Emerging Leaders Network

The IFT Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) is a highly selective global leadership program established for new professionals in the science of food, who are eager to expand their leadership and network skills to enhance and grow their careers.

The program is designed to bridge the gap between participants’ academic experience and on-the-job training. Participants can expect to establish meaningful, lifelong connections; gain new insights into scientific and technological issues; and develop the critical leadership skills needed to communicate the value of the profession.

Applications are now closed.

What Does participation in the Emerging Leaders Network look like? 

As a member of ELN, you will: 

  • Participate in an intensive, two-and-a-half-day leadership seminar at the IFT Annual Event (July 10-12, 2020), plus have full registration to the event
  • Enjoy personal access to IFT volunteer leadership, mentorship, and peer collaboration opportunities
  • Receive on-stage recognition at the IFT Annual Event
  • Gain an understanding of the current state of the profession and what the future may hold
  • Learn and practice critical skills, such as leading through conflict management, team dynamics, and management change
  • Be automatically considered for the Emerging Leaders Award


We are proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 Emerging Leaders Network Award.

Meet the Receipients

ELN Participation Information

To be eligible for participation, you must fit the following criteria: 

  •  IFT membership
  • Current full-time employment in the science of food profession 
  • Under 10 years of professional experience in academia, government, or industry (at the time of application) 
  • Plan to continue in a role that supports the advancement of the profession 
  • Demonstration of leadership skills and potential for further development 
  • Availability and commitment to attend the IFT Emerging Leaders Network seminar at the upcoming Annual Event
A one-time fee is due upon acceptance to the program. The fee for industry professionals in $700.00. This fee includes the IFT Annual Event registration fee and meals during the seminar.  

Individuals working for non-profit organizations, including academic institutions and government agencies, will be offered a reduced registration fee. Please contact Shannon Conkright for details. 

The ELN Award will be given to select candidates who demonstrate high potential for success in leadership roles and a strong commitment to the profession. All individuals applying for the Emerging Leaders Network Program will automatically be considered for the ELN Award.  

If selected to be an ELN awardee recipient, an awardee will receive the following:  

  • ELN program fee will be fully covered 
  • Hotel accommodations for the Annual Event 
  • Individual recognition at the IFT Annual Event Awards Ceremony, in IFT communications, Food Technology magazine, and on the IFT website 
  • Three mentoring sessions with either an IFT Fellow or member of the IFT Board of Directors 
  • Opportunity to serve as an ELN Peer Mentor the following year
If you have questions, please contact Shannon Conkright.

Q: What do I need to submit with my application?
A: Each application will be asked a series of questions and three essay questions. In addition, you will also have to submit the following: 

  • Letter of reference*
  • CV/Resume*
  • Photo*
  • Cover letter (optional) 

*Required for submission 

Q: Who should my Letter of Reference be from? Who should it address?
A: Your Letter of Reference can be from a supervisor, mentor, or someone who knows you in the workplace. You can address the letter of reference to: “To Whom It May Concern” 

Q: How Do I Apply for the ELN Award?
A: Applying for the ELN program will automatically put you under consideration for the ELN Award. 

More from IFT
Emerge Live for New Professionals
Emerge Live > right arrow
Explore timely professional development topics while also meeting peers from around the globe in these interactive online events.
IFT Connect
Chat with other New Professionals > right arrow
This member’s only online forum lets you chat with other new professionals around the globe.
eMentor Program
Need a Mentor? > right arrow
Receive guidance from an experienced professional and gain new perspectives on where your career can take you.