The community behind eLife wants to help address some of the pressures on early-career scientists

The community behind eLife – including the research funders who support the journal, the editors and referees who run the peer-review process, and our Early-Career Advisory Group – are keenly aware of the pressures faced by early-stage investigators. That’s one reason we’re working to create a more positive publishing experience that will, among other things, help early-career researchers receive the recognition they deserve.

eLife supports and showcases early-career scientists and their work in a number of ways:

Early-Career Advisory Group

eLife has invited a group of talented graduate students, postdocs and junior group leaders from across the world to our Early-Career Advisory Group. The ECAG acts as a voice for early-career researchers (ECRs) within eLife, representing their needs and aspirations and helping to develop new initiatives and shape current practices to change academic publishing for the better.

The role of the ECAG includes:

  • Offering ideas and advice on new and ongoing efforts with the potential to help early-career scientists
  • Providing direct support for ongoing programs, such as monthly webinars
  • Leading efforts to reach out to early-stage colleagues, to gather their feedback and/or connect them to the network
  • Participating in online or in-person events about issues of concern to early-stage researchers
  • Attending quarterly phone calls and an annual in-person meeting

For more information, take a look at this video message from the ECAG.

Community Ambassadors
We convene and facilitate a worldwide community of like-minded researchers, led by the ECAG. The eLife Community Ambassadors champion responsible behaviours in science among colleagues and create and deliver solutions that accelerate positive changes in scholarly culture.
Involvement in peer review

eLife encourages editors to nominate and involve early-career researchers in the review process. The eLife pool of early-career reviewers aims to provide outstanding early-stage researchers the opportunity to peer review manuscripts. Members of the pool are nominated and/or approved by the eLife editors.

To be eligible, researchers have to be either a postdoctoral researcher or have spent less than five years in an independent research position (e.g. Group Leader). It is also a requirement to have had at least two first-author publications in an area of research within the scope of eLife. Researchers wishing to be considered for this pool should contact the journal staff (editorial@elifesciences.org) and provide:

  • A brief letter of endorsement from their supervisor (optional)
  • Their CV
  • The link to their webpage or, at a minimum, another site with details about their work (e.g. Google Scholar, Publons or ORCID)
  • Two representative first-author publications
  • 4-8 keywords and 1-3 subject areas of eLife relevant to their research, and
  • A short list of eLife Reviewing Editors they could work with

Self-nominations will be reviewed by at least one eLife Reviewing Editor.

eLife also encourages reviewers to involve early-career colleagues as co-reviewers, and we enable all reviewers to receive credit for their contributions through services such as Publons and ORCID.

Travel grants
eLife offers funding to help early-career scientists get exposure and recognition for their work among leading scientists in their fields. New travel grant programmes are announced at the start of each year. Sign up to our early-career newsletter for updates and information on how to apply.
A platform for the early-career community to share opportunities and explore issues around building a successful research career, on the last Wednesday of the month. Previous webinars can be found on our collection page.
Magazine features
Early-career researchers and issues of concern to them are regularly featured in interviews, podcasts and articles in the Magazine section of eLife.

For the latest in our work to support early-career scientists, explore our Community page and sign up for eLife News for Early-Career Researchers. You can also find us on Twitter: @eLifeCommunity