ESA Early Career Fellows Program

ESA designates as Early Career Fellows of the Society certain early career members (typically chosen within 8 years of receiving the Ph.D.) who have begun making and show promise of continuing to make outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA.  Such contributions include, but are not restricted to, those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.

Goals of the ESA Early Career Fellows Program

  • To recognize and honor early career ESA members for their contributions and potential for contributions to the discipline.
  • To help make these early career ESA members more competitive for awards and honors when they are being compared with colleagues from other disciplines.
  • To support the advancement of early career ESA members to leadership positions in their own institutions and in the broader society.

The designation of an ESA member as an ESA Early Career Fellow is an honorific title, and lasts for 5 years from the date of selection, and all Early Career Fellows will be listed on the ESA website. No special duties or privileges are conferred with Fellowship. Fellows are elected for 5 years.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Any current non-student member of ESA who has been a member of ESA for at least two years (not necessarily consecutive and including student membership) is eligible to be nominated to be an ESA Early Career Fellow.
  • A nominee is expected to be early in their career.  In most cases, this will be interpreted to mean eight years or less from Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) at the time of selection.
  • Demonstrated excellence and potential for future excellence of contributions to one or several of the following areas: (1) research and discovery,  (2) communication and outreach, education and pedagogy, (3) application of ecology to management and policy.

Nomination Procedures

The nomination of an individual to be an ESA Early Career Fellow can be made by any two members of ESA except members of the Fellows Selection Committee (defined below).

The procedures for nominating ESA Early Career Fellows will be posted on the ESA website.

Nominations shall be submitted electronically and consist of:

  • A curriculum vitae of at most four pages. It is suggested that the vita include evidence of excellent contributions and promise of future contributions as outlined under the eligibility criteria. 
  • One to three letters of recommendation which may come from anyone, including nominators and non-members.
  • A citation of at most 50 words proposed for use if the nominee is selected to be a Fellow.
  • No ESA member can nominate more than two individuals as Early Career Fellows in a given year.

The Fellows Selection Committee (see below) will work to the best of its ability to elect the most deserving nominees. In making these decisions, the Committee will rely on the information in the nomination package and on the detailed insight about a nominee’s professional accomplishments that is provided by the letters of recommendation. It is important that the nomination package describes the nominee’s most significant contributions and potential for future contributions.

Nominations will be solicited annually, including explicit solicitation from each section and chapter, and must be received by the ESA office by December 15, 2014. New Fellows will be announced in the ESA Bulletin.

Any nomination that satisfies all requirements will remain active for two consecutive years.

Selection of Early Career Fellows

The ESA Fellows Program will be implemented by two committees, the ESA Awards Committee and the Fellows Selection Committee.

With regard to Fellows, the Awards Committee will have three duties:

  • To appoint the members of the Fellows Selection Committee.
  • To set the target number of Fellows to be selected in the current year in view of the guidelines below.
  • To address any difficulties that may arise in the implementation of the Fellows Program.

The Fellows Selection Committee will consist of six members serving staggered two-year terms. Only ESA Fellows who are also regular ESA members and who have not served on the Fellows Selection Committee in the preceding five years are eligible for appointment to the Committee. Each year, three new Committee members will be appointed by the Awards Committee from among those eligible, and the Awards Committee chair will designate one of the continuing committee members as chair.

The Awards Committee, when appointing the Fellows Selection Committee, and the Fellows Selection Committee, when evaluating nominees, will give careful attention to diversity in every possible sense.

The Fellows Selection Committee is charged to evaluate nominees and to select the ESA Early Career Fellows. The Fellows Selection Committee may not select more than the target number of Fellows, but may choose to select fewer Fellows if the nomination pool so warrants. The documentation submitted with a nomination is the basis for a selection decision.

The target number of Early Career Fellows will initially be 10 per year.