Back to top

Headwaters Leadership Academy Application

Headwaters Leadership Academy Application

The Headwaters Leadership Academy administered by the Society for Freshwater Science is seeking early-career freshwater scientists for its 2024 cohort. Applications are due on June 30 of each year.

The mission of the Headwaters Leadership Academy is to build a pipeline for emerging leaders by forming a network of early career freshwater scientists and providing mentorship, service, and professional development opportunities beyond the typical training offered in traditional academic settings.

The Headwaters Leadership Academy is a two-year commitment from September to May of each year that requires mandatory participation in three components:

  1. Professional Development – attendance at 8 interactive presentations (4/year); 1.5 hr each
  2. Mentoring Program – participation in monthly discussions; 1 hr each; groups of 2 mentors and 2-3 mentees
  3. Society Service – participation in an SFS committee or other society service

All applicants must be either in the last year of their intended terminal degree or less than five years since their terminal degree was awarded, and must be (or become) members of the Society for Freshwater Science. The selection criteria prioritize creating a cohort with diverse perspectives and experiences by representing varying career stages, career types, and demographics. A personal statement from each applicant describing their expectations and goals for this program is required as part of this application and will be also considered during the selection process. The personal statement should NOT include a description of your research. You can view the assessment rubric for the personal statement here.

To apply to this program, please fill out the form below.

Mailing Address:

With which racial and ethnic group(s) do you identify? (Mark all that apply)
How would you describe your gender identity? Mark all that apply.
What is your current position / career stage?
What is your future goal in terms of employment/affiliation? (may select multiple)
Have you previously applied to the Headwaters Leadership Academy?
If accepted to the program, do you agree to participate in all monthly mentorship group meetings and attend all webinar sessions?

Personal Statement

Please provide a personal statement (maximum 600-1200 characters) highlighting your career path (including current position and future goals), what kind(s) of additional mentorship/development you need, why you need it, and what you ultimately hope to gain from the Headwaters Leadership Academy.

The personal statement should NOT include a description of your research.

Upload personal statement file here
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: png pdf doc docx odt.

Contact Information

If you experience any technical difficulties in submitting your application or uploading files, please send an email to