Early Career Investigator Award


The purpose of the Early Career Investigator (ECI) Award program recognizes scientists who are no more than 10 years from graduate school or post-doctoral appointment and are a current researcher in a non-academic setting (e.g. industry, government or non-profit laboratory) who have demonstrated outstanding promise for future contributions to Organic Chemistry.


This award program to recognize early career organic chemists working in non-academic settings was started in 2007. In 2021, the executive committee recognized the need to recognize mid-career organic chemists working in non-academic settings. Therefore, in 2021, the program was split into the ECI and Mid-Career Investigator (MCI) programs.

Selection of Awardees

Awardees are selected by the Early Career Investigator Awards Committee from a pool of candidates nominated by their respective employers and are approved by the Executive Committee of the Division of Organic Chemistry. Nominations are accepted through the online Early Career Investigator Award Nomination Form. The nomination package will be used by the awards committee to select Early Career Awardees and must include the following materials:

  1. A letter containing the address of the nominee, and information written on company letterhead that presents evidence that illustrates the scientist’s promise, creativity, and productivity. The letter should be a maximum of three pages and should detail the impact of the candidate with examples from their work on the portfolio with relevant schemes/publications/patents, including what opportunities and deliverables they have had as an individual contributor/step lead/project lead/etc. Any additional information that documents unique, non-project related achievements made by the nominee may also be included. We recommend focusing on 3-4 selected signature accomplishments that clearly demonstrate the scientist’s creativity and productivity. The letter should also articulate what sets this candidate apart from other EC candidates in terms of their impact to science, culture, and the chemistry community, capturing their promise in their respective department and the field of organic chemistry.
  2. The nominee’s CV (including work address and email) that includes a description of their educational background and experience, and publication and patent record.
  3. Second letters will be considered but are not necessary. The main letter can be jointly submitted by more than one nominator.
  4. We recognize that publication practices vary by company and as such, consider all nomination packages in their entirety. If publications are not available, we ask that the nomination letter provide details of specific examples of scientific accomplishments, team leadership and outreach. Copies of selected publications and patents are not necessary.
  5. We recognize that company size varies significantly and encourage multiple nominations when suitable candidates can be identified. However, due to the size of the selection committee, we are unable to review more than four (4) nominees from any given company.

Associated events

There are two events associated with the Early Career Investigator Award. There is a dinner for the awardees, typically on Sunday evening of the ACS Fall National Meeting in combination with the TAOC and Mid-Career Investigator Awardees. There is a symposium (half or full day depending on the number of awardees), typically on Sunday or Monday of the ACS Fall National Meeting.

Awardee Responsibilities

Awardees present a 30 minute scientific talk at the Fall ACS meeting that contains a substantial amount of the scientist’s own work (time period is flexible depending on number of awardees) at the ACS National Fall Meeting. As an awards symposium, under ACS bylaws there is no question and answer period.


We encourage nominators to select candidates who are both excellent scientists and good communicators. To nominate a candidate for the Early Career Investigator Award you would need to complete the online nomination form-due February 6, 2024. Nominators must be members or affiliates of the ACS Organic Division. The form requires a letter describing the nominee’s contributions and the nominee’s curriculum vitae. Additional letters and supporting documents are most welcome, but not essential. Nominees no more than 10 years from graduate school or post-doctoral appointment and are a current researcher in a non-academic setting (e.g. industry, government or non-profit laboratory). Nominations from women and minorities who are typically under-represented in chemistry are especially encouraged.
Questions may be directed to Drs. Steven Wisniewski and Steve Silverman.

Submission process

Nominations are to be submitted as a single PDF file (named using the format of the Nominee’s information: Last_Name_First_Name_ECI.pdf i.e. Smith_Jane_MCI.pdf) through this online form ECI Nomination Form.

Your PDF file should have the following parts in the following order:

  1. Nomination Letter on Company Letterhead
  2. Nominee’s CV
  3. Supplementary Information (optional)

Award history

The Early-Career Investigator Award commenced in 2007. All past and present awardees with their affiliations are listed on the Early Career Investigator’s (ECI) Award History Page by their awarded year.