Frequently Asked Questions
Thinking of applying?
This section aims to answer questions applicants might have before applying to WNU's Summer Institute, including programme demographics, application materials, and English language requirements.
Is the Summer Institute right for me?
1. Who attends WNU’s Summer Institute?
The Summer Institute is an international programme, attracting participants from established and developing nuclear nations alike. The majority of Fellows selected to attend the Summer Institute have been working in the nuclear sector for 3+ years and are identified by their organizations as having the potential to become industry leaders. View SI Alumni demographics here.
2. What is the role of the Fellow?
At the Summer Institute, we pride ourselves on the collaborative learning environment we have established since the programme’s inception in 2005. Our core values revolve around integrity, mutual respect, and equality to ensure an effective and supportive learning environment. We hope to inspire in our Fellows the idea that humility nurtures a growth mindset, enabling us to learn our limitations, seek feedback, and embrace new ideas and perspectives. At the Summer Institute, you will be expected to work collaboratively within your Working Groups and across the wider cohort on carefully curated Experiential Learning Activities, which are designed to enhance your leadership and communication skills and provide insights into different industry areas. These activities foster personal development, providing a framework to learn from the board perspectives of peers, experts, and mentors.
As a Fellow, you are encouraged to take advantage of the diversity of your cohort, gain insights from around the world and also have fun! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so take advantage of the course content and of the social and cultural interactions, formal and informal, over the 5-weeks for a well-rounded experience.
World Nuclear University maintains a zero-tolerance policy against bullying, harassment, and discrimination of any sort to ensure a safe and inclusive space for everyone. For more information on our Terms and Conditions, Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct, and other policy information, please refer to our Terms and Conditions page on the website.
3. How long are the days at the SI?
Our days at the Summer Institute typically start at around 08:00/09:00 and end at 17:30/18:00, depending on the culture of our host country. Social activities, both WNU organized and more informal, can last late into the evening. Please note that during the week of technical tours there will be several long journeys completed by bus or/and train, which extends the duration of the day.
4. Is part-time working allowed during the SI?
WNU strongly discourages working (even part-time) during the Summer Institute due to the rigorous nature of the curriculum. Weekdays are typically comprised of lectures, presentations and group work from 9:00 to 18:00 and occasional weekend work for group projects is required. For more information on participation, and requirements to earn a course certificate, see our Terms & Conditions.
1. What materials are required for the application?
In addition to personal, academic, and professional information, the Summer Institute application requires fellows to upload the following documents in English. If documents are not in English, please provide a translation.
A 300-word description of professional responsibilities
A 300-word statement of motivation and goals for participation
A 300-word statement on how you approach challenging situations in the workplace
A 300-word description of what good leadership looks like to you
2 Signed reference letters (One letter should be from your supervisor and one can be an academic or professional referee)
Evidence of English language proficiency (where applicable)
Various professional development related essay-style questions
2. What are the English language requirements?
English is the official course language for the Summer Institute. Applicants who are not fluent in English must provide evidence of English language proficiency in the form of a recent certificate from a reputable organization.
The Summer Institute is a full-time, immersive professional development programme that requires Fellows to be engaged and committed. The programme is designed to develop key leadership and communications capabilities, further holistic industry knowledge, and develop innovative and systemic thinking. Growth in these areas is assessed throughout the programme in various ways, and the following key metrics are mandatory to receive a certificate at graduation upon the completion of the programme:
Minimum of 95% attendance throughout the core programme hours: Attendance, punctuality and engagement will be tracked.
Ongoing self-review: Fellows will be asked to undergo several self-review and reflection processes to assess their own development journey.
Ongoing peer review: Fellows will be asked to provide constructive feedback to their peers to support their development.
Mentor assessment: Mentors will be asked to provide feedback, guidance, and reflection spaces to support the Fellows' development. Mentors will also be ensuring engagement and understanding of the subject matter.
Third-party assessment: The WNU Team and speakers can provide feedback, guidance, and reflection spaces to support the Fellows development.
