Being a scientist is an elusive, ill-defined concept; feeling that you are one, and what this means to you, can be even more complicated.
Sparks of Change is an eLife column that shares snapshots of how research culture is changing and, for an upcoming column, we are looking for stories about moments that highlight the complicated relationships one can experience about “being” and “feeling” like a scientist.
Perhaps feeling like a scientist came at unexpected times, through unforeseen events, moments or experiences. Perhaps you have had difficulties feeling like you are a scientist; not thinking that you were allowed to, or not feeling like the definition given by the current research culture could apply to you. What stood in the way? What events helped you overcome that feeling (or perhaps you never did)? How did these moments allow you to define what “being a scientist” is for yourself? And is this something that matters to you?
If you have an interesting story about moments that helped or hindered you as you navigated or wrestled with your identity as a scientist, we’d like to hear from you.
Submissions will be accepted until Monday, August 9, 2021.
We’re looking for pitches of up to 250 words that will help us understand the story you want to share. The final articles will be short (about 800 words) first-person narratives which get readers immersed in an event that ignited change in the author’s life or those around them. This column is not for essays, opinion pieces or research publications (but these may be published as other article types in eLife). Please note that we cannot accept content that has been published elsewhere, or which overlaps greatly with already published articles. Guidelines are available here.
Sparks of Change is for anyone and everyone with an interesting story to tell and the willingness to tell it, regardless of job title or seniority. We are especially interested in featuring stories from individuals from communities that are underrepresented in science and medicine. One of our dedicated editors will work closely with each selected author to shape their final piece and allow the story to shine through. You do not need to have been published previously to be considered, and you do not have to wait for your idea to be perfect before getting in touch.
We welcome comments, questions and feedback. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.