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Science Alliance Leadership Training (SALT) 2020

Science Alliance Leadership Training (SALT) 2020

Wednesday, March 4 - Sunday, March 8, 2020 EDT

The New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St Fl 40, New York


Your STEM Career Begins with SALT

Are you a PhD student in the New York City metropolitan area who wants to pursue a career in STEM? You’ll acquire valuable leadership skills, connect with a powerful network, and gain an edge in your career with Science Alliance Leadership Training (SALT). This free 5-day program provides thirty exceptional students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in leadership concepts, and build the skills they’ll need to effectively advocate for their career.

As a PhD student, you know you’re honing your research skills. But you also know it takes more than that to reach new heights in your career. That’s where SALT comes in.

The training will feature small group exercises, a leadership development plan, community-building among participants, and networking opportunities with a dynamic network of SALT alumni.


What’s in Store for SALT 2020?

The tools you need to succeed

Gain all the leadership, interpersonal, conflict management and communication skills you need to take ownership of your career.

Continuous follow-up and education

The learning doesn’t stop after SALT ends. We provide you with nine months of continuous education in the form of webinars, Q&A sessions and supplemental materials.

A tight-knit community of SALT alumni

You’ll go through SALT with a small cohort of driven students like yourself, enabling you to build connections and open up networking opportunities across multiple institutions and fields.

A professional network like no other

Students must join the New York Academy of Sciences before applying for SALT. As a Member, you’ll enjoy the networking and educational benefits that come with being part of the World’s Smartest Network®.

Smiling student

Eligibility & Selection Criteria


  • Applicants must be PhD students in the 2nd year of their PhD or beyond.
  • Applicants in year 2 of their PhD must have begun their second semester by March 4th, 2020 or earlier.
  • Applicants must be enrolled at an institution located in the New York City metropolitan area.
  • Applicants must be Members of the New York Academy of Sciences at the time of the application. If you are not already a Member, please join here prior to submitting your application.

Get Your Application Materials Ready

You’ll need to submit all of your application materials in one go, so be sure to prepare the following items in advance:

Statement of purpose (max. 500 words)

  • 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.

Leadership essay (max. 400 words)

  • 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.

Candidate biography (max. 150 words)

  • Brief bio that includes education, interests and professional goals.

Consent form

Resume (max. 2 pages)

Letter of recommendation (1)

Questions? Visit our FAQ page, or email us at

Not Just Another Career Development Program...

Each day of SALT revolves around a unique theme with lessons, breakouts and trainings designed to help you hone your skills.

Day 1: March 4

Leadership and Critical Communication

Day 2: March 5

Public Communication

Day 3: March 6

Leadership & Personality

Day 4: March 7

Leadership, EQ & Conflict Resolution

Day 5: March 8

Simulation Activities

SALT Application

+ What is in the application and in the consent form?

You can find the application here and the consent form here.

+ Does the recommendation letter have to be written by my Principal Investigator?

No, the recommendation letter can be written by any professional that can attest to what makes you a great candidate for this unique leadership training opportunity.

+ Can I submit more than one recommendation letter?

Yes, you may submit more than one recommendation letter. However, only the first letter received will be included in the application materials for the reviewers.

+ Does the consent form need to be signed my PI?

Yes, SALT requires a 5-day commitment from each participant. The PI’s signature on the consent form guarantees that the student has the consent of their supervisor to participate in this unique opportunity without affecting his/her research requirements.

+ If my PI won’t sign the consent form, will my application still be considered?

No, all the requirements must be met by the application deadline (February 4th, 2020). This includes your PI’s signature on the consent form.

+ Is there is a fee to apply or attend SALT?

No, there is no fee to apply or participate in SALT. However, you must be a Member in good standing of the New York Academy of Sciences at the time of your application.

+ When will I be notified about my application status?

We expect to notify all applicants of their status by the last week of February 2020.

+ Who will review my application?

Each completed application will be reviewed by 2 professionals with doctoral degrees in STEM fields who are currently pursuing a variety of science careers, including science policy, academia, non-profit, industry, and consulting.

SALT Eligibility

+ Is a PhD degree required to apply?

No, this year’s SALT is designed for graduate students pursuing PhD degrees in STEM fields who are in the 2nd year of their degree program, or beyond. Second year students must have begun (or expect to begin) their second semester by March 4th, 2020 or earlier.

+ Are first year or early second year graduate students eligible to apply?

No, SALT is designed for current graduate students who have completed their first year, and at least one semester of their second year, or beyond.

+ Are undergraduates, master’s students or postdocs eligible to apply?

No, SALT is designed for current graduate students pursuing PhD degrees in STEM fields who are in their second year or beyond.

+ Do I need to be a US citizen to apply for SALT?

No, you don’t need to be a citizen. SALT will accept applications from both US citizen students and non-citizen students.

+ If I am pursuing my degree at an institution outside the New York City metropolitan area, can I still apply?

No, this edition of SALT is restricted to students studying at institutions in the New York metropolitan area. However we may offer additional SALT editions later in the year that will be open to a broader set of participants. To stay in the loop, ensure that you subscribe to our newsletters via the link at the bottom of this webpage!

+ I was part of a previous SALT program. Am I eligible to apply?

No, previous SALT participants are not eligible to participate as SALT students for a second time.

SALT Program Requirements

+ 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 March 4-8th.

+ When do sessions start and end?

SALT sessions will start every day at 8:30 AM and will finish by 5:30 PM.

+ When does the last session end?

The last session will end on Friday, March 8th at 4:00 PM.

+ Are meals provided during SALT?

Yes, SALT participants will get a light breakfast, lunch, and snacks every day.

+ Does the New York Academy of Sciences cover my commuting fees?

Yes, the New York Academy of Sciences will cover commuting fees or transportation costs within the New York City metropolitan area associated with participating in SALT. Participant will be reimbursed “incidentals & meals” for a minimum approved rate upon submission of receipts.

+ Will the New York Academy of Sciences cover my travel and lodging expenses?

No, the New York Academy of Sciences will not cover travel and lodging expenses for SALT participants except as indicated in the previous question.