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Early Career Mentoring Program

The ESA Early Career Ecologist section is pleased to announce our

Interested in being a mentor?

Great! More details here.


What is the mentorship program?

The mentorship program pairs selected early career ecologists (mentees) with an established scientist in their field (mentor) who has agreed to meet one-on-one for career guidance. The program provides participants with the following benefits:

  1. one-on-one virtual interactions with a more senior scientist who will serve as a career mentor
  2. an opportunity to receive evaluation and advice from their mentor on their digital presentation (which can be on any topic or in any session) during the annual meeting
  3. broad exposure of their research profiles on the ECE webpage
  4. a continuing opportunity to expand their mentoring, and potentially collaboration, networks after the meeting has ended.

During the virtual meeting, we provide a dedicated time for one-on-one discussion with your mentor and a broader panel discussion with all of the mentors. 

Who can apply?

ECE members in the final year of their graduate program (Masters or PhD), or within 3 years post-graduation (counting from the date of the upcoming ESA Annual Meeting) are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must commit to :

  • registered to attend the ESA virtual meeting
  • giving a presentation (talk or poster)
  • completing an Individual Development Plan to prepare for conversations with their mentor.


Who are the mentors and how are they matched?

Typically, our mentors cover a broad range of ecological sub-disciplines and positions, at more senior career stages. Mentors will be matched to mentees based on mentee preference and suitability. We encourage mentees to identify specific interests- e.g. Primarily undergraduate institutions, government, policy, leadership positions, or outreach/extension, for the best possible fit. Mentors will not be from someone from the mentee’s home institution or a current or past collaborator.


How do I apply?

Members interested in participating in the mentoring program can send in a single PDF file to the Early Career Mentorship Program Coordinator (Shelby Rinehart; with the title ‘Mentorship program application’ which includes

  1. current curriculum vitae
  2. submitted abstract of their talk or poster for the conference
  3. short statement of their current career stage, future career goals, and mentoring needs (no more than a page).

We know science doesn’t happen in a bubble- if there are particular concerns, obstacles or challenges you face or have faced that are relevant to your interest in mentorship or career progression, you are welcome to include them in your application.

What next?

We will select and notify successful applicants in July. We will finalize the mentor pool and ask for your top preferences soon after and you will receive your match before the virtual meeting in August!


More questions?

Please contact the Mentorship Program Coordinator, Shelby Rinehart (