Mechanisms for the above will be disclosed only to enrolled Fellows. This programme is designed to will test your limits and push you out of your comfort zone in many different ways. Those who get most out of the experience come with an open mind and an understanding that this is a chance to practice adaptation and resilience in a safe environment.
Submitting an application
This section aims to answer questions about submitting an application, including application process, tuition and fees, visa information, and acceptance notification.
1. What is the application deadline?
IAEA-funded applications must be submitted by 15 December 2023. Company-funded applications must be submitted by 31 January 2024. Please subscribe here to keep informed about future programmes.
2. Is there an application fee?
There is no fee to apply to the Summer Institute. Please refer to WNU's T&Cs for an overview of the Summer Institute financial obligations.
3. How and when will I be notified if I am accepted?
You will be notified as to the success of your application three weeks after the respective deadlines. For company funded applicants, WNU will email candidates directly about the status of their application. Individuals applying for IAEA funding will receive notification of WNU pre-selection if their application has been successful. The applications then get sent to the IAEA for internal review. Once the final list of candidates has been selected by the IAEA, the individuals are contacted directly and invited to apply for funding through their National Liaison Officer. See IAEA Funding for more detailed steps in the TC funding application process.
4. Once accepted, when do I receive further information about the programme?
Once accepted, WNU will be regularly reaching out for more information required for the programme and technical tours. this will include valid passport information, health and/or dietary requirements and prompts to complete preset preparatory work.
A month before the programme, Fellows will receive an email with the link and password to a dedicated course website with detailed information about the agenda, preparatory work, travel and packing guidance, and other logistical information. Due to the amount of programme information provided, it will not be sent directly to Fellows by email.
Tuition & Fees
1. What are the different tuition types?
The three primary tuition types for the Summer Institute are:
WNA Member Company Funded: This tuition type is for applicants from World Nuclear Association member companies. WNA members receive a preferential rate.
Non-WNA Member Company Funded: This tuition type is for all applicants applying from non-WNA member companies or organizations.
IAEA TC Funded: The IAEA offers full tuition funding for select applicants through the Technical Cooperation (TC) program. See IAEA Funding for information about eligibility and how to apply.
2. When must tuition fees be paid?
Tuition fees are due within 30 days of invoice receipt. Following acceptance notification, invoices will be sent to Fellows by email. For IAEA-funded applicants, your invoice will be sent directly to the agency.
3. What is included in the cost of tuition?
Tuition fees include accommodation, meals, transport during the technical tours, educational resources and a Per Diem (see below). Tuition fees do not include travel to and from the SI host country, travel insurance, and personal outing or excursion costs taken while at the SI.
4. What are the tuition payment options?
Bank or wire transfers are the preferred method of tuition payment. WNU bank transfer instructions are included in the invoice email sent to accepted Fellows. Credit and debit card payments are also accepted upon personal request. For card payments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Cash and checks are not acceptable forms of tuition payment.
5. What is a Per Diem?
Per Diem refers to a stipend (fixed sum) WNU provided to the Fellows to cover their meals (not directly provided by WNU) and other necessities. This includes dinners most weekdays, meals on weekends, laundry needs, etc. The total amount of the Per Diem is calculated based on the host country's average cost of living while also considering the natural expenses the Fellows will incur.
WNU is committed to ensuring that Fellows have enough funds to comfortably and safely enjoy the local cultural experiences and cuisine, however, the Per Diem is not designed to cover alcohol consumption and fine dining, or personal travel or shopping expenses. Some companies and organizations also provide their Fellows with an additional Per Diem, which is allowed.
6. How will the Per Diem be provided?
Upon registration for the programme, Fellows will be provided with a cash card with a lump sum deposit. Information about the cash card including the full Per Diem amount will be provided on the private website. Fellows are not required to provide supporting receipts for their purchases and cash cards can be used outside of programme grounds (e.g. outside the hotel).
