Science Diplomacy Exchange and Learning (SciDEAL) is a new program, designed to teach NSPN members how science facilitates international cooperation to address global challenges while connecting them with partner organizations for hands-on learning. 

This first Cohort of SciDEALers has been selected to work on specific projects to expand their knowledge and skills in science diplomacy. “In 2019 we identified a huge need for hands-on training opportunities, and SciDEAL starts to fill that gap” said Kathy Shield, Chair of NSPN’s Science Diplomacy Committee. “When I asked diplomats from around the world, every single one wanted our scientists on their team.” With this inaugural cohort SciDEAL begins to make that happen with 21 team members across four distinct projects. "SciDEAL team members will walk away with a practical understanding of science diplomacy, a stronger professional network, and tangible resources from their project endeavors.” said SciDEAL Coordinator, Amrita Banerjee. “Moreover, this program advances NSPN’s mission to train the next generation of science diplomats and produce resources for the public good.” 

Read more below to learn a bit about these projects and our stellar NSPN team-members who will be working on them over the next few months. 


The Role of Scientist Networks in Science Diplomacy with OSTA Washington

With collaborative guidance from the Office of Science and Technology Austria (OSTA Washington), Alessandra Zimmerman, Elana Goldenkoff, Steve Elliott, Isabel Warner, Barbara Del Castello, and Dorothy Butler will work together to evaluate the role scientist networks play in science diplomacy. The team will conduct and analyze interviews, survey stakeholders, review outputs of scientist networks, and compile a report of their findings. The final report will provide recommendations for science policy stakeholders on whether supporting scientist networks is a valid investment of resources. Findings from the final report will be presented by OSTA Washington to both North American and Austrian decision makers and may have broad impact for policymakers or nations seeking to invest in scientist networks.


Science Diplomacy and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals with DiploFoundation 

It is clear that global challenges, as described by the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), require cooperation on a global scale. Science diplomacy is an important ingredient of addressing these challenges. The SciDEAL team of Tara Illgner, Nikita Lad, Levi Helm, Ryan Haupt, and Sona Chowdhury will work with project sponsors on design, content creation, and delivery of a ten-week course on science diplomacy. This will include identifying and developing scientific case studies related to existing issues and making connections to the diplomatic aspects and related SDGs. In addition, the course will highlight the importance of evidence-based policy and ways in which the “world of science” and the “world of diplomacy” can be brought to work together more effectively. 


Developing Policy Recommendations to Increase LGBTQ+ Representation in STEM with SIN USA

Jacob O'Connor, Shane Coffield, Colbie Chinowsky, Anna Dye, and Kolin Clark will focus on devising evidence-based policy recommendations to decrease attrition of LGBTQ+ communities in STEM, in both the US and UK. The SciDEAL team will collaborate with SIN USA to (i) collate and analyze the available data, (ii) identify and interview stakeholders and experts from the private and public sector and (iii) work with consulate and embassy officials to develop policy recommendations which provide US and UK decision makers with optimal interventions and synergies for addressing attrition of LGBTQ+ STEM professionals. Findings from this policy analysis will be publicly shared by SIN USA and the SciDEAL team. The SciDEAL team will also organize a public roundtable discussion on this issue to engage with the wider community.


Science Diplomacy Virtual Fellowship with SciDipGLOBAL 

The SciDipGLOBALteam of Erin Symonds, Lyndsey Gray, Sanjana Mukherjee, Alexandra Maldonado López, and Melany Garcia will explore a wide range of science diplomacy projects related to all aspects of the organization's work. SciDipGLOBAL partners with many of the leading international science diplomacy organizations to advance the role of science in international affairs and governance. The NSPN team will have the opportunity to contribute to science diplomacy research and publication, policy recommendations, education and training, event organization, business development, communications, and media relations to support the aims of SciDipGLOBAL.


We are excited to see all of the work that comes out of these exciting projects and look forward to checking in with our SciDEALers in a few months. In the meantime, if you have questions about SciDEAL please email

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