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Application Process

The LEADS conference is intended to bring together a diverse group of promising chemistry students and professionals for three days of career development and networking. If you have a passion for chemistry and are committed to using it to improve your world, learn about the application process below. 

Application will CLOSE December 31st, 2023.

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Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Chemistry student or professional from one of the following groups:
  • Undergraduate student (within 2 years of graduation)
  • Graduate (incl. master's or PhD) student
  • Post-doctoral scholar
  • Early career professional (within the first 3 years)
  • Fluent in English
  • Available to be physically present in Washington, D.C., for the duration of the conference
  • Participate in two virtual one-hour events - one prior to and one after the conference

The LEADS conference is open to both U.S. and international applicants, as well as applicants from all colleges, universities, and employment sectors. Direct any additional questions about eligibility to:

Application instructions

  1. Create an account. The account allows you to update your application at any time prior to submission and view your application status after submission. Your e-mail address will serve as the username for the account so use your most preferred e-mail.
  2. Click “Apply." You will be taken to the ACS-Hach Programs application page.
  3. Scroll down Select “LEADS 2024 Application.” Click “apply” to begin application.
  4. Complete the LEADS 2024 Application. See below for more information on the application components.
  5. Enter and submit the required materials for this application form. All information, including transcripts must be submitted with this form. Information not currently available in electronic form can be converted to PDF for free using the FaxtoMail feature. You may save and return to your application until the submission deadline.
  6. Confirm submission. Upon successful submission of your application, you will receive a confirmation email from “Hach Programs.” If you do not receive this email, try the following:
    a. Ensure you clicked the “Submit” button in your application
    b. Check your email spam or junk folder
    c. Verify you included your correct email address in your application. 

    Contact with any additional concerns

Application components

  • Contact and background information: You will need to provide a way to contact you, basic information on your current degree program or employment position, current career plans, and publications and presentations over the past 5 years. These questions are intended to provide a snapshot of you as a young chemical professional. It is expected that candidates’ responses will vary.
  • Statements of interest: You will have several opportunities to describe who you are and why you are a good candidate for the LEADS conference through personal statements. You will be asked to respond to the following in 2,000 or fewer characters each:
  • Chemistry and sustainability: ACS has identified several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to which the chemical enterprise is well-positioned to make a significant contribution. Select one goal that resonates with you and briefly outline a project that would contribute to that goal. This may or may not be a project you personally plan to complete; however, your response will be a reflection of your interest in sustainable chemistry and your ability to identify feasible projects.
  • Diversity and inclusion: Describe how one activity or project you have been involved in directly benefited from inclusion of people with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If possible, include your own contributions to fostering this inclusion. There are many large and small ways in which science and society benefit from the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, & respect; your response should reflect your commitment to these values.
  • Personal statement: Describe your current career goals and plans for achieving them. Your response should include how the LEADS conference will help further your goals.
  • Additional information: This question is completely optional. You may use it to provide any information you feel is pertinent to your application that is not collected elsewhere.
  • Resume or CV: You will be asked to upload a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Transcript (undergraduate and graduate students only): Students must upload a copy of their current transcript. Unofficial transcripts are welcome.
  • Letter of recommendation: Applicants must supply a letter of recommendation that address scientific potential, commitment to a chemistry-based career in the chemical sciences, and/or facility with such skills as leadership, teamwork, and equity and inclusion. Letters may be uploaded by the applicant or submitted by the reference (instructions for this will be included in the application).

Applicants should meet with their references ahead of time to discuss the letter:

  • Undergraduates should provide letter(s) from academic or research advisors or program director
  • Graduates and post-doctoral scholars should provide letters from research advisor(s) or the department chair/dean
  • Early career candidates should provide letters from manager(s) or director(s)


If you have any questions, please contact our team at: