Information on the nomination, application and selection process for post- graduate diploma in international gender studies is set forth below. A number of full scholarships are granted each year. A handout on the open call 2019 can be found here.

Please note that  the deadline for an open call for nominations for spring term 2020 expires on 31 May 2019.  Separate calls are made in our partner universities, for which deadlines for applications vary. 

Organizations are invited to submit nominations for fellowships. This can be done by using a form on our website that can be filled in online  (see also a link on the left hand side). GEST will then contact the nominated person and invite them to fill out a more elaborate application form. 

GEST also collaborates with various universities around the world and invites master's students in gender studies or related disciplines a placement at the GEST programme within the University of Iceland for one semester. Such scholarships are announced separately. The selection process is somewhat different from the open call, in the sense that only master's students from selected universities can apply during a set time frame by sending their applications to a designated department/contact person in their home universities, which are announced through the call for applications. Applications then get screened and sent to UNU-GEST, where the final decisions about screening interviews and, ultimately, admission to the programme are made.


Target Groups and prerequisites

The target group for the GEST post-graduate diploma programme consists of professionals from developing countries and post-conflict societies working on gender issues for government ministries and agencies, as well as civil society organizations and educational institutes.

Selection of the fellows is based on the following criteria. Candidates shall:

  1. Have at least one university degree.
  2. Have at least two years of professional experience relevant to the themes of the programme.
  3. Possess good English skills (speak, read and write), as English is the language of instruction.
  4. Be a junior professional in their field

Fellows are selected after an extensive personal interview where the candidates need to be able to:

a) explain their work and their role at the institute or organisation;
b) discuss and identify gender equality issues in their field of work;
c) show in-depth understanding of their professional work and how it relates to gender equality;
d) outline how they think the GEST diploma programme will increase their capacities in their field of work in the future and how it will benefit their institute/organization.

Please note that candidates from low income countries, from conflict zones and post-conflict countries will be given priority in selection of candidates through the open call. Please consult the list of DAC country income classifications to see where your respective country falls.


Selection process

Please note that candidates are nominated by the institute or organisation where they work or by a funding agency sponsoring their studies in Iceland.

The selection process consists of several steps:

1.  Open call for nominations is issued by GEST.

2.  Deadline for nominations from organizations/institutes is 31 May.

3.  GEST staff screens applications. Interviews are offered to the prospective fellows.

4. Screening interviews for open the call are held from June to July each year and final selection made by July/August.

5. The programme starts in January of each year.


Financing of candidates and programme cost

The funding of the diploma programme is based on scholarships that are either 1) funded directly by the GEST programme or 2) funding agencies, such as development agencies and other development partners, embassies and governments. Candidates employed by UN agencies, with the exception of UNRWA, are required to be fully funded by their organizations.

The scholarships cover travel costs for fellows, housing on campus and per-diem during the five month course, in addition to educational facilities, learning material and lessons.

Gender equality is an issue cutting across all sectors and funding agencies have in the past benefited from the programme as they have either used the scholarship to enhance gender-related work within their own projects or programmes, or opted for supporting experts and leaders from civil society or government. Each year the student body consists of experts from variety of fields, stimulating a mutual learning environment where students can share different viewpoints and experiences.

Funding agencies interested in learning more about opportunities related to the GEST diploma programme are invited to contact for further details.