2020 SLA Europe ECCA Application guidelines

There is one Early Career Conference Award (ECCA) available in 2020. Past Award winners have found the experience invaluable and we strongly encourage you to apply.

SLA Europe is offering two awards in 2020, one jointly with the Legal Division, and the Diane K. Foster Award jointly with the Science and Technology Division.

The Award will allow winners to attend the 2020 SLA Annual Conference and INFO-EXPO in Charlotte, 7 – 9 June 2020.

The Early Career Conference Awards provide invaluable opportunities for new library and information professionals to develop and establish themselves within their chosen sector.

The Award is worth about $4000. It covers the full cost of Conference registration, hotel lodging, economy return airfare to Charlotte, and meals and appropriate incidental expenses.

Award winners will be paired with a mentor from the sponsoring Division. The mentor will brief the award winner before the Conference, give guidance during the Conference, and maintain a link to the Division following the Conference.  Winners are also assigned a mentor from SLA Europe to offer direct support and help orient them to the Conference experience.

When to Apply

All applications must be received no later than Thursday, 5th March 2020, 23:59 GMT. The Award winner will be notified no later than 31st March 2020.

How to Apply

You will need 3 documents to apply for the 2020 ECCA: a statement, a CV/resume, and a letter of recommendation. All documents should be in English.  Application documents should demonstrate you meet the eligibility criteria for the award.  Please submit your documents using this application form.

Statement: Write a three part statement of a maximum 1500 words for all parts in total.

  • Part one: Tell us why you chose to pursue a career in LIS and why you might want to pursue a career in the area of your chosen Division.
  • Part two: Select two past conference sessions from the list below and tell us why you would choose to attend.  Discuss what takeaways you think you will get out of the sessions, and how you would share lessons learned with others.
  1. Killing Sacred Cows: Using Data to Evaluate and Manage Library Services (SLA 2019) – https://event.crowdcompass.com/sla2019/activity/1aRrxRyTll
  2. What Next? Identifying Your Encore Career Choices with Lifestyle Preferences (SLA 2019) – https://event.crowdcompass.com/sla2019/activity/ZsXryzzfJ0
  3. Practical Applications of AI in Law Firms (SLA 2019) – https://event.crowdcompass.com/sla2019/activity/MSdRMINgWs
  4. Building the Emotionally Intelligent Workplace: Ways to Improve the Self, Others, and Overall (SLA 2019) – https://event.crowdcompass.com/sla2019/activity/3SvVj5RPdF
  5. Preparing for the Worst, Hoping for the Best: Disaster Planning 101 for Information Professionals (SLA 2017) – https://event.crowdcompass.com/sla-17/activity/u0Kdi7cTrT
  • Part three: Tell us what you anticipate getting out of the conference and travel experience of the ECCA bursary and what impact you think this award will have on you personally and/or professionally.

CV/resume: Include a copy of your most current CV/resume with your current postal and email addresses as well as a current telephone number.

Letter of recommendation: Include a letter which explains why you would be a good candidate for this Award. The recommendation may come from your supervisor at work, or a professional colleague not at your own workplace, or, if you are a student, from a lecturer or faculty advisor from your course.

To apply, complete the form at https://sla-europe.org/awards/early-career-conference-award/ecca-applications/. Don’t forget to attach your documents! We also have some advice for referees and applicants.

Are you eligible?

Applicants must be:

  • Information professionals working in the field in Europe who are within their first 5 years of post-qualification work in the LIS sector
  • OR students enrolled in a European Library and Information Science (LIS) programme (undergraduate or postgraduate) during the 2019-20 academic year
  • OR participants in a recognised LIS training position, such as graduate traineeships, or studentships/internships lasting not less than 1 year.
  • First-time attendees at an SLA annual conference.
  • Able to communicate in written and spoken English.
  • In possession of up-to-date travel documents required for entry into the USA (i.e. current passport, visa waiver, etc.).
  • Interested in a career in special librarianship, preferably in the areas of one or more of the two Divisions co-sponsoring the Awards with SLA Europe.
  • An SLA member with membership of the sponsoring division OR prepared to become a member on winning the award.

Applicants should note the ECCA Division requirements for the awards before applying.

Benefits of receiving the Award

Previous Award winners thoroughly enjoyed their experience of attending the SLA Conference and their ongoing participation in SLA. Following are some of the benefits they highlighted in their post-conference articles for SLA Europe:

  • Gaining a broadened perspective on career options by attending Conference programme events and meeting seasoned library and information professionals at the Conference.
  • Learning about many products and services for the LIS market by visiting the stands of exhibitors at the Conference’s accompanying INFO-EXPO.
  • Receiving professional recognition from SLA Europe members and the co-sponsoring SLA Divisions. They will also be introduced at the International Reception and the First Timers Reception, as well as at Division events.
  • Gaining widespread visibility through international publicity disseminated by SLA, SLA Europe, the co-sponsoring SLA Divisions, and industry sponsors all introducing the ECCA winners to the information community.
  • Being able to travel to North America and meet information professionals from all parts of the globe.
  • Developing their professional profile and publicity-seeking skills by writing articles for SLA

During the conference

During the Conference, attendance and participation in certain sessions and events will be required depending on the requirements of the chosen Division. The winner should attend the International Reception and the First Timers Reception.

After the conference

After the 2020 SLA Conference the award winner will be expected to write two short articles in English on what they learned at the Conference. One article, geared towards SLA Europe membership, will be published on the SLA Europe blog.

The second article will be published in the blog/newsletter of the SLA Division co-sponsoring them and geared to that readership.

The 2020 award winner will be given the opportunity to stay in touch, plus opportunities to get involved with the work of the SLA Europe board. Please see the ECCA Division requirements for details of other post conference requirements.


If you have any questions, please contact our Chair of the Early Career & Awards Committee at earlycareers@sla-europe.org, for further information.