Invitation to Apply for participation to the New Professionals Programme 2020

The application for the 2020 ICA New Professionals Programme is now open. The International Council on Archives created the New Professional Programme to support, and engage with, future leaders in the archival profession, who will stimulate international engagement from and with their professional communities.

New professionals (NPs) from around the world are selected to be members of the New Professionals Programme for one year and participate in all its activities, including during the ICA Congress. This year, bursaries will be funded to enable successful candidates to attend the Congress, taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Please note: The Congress has been rescheduled due to COVID-19, and new dates are 19-22 October 2021. 

Who is it for?

The New Professionals Programme is aimed at ICA members with less than 5 years of working experience, irrespective of age, including:

  • Students of archival science (including individual ICA members and students of archives/records management schools which are ICA members).
  • Trainees (including individual ICA members and trainees in organisations which are ICA members).
  • Qualified archivists with no working experience and who are individual members of ICA.
  • Individuals who have worked in archives and records management for less than 5 years (including individual ICA members and employees of organisations which are ICA members).

Please note the following criteria must be met:

1. The applicant is either

  • a paid-up member of ICA at the time of application
  • working for an institution with ICA membership, or training or studying to become an archivist/records manager and is associated with an institution with ICA membership (institutional membership must be checked by the applicant and the registered name of the institution notified in the application)

Please be aware that being a member of a professional association which is a member of ICA does not meet the criteria.

2. The applicant has less than 5 years of professional experience: he/she has started working, part-time or full-time, in a paid position, as an archivist or records manager, no earlier than 2015.

3. The applicant has not previously received funding from the ICA.

4. The applicant has not attended an ICA Conference nor Congress.

5. The applicant has enough English and/or French to benefit from the Congress sessions and to work in an international group. 

What are the benefits?

  • The opportunity to develop professional and personal connections with other archivists from around the world
  • A mentor who provides each NP with one-on-one professional advice throughout the year
  • A Congress buddy who will help guide you through your Congress experience
  • A bursary to participate in the ICA Congress and networking opportunities
  • The opportunity to develop and participate in a project that will foster and support NPs around the world
  • The opportunity to meet leaders in the archival profession

What is the commitment required?

The New Professional Programme requires a year-long commitment by the successful applicant and they must be able to attend the Congress in Abu Dhabi.

Details can be found in the New Professional Programme Overview (see below, section "Downloads").

What is expected of the New Professionals?

The NPs are expected to:

Assume the various New Professional Programme network roles including editing and/or contributing to the:

Provide support to ICA Expert Groups as required.

Support and develop advocacy and awareness initiatives for the NP community.

Participate actively in the Congress:

  • Run a common session during the Congress with other bursary holders.
  • Participate in communicating before and during the Congress on all appropriate media (Internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), in line with the ICA communication strategy.
  • Attend the New Professionals’ events and activities.
  • Participate in and support the workshops as appropriate.
  • Write an article for the ICA website, blog, FLASH or other appropriate publication as required.

In the months before the Congress all members of the Programme will be in touch with the Coordinator for the New Professionals Programme, attend regular online meetings, prepare the various aspects of their participation and communicate on social media.

What does the bursary cover?

  • The Congress registration fee. The bursary holders must register in time to benefit from the early bird registration fee or pay the difference in the fee.
  • The cost of travel to Abu Dhabi and return home: public transport, train, economy flight ticket (lowest fare). Bursary holders are free to choose another option (different dates, different class, different flight plan), provided that they cover the fee difference.
  • Hotel nights for the time of their required presence in Abu Dhabi. The hotel will be selected by ICA in order for all bursary holders to stay in the same place.
  • €100 for subsistence expenses on-site (meals outside of the Congress, transport).

Applicants should be aware that all costs must be paid by the bursary holders and then claimed back.

All claims are to be written in euros on the requisite ICA form and are to be presented with receipts for all expenses claimed. All refunds by ICA will be in euros.

All other expenses will be met by the bursary holders themselves.

How to apply?

We request that you complete your application by the end of June 2020.

We will only consider applications in French, English, and Spanish sent using the online application form (available here: Instructions on how to complete this form could be found in the sample application form 2020 (see below, section "Downloads").

The applicants should pay particular attention in their responses to ICA expectations outlined above and describe in detail how they intend to meet them.

The candidates who would like to send their application form in Arabic should use the PDF/Word document (see below, section "Downloads") and sent it to The application must include a statement of support from a referee and a short résumé (2 pages). Both documents along with the application form must be sent to

Deadline: End of June 2020. Late applications, or applications without the statement of support and/or résumé at this date will not be assessed.

Any questions or additional information can be sent to Nicola Laurent, New Professionals Programme Coordinator at​

NOTE: If the applicant has a delay in getting their statement of support, we suggest asking your referee to send it directly to us via email to before the deadline--if this document is too difficult to have ready due to the impact of COVID-19 in some countries.  

In addition to this, the applicant will need to upload in the application form a document for that question stating who is emailing their statement of support to us. Please submit the application form by the deadline of June 30. 

How will the selection be made?

The selection will be made by a panel of representatives from the ICA Programme Commission.

  • Out of the new professionals selected, at least one will come from the Branch where the Congress will be held, or from a neighbouring branch, which shares the same language.
  • Out of the new professionals, at least 3 different continents and more than one linguistic culture are to be represented.
  • Results of the selection will be published in September 2020. Candidates are advised to be informed about visa requirements and other travel logistics prior to applying for funding to ensure that they are ready to complete the process as soon as possible should they be awarded a bursary.​