GYA in Brief

The Global Young Academy aims to become the voice of young scientists around the world. To realise our vision, we develop, connect, and mobilize new talent from six continents. Moreover, we empower young researchers to lead international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational dialogue with the goal to make global decision making evidence-based and inclusive.

The GYA provides a rallying point for outstanding young scientists from around the world to come together to address topics of global importance. As of 2014, the GYA has reached its full capacity with 200 members: leading young scientists, typically 3-10 years after their PhD, between 30 to 40 years of age, and in the early stages of their independent academic careers. Members are selected for their scientific excellence and their commitment to service, and serve five-year terms. Thus, as of 2017, the GYA counts 134 alumni in addition to its 200 members; together representing 70 countries. The vibrancy of this global organisation results from the energy of its members, who are passionate about the role of science in creating a better world.

The GYA is governed by an annually elected Executive Committee that reflects the diversity of its membership, and is supported by a Senior Advisory Board composed of outstanding senior scientists and science managers.

Eva Alisic (Co-Chair 2014-16) introduces the work and mission of the GYA.


What we do

Global Young Academy activities focus on science and policy, the research environment, and science education and outreach. Current flagship projects of the GYA include its Global State of Young Scientists (GloSYS) Africa research project, co-operation on capacity building programmes in Africa and ASEAN, and the emerging project ‘At Risk and Refugee Scholar Membership Initiative’.

The GYA also supports the establishment and coordination of National Young Academies around the world: it has helped to establish NYAs in Egypt, the Philippines, Japan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, Israel, and Kenya, and has co-organized regional and global meetings of national young academies.

As the voice of young scientists around the world, the GYA publishes statements on international science policy and the research environment for early to mid-career researchers. The organisation also maintains active links with international science organizations, including the UN Secretary General’s Scientific Advisory Board (until end of 2016), the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), the EU Joint Research Council (JRC), the International Council for Science (ICSU), and the Global Research Council. As part of its global commitment, the GYA works to reduce the science gap between developed and developing countries by connecting young scientists from different countries. GYA members believe that scientists and researchers need to contribute more than their own research findings to society.


The GYA grew out of discussions among top young scientists from around the world, convened by the IAP for the Annual Meeting of New Champions of the World Economic Forum (“Summer Davos” meetings) in 2008 and 2009. The GYA was officially founded in February 2010, with support by the The Global Network of Science Academies (IAP). With the help of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities BBAW and the German Junge Akademie, the GYA received start-up funding from the Volkswagen Foundation. From 2011 to 2016, the GYA was hosted by the BBAW in Berlin. Since 2014, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has provided generous core funding to the GYA. To finance its annual general meetings and other expanded projects, the GYA has also benefited from funding by a variety of donors and partners worldwide. In 2017, the GYA moved to Halle (Saale), and is being hosted by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Watch former GYA Co-Chairs discuss the mission of the Global Young Academy!