A gloved hand holding an orange sparks, on a pale yellow background
Edited by
Elsa Loissel et al.

Sparks of Change

Tell us how the culture of research is changing.
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Sparks of Change offers a space for stories about how research culture is or should be evolving. Each article centres around a moment that ignited change for an individual or a community. Interested in sharing your experience? Please get in touch.


  1. Sparks of Change: Share your story in eLife

    eLife’s Magazine is looking for stories that capture people's experiences of the changing culture of research.
  2. A gloved hand holding a white spark against an orange glow

    Career: Why I shrank my lab by half

    Anne E Carpenter
    A medical diagnosis sets a principal investigator on a new path.
  3. A raised fist holding a green spark on a pink and purple background

    Reproductive Rights: Having an abortion during your PhD

    Amanda Smythers
    A graduate student reflects on her choice to end a pregnancy, and on what the overturning of Roe v. Wade means for trainees in the United States.
  4. Gloved hand holding a magenta spark

    Lab Life: When your PhD (almost) falls apart

    Dominik Refardt
    As a chance observation threatens to unravel several years of work, a PhD student must choose what to do next.
  5. A gloved hand holding a yellow spark on a grey background

    Ukraine: Holding lectures while the bombs fall

    With the Russian army marching on his home city, a Ukrainian scholar must decide how to respond.
  6. Silhouette of a scientist walking to the right

    Career Change: When dreams don’t come true

    Adna Dumitrescu
    As she closes the door on her time in academia, a neuroscientist faces unexpected grief.
  7. A gloved hand holding a white spark on a purple background

    Peer Review: Feeling like a ‘real’ scientist

    Aalok Varma
    Peer reviewing helped a graduate student to finally gain a sense of belonging within the research community.
  8. Illustration by Vivid Biology

    COVID-19 and the Research Community: It is time for open access in clinical care

    Edy Kim
    A healthcare center widely sharing its internal guidelines on how to treat COVID-19 patients “just wasn’t done.” As the pandemic raged at a Boston hospital, the next generation of clinical leaders pushed for change.
  9. Being a Scientist: A monster of a disease

    Sahana Sitaraman
    When compulsions and obsessive thoughts took over her world, a graduate student found strength in her identity as a scientist.
  10. Open Chemistry: What if we just give everything away?

    Luke D Lavis
    A group leader decided that his lab would share the fluorescent dyes they create, for free and without authorship requirements. Nearly 12,000 aliquots later, he reveals what has happened since.
  11. Illustration by Carys Boughton

    Culture Shift: A catalyst for change

    Chrissy Stachl
    Disillusioned with conducting chemistry experiments in a basement, a new graduate student decides instead to dedicate her PhD to improving the culture of her research environment.


  1. Global Science: Barriers in Bangladesh

    Senjuti Saha, Sudipta Saha, Samir K Saha


  1. Elsa Loissel
    Associate Features Editor
  2. King, Stuart
    Stuart King
    Research Culture Manager