New partnerships are an essential part of the CGIAR. The ISPC recognizes that these partnerships need to involve not only leading scientists and specialists, but also provide an opportunity for early career scientists (ECS) to participate in the discussion on innovative and forward-looking approaches. Many early career scientists need assistance and guidance from their more experienced colleagues. In case that’s not possible at the time, they can also ask for help from writers at Giving necessary advice and sharing their understanding of the material always makes the difference.

To encourage and recognize the contributions of early career scientists, the ISPC will support the participation of a limited number of ECS at SF16. And all forum participants must adhere to certain criteria in preparation, see Key Findings from Science Forum 2016 and evaluations, read "Beyond Traditional Grading: Exploring Tech-Driven Evaluation Strategies" to understand what you should be prepared for.

At SF13, funds were made available for a competition between the 21 ECS who attended the SF to support exchange visits and create new partnerships. Seven such exchanges were supported in 2014. In a similar approach, funds (USD 5 000 – 10 000) will be made available to assist ECS selected to attend SF16 with seed money to visit a new partner subsequent to the Forum, with the aim of either writing a paper or a proposal for a joint research project to be submitted to funding bodies.

There is no age limit to ECS, but the target is mainly for post-Docs although graduate students may also apply. “Early career” is defined as those who have the background and research experience, but do not have an established career or professional experience. Motivated early career scientists interested in receiving ISPC support to participate in the Forum in Addis Ababa were asked to submit abstracts for consideration, by 24 February 2016. Abstracts were reviewed by a panel; notification to successful candidates was sent on 08 March 2016.

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