Professional Advancement Career Training (PACT) Initiative

Graduate Students and Postdocs in Entomology: Are you looking for tools and training to make yourself stand out as you look for the next step in your career?  Are you interested in learning more about career opportunities outside academia with a degree in entomology?

ESA’s Professional Advancement Career Training (PACT) Initiative will help you develop the leadership capacity and “soft skills” sought after in today’s highly collaborative work environments—both within and beyond academia.

Applications extended to June 16, 2024!

Join us for a six-month program that will guide you in identifying your current areas of strength and opportunities for growth. PACT begins each fall and concludes the following spring, for example, September 2024 - March 2025. Each month of the program will focus on a unique theme in leadership and soft-skill development.  PACT activities include:

  • 360-degree personal evaluation
  • monthly webinar
  • monthly video meeting with a paired mentor using the MentorCity platform
  • monthly, guided group discussion with peers
  • networking event for in-person attendees at the ESA Annual Meeting
  • additional opportunities to connect over the course of the program.

Eligibility: The PACT Initiative competitive application program is available this year to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the U.S. who are ESA members in good standing. 

Other professional development content will continually be available throughout the year through ESA.  

Application Requirements:

  • CV (5-page max)
  • Letter of personal interest in participating (500-word max) that outlines the applicant's
    • personal and professional qualifications based on current career stage 
    • professional goals following academic training,
    • unique contributions the applicant brings to the PACT community,
    • and what the applicant hopes to get out of the PACT experience. 
  • Letter of recommendation from the applicant's research supervisor which includes approval for program participation

Time Requirements

  • Mandatory attendance for webinars, group discussions, and mentoring meeting (3 hours per month)
  • Additional preparatory reading materials (1 hour per month)

Cost: participation for individuals selected through the application process is $100

More details will follow, so keep an eye on this space. Or, to request program updates to your inbox, email ESA Director of Strategic Leadership and Policy, Erin Cadwalader, Ph.D.

Making an Impact with Your Entomology Ph.D. 

Learn how other entomologists are developing and using their soft skills to have a big impact in sectors outside academia via this ongoing series from Entomology Today.

From the Bench to a Broader Impact: Traveling a Non-Traditional Path for Science to Benefit the World 

Meet entomologist Shavonn R. Whiten, Ph.D., who translated her academic experience in vector-borne disease management into a career in public policy and international development. Learn what it takes to turn scientific training into real-world capacity building—and how Whiten made the leap.



Soft Skills: The Secret Ingredient to a Successful Science Career 

Meet entomologist Brooke Bissinger, Ph.D., who credits her success in time management, adaptability, and teamwork to her experience working in the food service industry before she became a scientist. Learn about the soft skills Bissinger gained in that work and how she applies it today as an entomologist in research and development.


Biodiversity of a Lab: A Community Ecology Perspective on Contributing to a Healthy Ecosystem 

A successful science lab is a dynamic, carefully balanced environment not unlike a natural ecosystem. Attention to relationships, individual personalities, and stresses of scientific work are all critical to fostering a healthy, balanced lab environment. Meet ecologist Monica Farfan, Ph.D., to learn what other elements are needed to create a healthy lab ecosystem.



Passion or Profession? Mid-Career Reflections of a Medical Entomologist 

Ary Faraji, Ph.D., BCE, traces his career from class clown to Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District. He credits his success to a willingness to take on new challenges, a focus on teamwork, and a passion for entomological adventures.



Navy Entomologists: Protecting Sailors and Marines Around the World

Within the U.S. Navy, a variety of public health needs are served by units stationed around the world. These Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Units act as “mini-CDCs” with responsibilities ranging from occupational medicine and environmental health to industrial hygiene and toxicology, and much more—including entomology.



Career-Development Webinars

Get a foot up on the competition with these additional career-development resources.

  • What a Recruiter Wishes You Knew Before Approaching Them 
    An industry recruiter offers her top tips on what you need to know about how to package and present yourself for jobs outside academia, from putting your CV together to negotiating a salary and benefits.   

  • Opportunities for Entomologists at the EPA 
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientists present the various types of roles available to entomologists at the EPA, what it looks like on a day to day basis, and how to apply for a job with the agency.   

  • Considering Non-Traditional Careers in Entomology
    While tenure track academic jobs are often heralded as the traditional career path, most MS and PhD’s are finding employment in other fields. What are these other alternative career options and how do you find out about them? 

  • Hacking the Academic Job Market
    Are you fully prepared to enter the job market? Designed to provide insight into the Academic and non-Academic job markets, this webinar explores conditions of the job market, what search committees look for, how to build a competitive record, how to articulate that record in job applications and interviews, and how to effectively negotiate when offered a position.

  • Standing Out from the Crowd: Building Your CV/Resume
    Learn more about getting involved with committees, judging panels, and the editorial process; volunteering at the ESA Annual Meeting; and how to give your best presentation at your next meeting.

  • Getting Your Foot in the Door: How to Write the Best Cover Letter
    Learn how to avoid the mundane and write a cover letter that convinces the employer you're the right person for the job!

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