WNU does not provide a daily spending allowance or financial advice, thus budgeting for Per Diem spending for the duration of the five weeks is at the discretion of the individual. WNU cannot offer any additional funds, should Fellows max out their cash cards before the end of the programme.
For sustainability purposes, we kindly ask for all Fellows to return their cash cards to a member of the WNU team on the final day of the programme. These cash cards are designed to be activated from the moment of first use and to expire on the final day of the programme.
Visa Requirements and Travel
1. Are Visas required to attend the SI?
Visa requirements are based on an individual's country of origin and Summer Institute host country requirements. WNU strongly encourages applicants to contact their local embassy for specifics on their visa needs upon confirmation of acceptance onto the programme to ensure that the proper documentation can be obtained in a timely manner.
2. What if a Visa is refused or cannot be obtained in time?
WNU is not responsible for obtaining Visas for Fellows or liable for tuition refunds should an applicant not be able to secure a Visa in time. Please refer to the financial T&Cs for more information about tuition refunds.
3. Can WNU provide a Visa letter?
Yes, WNU will provide an invitation letter to support Visa applications. Due to the complicated nature of obtaining a Visa, the WNU will support by providing an invitation letter through the host organisation only. This letter will include information on where your will be staying during your time in the host country and will state that you are financially covered by your tuition fees. Please allow for an adequate amount of time for WNU to obtain and deliver the letter. Time frames may be delayed due to COVID-19. PDF copies will be sent by email.
4. How long does my passport have to be valid for?
It is very important to have a valid passport when attending the Summer Institute. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you enter the host country. This is a requirement not only for the host country (Visa applications) but also for the technical facilities.
5. Can I leave the host country on the weekends?
While most weekends do not have formal programming, we will occasionally travel to/from technical facilities on certain weekends. Fellows are encouraged to arrange independent, local travel excursions , however, we kindly ask you to contact email@example.com before making any arrangements to make sure there are no overlaps with the programme.
Local travel not arranged by WNU is taken at Fellows' expense. While overnight weekend trips are allowed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel outside the host country on weekends is not permitted, except in emergency, medical or other unforeseen circumstances.
6. Can I recieve visitors during the Summer Institute?
While the educational aspect of the programme is prioritised, the social component of the programme is also important to build the lifelong networks that will accelerate future career progression. We encourage Fellows to focus on their development during this programme, away from competing pressures, and where possible we strongly discourage Fellows from bringing friends or family for the first three weeks in particular. This period is dedicated to forming and solidifying those lifelong relationships with peers, mentors and speakers.
Please note that hotel bookings are made under single occupancy. Should you have any visitors, you will have to handle the rate adjustments directly with the hotel.
Preparing for the Summer Institute
This section aims to answer questions about Summer Institute programme, accommodation, logistics, and travel needs
1. What should I expect from the Summer Institute programme content?
The Summer Institute is a unique leadership and professional development programme for high-potential talent in all areas of the nuclear energy industry, with every aspect designed to foster collaborative learning and accelerate personal growth.
The Summer Institute is designed to improve your decision-making and cross-functional skills by expanding your understanding of the global nuclear industry, strengthening key leadership capabilities, focusing on your communication skills and developing innovative and systemic thinking.
You will cover content ranging from new nuclear projects to extended operation, decommissioning, regulatory frameworks and transport through the front and back end of the fuel cycle. The programme also draws together many cross-cutting issues, from safety, security and safeguards through to innovation, the impact of new technologies and economics. Whilst many of these topics are technical in nature, the programme content and activities focus on developing the ability to operate at a high level across disciplinary boundaries coherently and productively, with principles drawn from different disciplines. Content is carefully curated to balance topics and issues over the five weeks.
Create an understanding of the global context in which the nuclear industry operates.
Foster an end-to-end view of the global nuclear industry and understanding of how the disparate areas interrelate.
Inspire new ways of thinking and understanding, including innovative, systemic, and strategic thinking to bring together diverse perspectives and competing requirements.
Cultivate competencies in communicating complex ideas clearly and concisely in English, adapting to the topic and audience.
