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ESA Early Career Fellows Program

Call for Nominations

ESA designates an Early Career Fellow of the Society as 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, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

Eligibility criteria

Any current nonstudent 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 no fewer than 3 years and no more than eight years from Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) the year the fellow is awarded. Fellows will typically be pre-tenure at the time of nomination, except in countries where tenure is awarded relatively early.
  • 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 must be made by three members of ESA excluding members of the Fellows Selection Committee. No ESA member can nominate more than two individuals in a year. Nomination packets will be considered for one year. If a nominee is not selected, nominators are strongly encouraged to resubmit updated nominations, especially for nominees who are relatively early in their careers.

Nominations should be submitted through the online form and will require the following information:

  1. The names of the three nominators
  2. A citation of at most 50 words proposed for use if the nominee is selected to be an Early Career Fellow. Examples of citations can be found on the ESA Fellows Website, by clicking on any of the past Fellows’ names.
  3. A letter of nomination that describes the nominee’s most significant contributions and her/his impact in the areas of research & discovery, communication & outreach, teaching & pedagogy, and application to management & policy. Details regarding the criteria used by the Selection Committee for evaluating significant contributions and impact can be found below.
  4. At least one and preferably two additional letters of support from people besides the nominators should be included to provide detailed insight about a nominee’s professional accomplishments and contributions. These letters can come from anyone, including non-members.
  5. A curriculum vitae of at most four pages. The CV should include evidence of outstanding contributions as outlined under the eligibility criteria and should be organized as follows: education, positions held, awards and honors, 10-15 select publications (and total number), current and recent grants, and select professional activity (including separate categories for research & development, communication and outreach, teaching and pedagogy, application to management & policy, and service to the discipline).

Criteria for evaluating significant contributions and impact:

Below are some possible indicators of excellence that the selection committee will consider in selecting Fellows, so nominators and letter writers should speak to these in crafting their letters; these should not be viewed as an exclusive or complete list. Of course, Early Career Fellows and ESA Fellows will be evaluated against standards that are appropriate to their respective career stage.

Indicators of excellence include but are not restricted to the following:

Research and Discovery: Exceptional intellectual contributions (e.g., as described by nominator and letter writers), high quality publications, high impact publications (e.g., high number of citations), high numbers of publications, large numbers of significant grants, evidence of exceptional leadership in research (e.g. leadership on major collaborative projects).

Communication/Outreach, Education/Pedagogy: Creation of media for the public that effectively communicates science, significant engagement with stakeholder groups, organization of citizen science efforts, legislative testimony, large numbers of graduate students and postdocs mentored, placement of graduate students and postdocs in competitive positions, high quantity of undergraduate students mentored, high quality of undergraduate student mentorship (e.g., publication/professional meeting attendance with undergraduates), leadership in training/mentoring (e.g., at a programmatic level), significant grants related to communication/outreach or education/pedagogy, leadership in communication/outreach or education/pedagogy, leadership in producing national and international reports, exceptional service to the discipline (e.g., editorships, holding executive positions in societies).

Application to Management/Policy: Significant development and codification of policy or management strategies; outstanding work within agencies, NGOs, or the private sector to effect policy or management change; significant and outstanding service on advisory boards to agencies (e.g., state, federal), NGOs, or businesses; other evidence of contributions to the application of ecology to management or policy.

Finally, please confirm that your nominee is a current member of ESA; we have had to reject some very worthy candidates because they are not current members of ESA and therefore not eligible to be ESA Early Career Fellows

To submit an award nomination please select the following link: