Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

apecs cover 200pxThere are many great opportunities for young researchers to advance their careers, learn from senior mentors, and help include the view of other early career scientists into international science planning bodies. We would like to acknowledge the great efforts of the following people who are helping to represent you.

Official APECS representatives on committees, meetings and projects serve many roles. Sometimes they advocate for early career researchers, provide an early career perspective, act as rapporteurs, take on action points, or contribute just like any other member of the committee. It all depends what that particular APECS partner is looking for. Above all, the idea is that the partner organization benefits from having input from an APECS member, APECS benefits by working with and hearing news from that partner organization, and the APECS member benefits by gaining experience and networking connections.

Sometimes partner organizations are not looking for an official APECS representative, but rather an early career researcher who can provide perspective and learn from the committee. They come to APECS for help identifying ECRs to fill these roles. In these positions, the representative is not formally representing APECS. APECS advertises and makes nominations for these positions using the same procedure as for APECS representatives but makes it clear in the advertisement that the position does not require representing APECS.

So, how do you become an APECS rep? APECS actively encourages our partner organizations to include APECS reps on committees, meetings, and projects. Some organizations will also approach APECS because they want early career input.

The APECS ExCom will put out a call for applications when a representative position opens up. If there isn’t travel funding included, there may be a location-dependent aspect to these calls. Sometimes either APECS or the partner organization will have particular APECS members in mind for these roles due to previous experience & knowledge or some skill set. The application itself generally includes a CV and an expression of interest. The ExCom considers all applications and decides on the strongest applicant or passes a list of recommendations on to the partner organization.

Once a decision has been made, APECS or the partner organization notifies all applicants. Because of the high volume of applications for many of the positions, individualized feedback on applications is not possible.

For more details please read the article below.

Want to be a Representative?

If you’re an APECS member looking to get a representative position, you should make sure your profile is up to date. You can update your profile by following the “Update your APECS profile” link at the bottom of APECS emails sent around. Some opportunities are sent to targeted parts of the APECS mailing lists that most closely match the requirements for the position.

Positions where early career researchers are needed for a committee, meeting or project are open to all APECS members. For meetings, depending on the funding situation, positions are advertised to all members or just to members close to the meeting location.

Positions representing APECS usually go to members of the APECS leadership. If you are interested in these types of positions, join the leadership at the national (national committee leaderships) and/or international level (ExCom or Council).

When you do see an advertisement for a position that you’re interested in, send in the required application on time and with all of the required materials. Complete and on-time applications will be given preference over those that are submitted late or are missing components. If there are specific questions in the advertisement, include the answers in your statement of interest.

The details on how APECS advertises opportunities and selects representatives are in this document.

Looking for an early career representative for your committee?

If you are chairing a committee or organizing an event and looking for Early Career involvement, APECS can help. Please contact the APECS director (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.

Info for Representatives

One of the goals of APECS is to give early career researchers a way to contribute to polar science and help shape the future and direction of polar studies. APECS also wants to help connect early career researchers with organizations interested in polar issues to foster upcoming leaders in polar science.

When you are asked to represent APECS (or early career researchers generally) please keep the APECS goals and objectives in mind.

When you get the position:

  1. Check with the APECS Executive Director or Executive Committee if there are any preparations you have to do for your role.
  2. Review the APECS rep summary report – there is one version for representatives attending meetings/workshops and one for serving on a committee. You will need to complete this form so that we can share it with our members and our partners. You can find the blank forms here (for meetings) and here (for committees). The summary will be added to the APECS News and the APECS Representatives pages.
  3. Review any documents sent to you by the meeting you will be attending or the organization / committee you will be included in (e.g. meeting documents) and the website of the organization/group who is putting the meeting on or that you will be working with on the committee. Make sure you understand acronyms associated with the group (or at least have a cheat sheet) so that you can follow the meeting without confusion. APECS has a great database of some of the most common acronyms used

Attending a Meeting:

During the meeting:

  1. We ask that you represent yourself as who you are (i.e. PhD student at Carleton University, Canada) and as an APECS representative (if you are asked to do so).
  2. If you are attending a meeting that has multiple sections or groups, join the group that interests you the most. We want you to get as much out of the meeting as possible, just make sure to attend the main sessions that will allow you to summarize the main points of the meetings.
  3. Network! One of the benefits of going to meetings is that you get to meet and interact with people you may not normally see.
  4. Take notes. You will need to complete the report after the meeting.

After the meeting:

  1. Complete the summary report and send it to the APECS ExCom and director. If you have been working with any other APECS committees on the position, send the summary to them as well. Summaries should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be submitted within 3 weeks after the meeting.
  2. If you made some contacts, be sure to follow up with those people. Send an email touching base with people you exchanged cards with. Even if there are no obvious collaborations or connections to make, it is always nice to expand your professional network, and future projects are always in the works.

Serving on a committee:

Some APECS positions are on committees that meet regularly online rather than at a single in-person meeting. For these representatives, the basics are mostly the same with a couple small differences.

  1. Update reports (this form) should be submitted once every six months, unless the committee meets less than four times per year, in which case annual reports will suffice. Annual report should be sent no later than 1 August of any given year to ensure the information can be included in the APECS Annual Report.
  2. Before meetings, check the agenda to see if any topics require direct input from APECS. If so, check with the ExCom and director if necessary to make sure you’re fully up to date on relevant APECS activities.
  3. If anything comes up during a committee meeting that requires APECS involvement, follow up right away with the ExCom or APECS director. Do not wait until the next report!
  4. If at the end of your term a new APECS representative is replacing you on the committee, talk to them to make sure they are up to date on what has happened during your term.

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A43
14473 Potsdam
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our Sponsors

APECS Directorate Sponsor
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Further Sponsors and Partners for APECS projects, activities and events