“Ambassadors for Science” is a pioneering shadowing scheme between scientists and diplomats that, for at least four days, brings together both professionals to get them exposed to their different worlds—science and diplomacy—with the aim of finding common grounds that could foster lateral thinking and better science diplomacy. 

Whereas scientists shall receive introductory seminars about the Spanish diplomatic action, diplomats will receive basic notions about science and technology at the global and national level, focusing on Spain and the United Kingdom. Scientists will also shadow diplomats on their daily routine to learn about the diplomatic activity. Conversely, diplomats shall visit scientists’ job place to get an insight first-hand about the world of science, technology and research. 

The first edition of this scheme was developed in the Embassy of Spain in London in 2016 and the programme aims to be expanded to other diplomatic delegations and institutions.

Who will benefit from this scheme? 


  • Learn about the Spanish diplomatic endeavour in the United Kingdom
  • Explore how their experience and scientific knowledge could feed Spanish diplomatic actions
  • Facilitate an improvement in the Spanish science diplomacy activity
  • Build long-lasting relationships with diplomats
  • Relate with other science peers 


  • Get familiar with the scientific rationale that may govern or influence their own diplomatic field
  • Visit universities,  research centres or companies that may be related to their diplomatic activity.
  • Learn about science careers both in academia and in private industry
  • Get exposed to the foundations by which scientific research enables countries to achieve social and economic development as well as innovation
  • Build long-lasting relationships with scientists who work in areas related to their diplomatic field

How could I participate? 


  1. Applicants should be scientists across any field of knowledge (sciences, humanities, technology, engineering, medicine, mathematics)
  2. Applicants should work in either the academic or industry sector
  3. Applicants should live in the United Kingdom
  4. Previous experiences in science communication, science outreach, science policy and/or science diplomacy will be valued positively


The call for scientists to apply to participate in the 2nd edition of “Ambassadors for Science” is open from Friday 2nd June to Friday 30th June 2017 (both included). 

If you wish to participate in the 2nd edition of “Ambassadors for Science”, prepare the following documents:

  • Short version of your CV (4 pages máximum)
  • Application form (download here)

Send these files via e-mail to ScienceSpainUK@fecyt.es with the subject “Ambassadors for Science – Application” by Friday 30th June 2017 (11:59 GMT).


All applications will be evaluated by a committee composed by a member of the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs, a member of the International Project Unit in FECYT, a representative of the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU), and one of the participants of the 1st edition of the scheme.

Applications will be scored from 0 to 100 points, taking into account CV (0 to 20 points) and responses to the application form (0 to 80 points). 

Out of all applicants, around 5-10 scientists will be selected with the aim of covering all professional stages, sectors, and knowledge fields. 

What is the expected schedule? 

  • From 2nd to 30th June: Call is open to receive applications from scientists interested in participating
  • From 1st to 24th July: Evaluation of all received applications
  • From 25th July to 14th September: Notification to the selected candidates and posterior arrangement of couples.
  • End of September (tentative dates: 28th and 29th September): : Scheme presentation to participants (scientists and diplomats), informative seminars, interviews, workshops and debates.
  • Between the end of September 2017 and mid-January 2018: Two reciprocal visits whereby each scientist will shadow his/her diplomat pair and vice versa. Each scientist-diplomat pair will agree these respective visits.
  • End of January 2018 (tentative date: 25th January): Closing day, with all pairs who will sum up their experience and discuss conclusions and recommendations.  

How did it go the 1st edition of “Ambassadors for Science”? 

The following reports illustrate the development of all joint sessions and each pair experience:



The first shadowing programme between scientists and diplomats starts in London

Summary of the first session of the scheme

Successful end of the first shadowing scheme between scientists and diplomats in London

Summary of the last session of the scheme



“We should place Science at the same level than Politics, Culture, Economics, and Trade”

Carmen Domene and Juan López-Herrera

Chemistry and Diplomacy

“A full experience based on multilateralism”

Ernesto Abad and Esteban Pacha

Communications and Transportation



“Scientific advice is important for policy-making”

María Barreira and Francesc Puértolas

Genomics and Culture

“I’ve called this experience: the science diplomacy force awakens”

Xavier Moya and Ödön Pálla

Materials Science and Economics



“We need to work towards a higher porosity between sciences and humanities”

Cristina Villa and Gonzalo Capellán

Animal Physiology and Education

“It is important to instil curiosity in young people”

Fidel Alfaro and Enrique Ruiz de Lera

Neurosciences and Tourism



“Investing in science is worth it!”

Mario González and Miguel Utray

Chemistry and Diplomacy

“The growing Spanish export of tech products is key”

Lorenzo de la Rica and Josefina Beltrán

Genomics and Economics



“Scientific research is instrumental for a country’s growth”

Joaquín de Navascués and Fernando Villalonga

Developmental Biology and Cultural and Science Diplomacy

The first edition of “Ambassadors for Science” as an innovative example in Science diplomacy

Summary of the impact of the first edition of the scheme

 Who are the organisers of “Ambassadors for Science”

“Ambassadors for Science” is organised by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) and the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Spanish Embassy in London, with the support of the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU). 

This scheme fits within the FECYT’s priority lines of embedding more science activities within the embassies of Spain, increasing science outreach and science culture, and supporting the internationalization of Spanish science. 

The scheme is a pilot experience with the aim of extending it to other diplomatic missions and even to the Congreso de los Diputados and other scientific institutions in Spain. 

You may follow all updates on Twitter with #Amb4Sci.

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