Bridge Project - ACS Career Kick-Starter

A workshop for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars transitioning into the professional workforce

In partnership with the Eli Lilly, ACS is pleased to offer a Career Kick-Starter (CKS) Workshop.

The goal of this workshop is to provide ACS Bridge Fellows, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers underrepresented in the chemical sciences with the tools to conduct a successful career search and build a sense of community among those selected to participate. 

This workshop will also help develop interpersonal and communications skills used in professional and personal settings. ACS encourages Black, Latinx, and Indigenous individuals to apply. This program is designed for participants that aim to find their first job in governmental, non-profit, academic, or industrial organizations in the U.S. 

This workshop consists of five interactive learning modules, stimulating discussions from a diverse panel of professionals, one-on-one career consultations with a career adviser, and opportunities for creating meaningful professional connections. 

When & Where

The CKS Workshop will be held at the Eli Lilly Headquarters in Indinapolis, IN on October 17th - 19th. More details of the event will be provided to selected applicants. All travel and accommodations will be covered by ACS for applicants that are currently in the U.S.


Participants will:

  1. Understand how skills, values, and opportunities can intersect to create a satisfying career path for an individual
  2. Be able to identify their own personal values and skills by creating an individual development plan 
  3. Learn how to apply strategies for career exploration in different job sectors within the chemical sciences (Academia, Industry, Government, and Non-Profit/Entrepreneurship/Other)
  4. Develop new goals to reach their desired career objective
  5. Learn how to conduct a successful job search based on their new goals

How to Apply:

Applications for the 2024 CKS are now closed.

Career Kick-Starter Testimonials 

Headshot of Micheal Alowakennu

“In addition to the valuable networking opportunity that the CKS workshop offered, it was a great experience for me to gain insights into various career pathways in chemical sciences, thus equipping me with the knowledge to excel in my career, especially as an underrepresented researcher.”

- Micheal Alowakennu, PhD candidate at Michigan State University, 2023 CKS Participant

Headshot of Melissa I. Ortiz Román

" [The Bridge CKS] was the first time that I traveled for a professional activity of this nature, to be able to share with other graduate students from many universities. It was a very enriching experience, especially being able to share with Hispanic minority students like me who share the same interests. In addition to the workshops and educational talks, I was able to learn about the work of other students."

- ​Melissa I. Ortiz Román, PhD candidate at University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, 2023 CKS Participant

Headshot of Isaac Fuentes

“The CKS was an amazing opportunity that opened my eyes to the many different paths that a PhD Chemist can take. I was also able to meet other chemists that look like me, which helped peel away at some of my imposter syndrome!”

- Isaac Fuentes, PhD candidate at Washington University in St. Louis, 2023 CKS Participant

About Our Funders: 

Launched in 2018 with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the ACS Bridge Program has aimed for increased representation of students from historically marginalized groups pursuing advanced degrees in the Chemical Sciences through its participation with the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN). This program received further support from the Genentech Foundation (2020-2024), allowing the Bridge Program to enhance key initiatives dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in graduate education as well as expand its initiatives to include career and professional development opportunities. Now, Eli Lilly joins the mission by continuing to support students and sponsoring the ACS Bridge Career Kick-Starter.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact our team at

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