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The purpose of the Early Career council is to foster the development of the next generation of life detection scientists and technologists by providing visibility and engagement in community activities, as well as a forum for identifying and discussing issues specific to early career individuals.   



Undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career researchers are all encouraged to join.  In the context of this group, ‘early career’ does not correspond to a fixed definition (e.g., within a fixed number of years post-PhD); rather, if an individual self-identifies as ‘early career’ and perceives a benefit to participating in the Early Career Council, that individual is encouraged to join.



     The intended benefits of participation in the Early Career Council are to foster closer ties with other early career scientists and with a network of researchers pursuing similarly-themed work, to provide enhanced context and visibility for one’s work and ideas, and to access a mechanism designed to raise the profile of issues that are specific or important to early career scientists.  The Early Career Council can bring business before the Steering Committee at any time, can propose new NfoLD initiatives, and can propose for any of the enabling resources that NASA makes available to the RCNs. Members of the Early Career Council may also participate in Action Groups and, in that capacity, can propose, lead, or participate in NfoLD initiatives. Additional benefits include:


  • Participation in resource sharing initiatives

  • Access to mailing lists: NfoLD-public, NfoLD-wide, Action group-specific, and Early career-specific (in progress)

  • Access to the NfoLD website as a user (in progress)

  • Listing in NfoLD Life Detection Research Directory (in progress)


     As with all NfoLD members, early career members should refer to, and abide by, the guidelines in the NfoLD Rules of the Road when interacting with the NfoLD community in order to maintain a safe, diverse, transparent and productive research environment. Violation of these stipulations will result in disaffiliation.



If you are not yet a member of NfoLD, please request affiliate member status here.  The affiliate member application form includes an option to request membership on the Early Career Council. 

If you are already a member of NfoLD as part of a Steering Committee research project, or have previously obtained affiliate membership status but would now like to join the ECC, please send us an email to indicate your interest.

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