• Science Alliance Leadership Training

  • SALT 2017
  • The opportunity for tomorrow’s STEM leaders to develop their leadership skills today.

    Science Alliance Leadership Training (SALT) 2017

    Leadership skills are essential for success in the STEM fields, but many scientists do not learn these valuable skills until later in their career. Using an innovative approach SALT is the first program created exclusively for PhD students to fill this crucial gap. Apply to SALT at this link.

    Application Information

    Application Deadline: April 10th, 2017 (Selected candidates notified by first week of May)
    Program Dates: July 10–14th, 2017
    Location: The New York Academy of Sciences, New York, NY

    Program Overview

    The Science Alliance Leadership Training (SALT) is the only program in the United States that provide hands on leadership training for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) PhD students. This 5-day program will provide participants with tools to take ownership of their career by learning interpersonal skills, conflict management, and assertive communications skills. The program is free of cost and will be a tremendous résumé booster for participants. SALT will prepare and train graduate students to assume leadership roles throughout their professional career.

    Overall Program Goals

    • Build essential leadership skills in early career scientists that will empower them to assume leadership roles through their professional career.

    • Establish and develop a strong and diverse network of STEM leaders with top credentials.

    • Develop an individualized professional plan to achieve your career goals with action steps and a timeline.


    • Applicants must be Members of the New York Academy of Sciences at the time of the application. If you are not currently a Member, please click here to join the Academy prior to submitting your application.

    • Applicants must be actively engaged in STEM research as PhD students.

    • Applicants must have completed the second year of their PhD program by May 31st, 2017.


    • Personalized Leadership Development Plan

    • Digital Badge (Certificate of Participation) that can be displayed on LinkedIn

    • Become part of the Academy's Ambassador Program


    • Communication and Leadership Skills: effective and assertive communication techniques, how to influence others, and to discover your learning style.

    • Interpersonal Skills: Empathy, networking, power dynamics, and team-building.

    • Conflict Management and Emotional Intelligence: Conflict resolution, diverse teams, implicit bias, and understanding team dynamics.

    Selection Merits

    The merits by which the application materials will be evaluated are:

    • Leadership potential

    • Academic status

    How to Apply

    1. Interested students who are Members of the Academy should submit an application at: on or before April 10th, 2017 at 11:59 PM (EST).
    If you are not already a Member, join at:

    2. All the required documents (parts A–E) should be submitted to the online application. Please notice that the consent form (A) signed by the student's PI (A) and the résumé (E) need to be uploaded into the online portal.

    3. The letter of recommendation (part F) should be sent directly by the person who is endorsing the student to:

    4. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

    5. Notices of acceptance/rejection will be sent by e-mail to the applicant by the first week of May.

    What are the Application Materials?

    A. Consent Form
    ** The consent form has to be signed by the Principal Investigator (PI), indicating that if selected the graduate student has their consent to participate in the program during July 10–14th, 2017.

    B. Leadership Essay (Max. 400 words): answer the following questions in an essay.

    • Describe opportunities in your current position as a graduate student where you have demonstrated leadership.

    • Describe a scenario where you were not effective as a leader and describe lesson(s) learned from it.

    C. Statement of Purpose (Max. 500 words): include answers for the following questions in your statement of purpose.

    • What does Leadership mean to you?

    • What do you expect to learn at SALT?

    • Please describe your professional vision and how you plan to get there.

    D. Candidate bio (Max. 150 words): brief bio that includes, education, interests, and professional goals.

    E. Résumé (Max. 2 pages): convert your CV to a résumé for this application.

    F. Letter of Recommendation

    • The letter of recommendation should be submitted to by April 10th, 2017 at 11:59 PM (EST).

    • The letter should address the following question: What skills make the candidate a potential leader?

    Please review our FAQs sheet. If you have any questions, please email Dr. Yaihara Fortis-Santiago at


    SALT Application

    1. What is in the application and in the consent form?
    You can find the application here and the consent form here.

    2. Does the recommendation letter have to be written by my Principal Investigator?
    No, the recommendation letter can be written by a professional that can attest to what makes you a great candidate and leader for this unique Leadership Training opportunity.

    3. Could I submit more than one recommendation letter?
    Yes, more than one recommendation letter can be received for the applicant. However, only the first letter received will be included in the application materials for the reviewers.

    4. Does the application form need to be signed by the grad student's PI?
    Yes, SALT requires a 5-day commitment from each participant. The PI's signature on the application form guarantees that the student has the consent from their supervisor to participate in this unique opportunity without affecting his/her research requirements.

    5. My PI will not sign the consent form (A), will my application still be considered for SALT 2017?
    No. In order to be considered for review all the requirements have to be met by the deadline (April 10th, 2017), including the PI's signature on the consent form (A).

    6. Is there is an application fee?
    No, SALT does not require an application fee.

    7. When will I be notified about my application status?
    We expect to notify all applicants of their status by the first week of May.

    8. Who will review my application?
    Each complete application will be reviewed by two professionals with doctoral degrees in the STEM fields, who are currently pursuing a variety of science careers. These careers include science policy, academia, non-profit, industry, and consulting.

    Eligibility for Participation in SALT

    9. Is a PhD degree required to apply?
    No, SALT is designed for current graduate students pursuing PhD degrees in the STEM fields who have completed their second year by May 31st, 2017.

    10. Are first year or second year graduate students eligible for the SALT?
    No, SALT is designed for current graduate students who have completed the second year of their PhD degrees by May 31st, 2017.

    11. Are undergraduates, master's students or postdocs eligible to apply?
    No, SALT is designed for current graduate students pursuing their PhD degrees in the STEM fields, who have completed their second year at the time of the application.

    12. Can non-US citizens apply for SALT?
    Yes, SALT will accept applications from both non-US citizen students and US citizen students.

    13. Are students from outside of NYC eligible to apply for SALT?
    Yes, graduate students from other states pursuing their PhD degrees in STEM fields, who have completed their second year by May 31st, 2017 are eligible to apply. However, the New York Academy of Sciences will not cover expenses related to lodging, travel, and local transportation incurred by participation in SALT.

    14. I was part of a previous SALT program. Am I eligible to apply?
    No, previous SALT participants are not eligible to participate in SALT for a second time.

    SALT Program

    15. If selected, am I required to attend every day?
    Absolutely, yes. You are making a commitment to the New York Academy of Sciences to be present during the 5 days of SALT. This year's program dates are July 10–14th.

    16. When do sessions start and end?
    SALT sessions will start every day at 8:30 AM and will finish by 5:30 PM.

    17. When does the last session end?
    The last session will end on Friday, July 14th at 4:00 PM.

    18. Are meals provided during SALT?
    Yes, SALT participants will get a light breakfast, lunch, and snacks every day.

    19. Does the New York Academy of Sciences covers my commuting fees?
    No, the New York Academy of Sciences will not cover commuting fees or transportation costs associated with participating in SALT.

    20. Does the New York Academy of Sciences provides travel and lodging?
    No, the New York Academy of Sciences will not cover travel and lodging expenses for SALT participants.

    21. Is there a cost associated with SALT that has to be covered by the participant?
    There are no fees associated with applying or participating in SALT. However, the New York Academy of Sciences will not cover travel, lodging, or fees associated with commuting and transportation to SALT.