Early Career Scientist Committee

ISME-ECSC is an early career researcher-led initiative established within ISME to support early career microbial ecologists all over the world by facilitating networking opportunities and promoting education and training, research and career development opportunities within the microbial ecology community.

Our activities/Terms of reference

ECSC activities currently include (but are not limited to):

  • Establishment of an “Early Career Microbial Ecologist Forum” comprising early-career ISME members and other interested early-career microbial ecologists from all over the world;
  • Special networking events at the biennial ISME conference;
  • Convene sessions (e.g. one oral and poster session) at the ISME conference, focused on activities to advance the development of early career scientists;
  • Knowledge exchange via webinars initiated during COVID-19 lockdown and beyond, together with the organizers of @MicroSeminar;
  • Work-life balance workshops tailored for early career scientists and their specific challenges (to be initiated in the future);
  • Global journal club running for 3 months each year and meeting via slack every second week (to be announced at the next ISME meeting (ISME19 in 2024);
  • Highlighting two recent research articles each month from fellow early career scientists;
  • Interviewing established microbial ecologists and discussing strategies for early career researchers from the view point of a successful leader in the field.


The ECSC meets monthly via zoom or similar platform. At these meetings the representative of each team shares developments/challenges/opportunities within each space. Members take turns in recording meeting minutes. Meeting schedules will take into account time differences and alternate between the different time zones, where possible. Furthermore, the ECSC has a biennial in-person meeting which takes place at the ISME conference.


Governance structure

The ECSC performs its functions at various levels:

  • At the micro level, the governance structure comprises a chairperson as well as a co-chair, a science communication coordinator/team and an early career networking coordinator/team and a training and development coordinator/team.
  • ECSC coordinated activities are disseminated to ISME members via the ISME website and social media accounts, and the ISME newsletter sent out to the ISME mailing list by the current president.
  • At the macro level, the chairperson and/or a representative participate in ISME executive board meetings.