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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the programme conducted in English or German?
The Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme will be conducted in English. This applies to the modules conducted in Germany and to all additional assignments such as transfer projects, tests, presentations etc. Applicants are required to proof fluent English language skills in their application through a self assessment and, if available, an English language skills certificate. The organisers may test the applicants’ English skills via phone interviews or online assignments.

2. What is the duration of the programme?
The programme consists of four 10-day training modules that will be conducted at the Isle of Vilm in Germany, plus additional assignments the participants will have to complete in their home countries, between the modules.

3. Who should fill in the endorsement form?
One copy of the endorsement form should be filled in by a senior representative of the employing institution (direct line manager, head of department, and / or higher-level representative). One additional copy should be filled by a person or institution different from the employing institution.

4. How many endorsements do I need to submit to be eligible for the programme?
A full application for the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme requires the submission of at least two endorsement forms, filled in by the employer of the applicant and another reference person or institution that is active in the field of nature conservation.

5. Are candidates whose field of studies is not among the fields listed under eligibility criteria on the programme’s website and / or is not directly related to nature protection (e.g. Humanities, Psychology etc.) eligible for the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme?
If a participant’s studies do not relate directly to nature protection, they would be eligible if they could proof in their application that they have collected extensive experience and knowledge in the field of nature conservation through complementary activities, such as employment and / or assignment of tasks in the nature conservation field, participation in additional trainings, workshops etc. Their application will be assessed as a whole. Therefore, it would be important to document all the activities and experience collected in the field of nature conservation throughout their career. It is furthermore recommended to explain in the motivation letter how the skills and knowledge that may have been gained from studies of other subjects help the candidate to carry out their tasks in their current work area, and what they would need to learn in addition to improve their professional capacities.

6. Is there a fixed quota of eligible countries and / or regions for the selection of participants? On the website, 33 eligible countries are named while 20 applicants in total will be accepted to participate in the programme.
Selection of applicants that fulfill the eligibility criteria will first and foremost be based on the assessment of their qualification, motivation, leadership potential, (higher-level) commitment of the employing institution to support the applicant’s participation in the programme, quality of endorsement letters and the transfer project concept. The programme also seeks a balance regarding the distribution of countries and regions, gender, and governmental versus non-governmental backgrounds among participants. In any case, the criteria related to a balanced distribution of countries and regions, gender and type of institution will only be applied to decide on the final selection of equally qualified applicants.

7. Are persons whose nationality is among the countries eligible to the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme but who currently work outside their home country, eligible for the programme?
Eligibility to the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme requires that the applicant provides proof of citizenship (copy of passport) of one of the countries eligible to the programme. Furthermore, employment in one of the countries that are eligible is required to be considered for participation in the programme. This implies that applicants originating from one of the eligible countries that do work in another eligible country will be considered. If the applicant’s work place is located in a country that is not eligible, the applicant cannot be considered for participation in the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme. This refers to the time at which the programme starts.

8. Are employees of international organisations eligible to participate in the programme?
The applicant’s residence and country of origin needs to be in one of the eligible countries listed in the eligibility criteria. However, the employing institution does not need to be registered in one of the eligible countries, and can be an international organisation as well.

9. Is the submission of a TOEFL / IELTS obligatory to provide proof of English language skills? Will other English language certificates be accepted, too?
Applicants are required to proof fluent English language skills through the self-assessment in the application form. If applicable, an English language skills certificate should be submitted to confirm the self-assessment of the applicant. Any English language skills certification will be accepted. However, the organisers reserve the right to test the applicants’ English skills via phone interviews or online assignments in case of doubt.

10. Does the programme require that participants stay in Germany between the training modules or do they have to return to their home country / country where they are employed?
The Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme is designed as an extra-occupational training programme. Therefore, participants only need to be present at the training venue in Germany during the four ten-day training modules. In between the modules, participants are expected to return to their home countries or countries where they are employed and to work on additional assignments such as e-learning units or case studies. Participants are also required to further elaborate their transfer projects in between training modules. In any case, participants will be able to carry out the additional assignments alongside their work duties at home. Travel to the home country between modules will be partly covered by the programme as explained on the website.

11. Do participants have to make any financial contribution to participate in the programme?
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.

12. Do participants have to pay the full contribution towards their travel expenses if actual travel costs are lower than that sum?
The contributions towards travel costs to be covered by participants
are the proportion of travel related costs (flight, train, public transport, meals during travel and excursions) that participants have to pay themselves. In the unlikely case where travel costs are lower than the amount of money mentioned, the actual costs and a contribution to meal costs during excursions will have to be covered by participants.


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Strategic Partners

IUCN
CBD
CMS
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