eLife welcomes new Chair of its Early-Career Advisory Group

The new Chair will help ensure the voice of junior researchers continues to be heard within the organisation.
Press Pack
  • Views 310
  • Annotations

eLife is pleased to announce Brianne Kent, PhD, as the new Chair of its Early-Career Advisory Group (ECAG).

Kent is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Her research involves looking at whether changes in sleep patterns and body weight can be used to identify the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

As a strong advocate for open-access publishing, post-publication peer review and for the life sciences to embrace electronic archives, Kent’s views are in line with eLife’s mission to help scientists accelerate discovery by transforming how important research is communicated and shared. She previously worked with the Graduate Student and Postdoc forum (GRASP) at the University of Cambridge, UK, to organise events concerning the publishing culture in the life sciences. She has also written critiques of the publishing system in University World News, Huffington Post, University Affairs, and BlueSci – the Cambridge University Science Magazine.

Over the past three years, the ECAG has worked with eLife to improve the level of support available for early-stage researchers. To date, the group’s efforts include initiating an early-career reviewer pool at the journal, establishing the #ECRWednesday webinar series – events covering important issues relating to early-stage careers – and developing resources to aid training in constructive peer review.

As ECAG Chair, Kent will work with the group to help direct eLife in its overall mission, ensuring the needs and concerns of the early-career community are heard at every step. She was voted by the other members of the ECAG to succeed Jeanne Salje in the one-year role.

“As Chair, I hope to continue pushing the eLife mandate to be more than just a journal and catalyse the broad reform that early-career researchers are calling for in both the communication and culture of science,” says Kent. “Since joining the inaugural ECAG in 2014, I have been continually impressed with eLife's respect for and willingness to listen to the early-career community. Not only has the ECAG helped guide the development of eLife as a journal that emphasises integrity, creativity and reproducibility over impact, but together we have successfully launched several initiatives to support the early-career community.

“To help in these and future efforts, we have also recently welcomed five new members to the ECAG who bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to our work, and I am excited to see what we can accomplish over the next year.”

eLife Deputy Editor Detlef Weigel sums up the importance of the ECAG’s work moving forward: "One of the central drivers of eLife has been that journals need to serve early-career scientists more effectively, as time pressure is particularly acute for them,” he says. “The ECAG’s perspective is essential to help us reach this goal.”

eLife thanks these founding members of the ECAG, who are now more senior scientists, but whose efforts are responsible for the success and momentum of the eLife early-career initiative today:

  • Christophe Dessimoz, University College London, UK
  • Prateek Mahalwar, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany
  • Gabriela Pagnussat, National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • Chwee Tat Koe, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Jiawei Wang, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, China
  • Pedro Carvalho, Center for Genomic Regulation, Spain (ECAG member from 2014–2016)

We would also like to thank Jeanne Salje for serving as our first Chair.

For more information about the ECAG, please visit our Community page, at: https://elifesciences.org/community

For more information about eLife’s #ECRWednesday webinar series, please see: https://elifesciences.org/inside-elife/7314d6fb/webinar-invitation-ecrwednesday-series-for-early-stage-researchers

And to learn more about the Graduate Student and Postdoc forum, see: http://www.gradschl.lifesci.cam.ac.uk/GRASP

Media contacts

  1. Emily Packer


eLife is a unique collaboration between the funders and practitioners of research to improve the way important research is selected, presented and shared. eLife publishes important research in all areas of the life and biomedical sciences. The research is selected and evaluated by working scientists and is made freely available to all readers without delay. eLife also invests in innovation through open-source tool development to accelerate research communication and discovery. Our work is guided by the communities we serve. eLife is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust. Learn more at elifesciences.org.