Provide a framework for you to evaluate your own leadership competencies, expand your leadership vision and develop a personal leadership philosophy.
Enable the creation of supportive and enduring relationships across functions, business areas and countries.
Alongside the expert-led taught content, you will also dedicate time to Working Group activities, formal and informal networking opportunities, special lectures from leading industry experts, panels, cultural exchanges and more!
2. Is there preparatory work to complete before the start of the Summer Institute?
Enrolled Fellows will be expected to complete mandatory preparatory work, equivalent to approximately 12 hours’ worth of content. This will be issued before the start of the Summer Institute.
The preparatory work will include self-reflection exercises alongside other prerequisite activities, designed to improve your experiences at the Summer Institute. This will set you up to get the most out of your experience at the Summer Institute.
This section aims to answer questions about Summer Institute accommodation, logistics, and travel needs
1. What is accommodation like?
For the majority of the programme, accommodation will be a single occupancy en suite at 3 to 4-star hotels. The specific amenities included will vary by the host country and city location. For the technical tour week, Fellows may be required to share rooms given the limited availability of hotel accommodation in some remote areas.
2. Where will I be staying in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil?
During our stay in Rio de Janeiro, we will be based in the renowned Copacabana area. The area is surrounded by places to eat, shop and enjoy the outdoors outside of in-programme activities. Our venues will have access to security personnel and support staff for everyone's convenience.
Hotel in Rio de Janeiro - announcement coming soon!
Hotels during technical tour - announcement coming soon!
Flights and other transportation
1. Are flights included in the tuition fee?
Tuition fees do not include travel to and from the Summer Institute host country, travel insurance, and personal outing or excursion costs taken while at the Summer Institute. All travel expenses too and from the Summer Institute (including airport transfers) must be covered by the individual. Travel during the Summer Institute (to networking events and technical facilties) will be covered by the tuition fee.
2. Will I need travel insurance?
It is mandatory to have a travel insurance policy in place to cover you from the start to the end of the Summer Institute. This will protect you and your belongings from any unforeseen circumstances when travelling internationally. WNU is not liable for any losses or damages occurred during or on route to/from the Summer Institute. We also strongly advise you have a health insurance policy in place during your time at the Summer Institute, for extra protection when abroad.
Please note that health insurance and travel insurance cover different areas so we encourage you to have both.
Please also note that IAEA sponsored applicants will have specific requirements that will be communicated from the IAEA directly.
COVID-19 and other health notices
1. Are there any COVID-19 entry requirements for Brazil?
Currently, there are no COVID-19 restrictions or entry requirements for Brazil. This includes no vaccination requirement, no quarantine requirement and no negative PCR test upon entry. Please note this may change at any given moment, so please keep an eye out for any new developments.
Given the intensity (working in close proximity for long periods) and the global nature of the programme, the WNU will require all participants, once accepted, to provide proof of vaccination, medical exemption or of recent COVID illness. Please note that this is a requirement to minimize the impact infection. To learn more about the WNU COVID-19 Policy, click here.
Please be aware of any other (COVID-19) requirements your own country may have for visiting Brazil.
2. What else should I take into consideration when travelling to Brazil?
Some countries may require a Yellow Fever vaccine. Yellow Fever is not normally present in built up city areas of the country. If you think you will require a vaccine and/or Yellow Fever risk assessment, you should make an appointment with your travel health professional/ doctor as soon as possible.
Please also research, food and water safety, avoiding and preventing insect bites and respiratory hygiene.
3. Will I need any other vaccinations to enter Brazil?
Entry/ Travel vaccination requirements will differ for every country. We strongly advise you to get in contact with your local Brazilian embassy in your home country and find out if you need any vaccinations to enter Brazil. Please be sure to do this as soon as possible as some vaccinations need to be ordered to clinics which may take a while.
We strongly encourage all accepted participants to keep on top of their mental and physical health and wellbeing including being up to date with their vaccinations and/or any other medical needs.