I am currently a graduate student and a member of an organization in my field. In my organization, there is this Early-career group composed of young scientists who already earned their Ph.D.'s, taking post-docs, and running their own research groups. In the case of graduate students, does early-career or the term applicable? and what is the difference between the terms early-career scientist, a budding scientist, young-scientist?

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    In life sciences it usually means either young PIs or postdocs (but not students), in my experience. – Bitwise Aug 8 '17 at 13:36
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    My recollection is that some funding agencies consider you early career if you are <= 10 years post phd. – HEITZ Aug 9 '17 at 21:52

"Early-career" can mean any number of things, depending on who you ask and in what context (from just PhD students, to everybody except tenured professors). Usually, it is just a label and hence matters little.

Where it actually can and does matter is in the context of grant applications, as many funding agencies have special calls for early-career researchers. However, in these cases, the agency will specify exactly what the boundaries of eligibility are. For instance, the Swedish Research Council (VR) has a Startup Grant that is available between 2 years and 7 years after getting a PhD.

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Exactly what any particular organization means by "early-career" is determined by the organization. The main point is that the term "young" is condescending and ageist. If you get a PhD at 50, are you a "young" scientist?

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    Really, "young" is ageist? No, it's simply not informative when talking about someone's career stage, since there are young tenured professors and much older graduate students. But I don't see how the word "young" can be considered ageist by anyone, if used in accordance with its actual meaning. – Dan Romik Aug 9 '17 at 3:32
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    It's ageist if it is used as a synonym for career stage, as was usually the case in the bad old days and is still often the case even now. – Elizabeth Henning Aug 9 '17 at 3:52

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