The application period for the upcoming cycle of the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme is now open. 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 at 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.

The Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme aims at developing the personal capacity of early-career conservation professionals with leadership potential, to contribute to overcoming global biodiversity loss and to strengthen the regional capacities to implement multilateral environmental agreements. Participants are trained on international best conservation practices and policies, management skills and personal network development. This enables them to work effectively in leading positions in the biodiversity conservation sector of their home countries and to be actively involved in international conservation processes and networks.

During the programme, the participants continue to work at their home institutions. Each fellow will develop a transfer project in which the acquired knowledge is used to identify innovative solutions to a specific challenge within their institution. Through sharing comprehensive nature conservation experience and knowledge, the fellowship programme seeks to deepen the relationship between the participants and their home countries, as well as with Germany and the European Union.

The Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme is

  • the only extra-occupational training programme for established conservation professionals from both governmental and non-governmental organizations from the Eurasian region,
  • putting a broad focus on biodiversity policy,
  • promoting professional excellence,
  • focusing on technical skills, management skills 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,
  • combining highly interactive seminars held in the English language, field trips and assignments, and e-learning as well as a transfer project.


  • Participation in the fellowship program is free of charge.
  • The participants will receive free accommodation and board at the training venue and during excursions.
  • The participants will receive a contribution towards the travel expenses.
  • Health insurance during stays in Germany will also be covered by the organizers.
  • Visa application fees will also be covered by the organizers.


  • University diploma in a field that is relevant to the program 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
  • The ability to continuously work on transfer projects and assignments in between the modules on a weekly basis, during the whole program period
  • Regular internet access with a stable internet connection and high bandwidth
Eligible Regions: 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

Application Process

  • To make an application, applicants have to prepare application documents containing the required documents with their name (e.g., application_firstname_lastname.doc) and send the documents as word or pdf files electronically to [email protected].
  • All of the documents should be written in English.
  • Only the endorsement letters can be submitted in Russian as well.


  1. The list of required documents is available on the website.
  2. If applicants do not receive confirmation of the receipt of their application within five working days, or in the event of other problems, they are requested to contact Andrea Strauss(Details available in the Further query section).

Application Deadline: March 26, 2023

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

For any queries contact Andrea Strauss at +49 38301 86-147 or send her an email at [email protected]
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