Early-Career Advisory Group: Introducing the latest members

Five new recruits start a two-year term to catalyse broad reform in journals publishing and research communication.
Inside eLife

Poor recognition? Bad incentives? Lack of opportunities? Lack of support? While working in academia can be a rewarding career, there are many challenges facing junior researchers.

In May, we opened up nominations for our Early-Career Advisory Group (ECAG), which aims to bring much-needed reform to publishing and research communication by working to align eLife’s future vision with the needs of early-stage scientists.

We had a fantastic response, receiving 128 applications from scientists from across the globe. Reading through submissions it was inspiring to see so many creative solutions and the enthusiasm for change. This made it understandably difficult to choose new members. Each application was seen by two people currently on the ECAG and a member of eLife staff. Evaluations were based on a statement outlining each candidate’s vision for the ECAG using the criteria described in the call for nominations, we also looked to obtain a balance of gender, career stage and geographical location to provide a diverse set of views.

Exceptional candidates were then put forward for consideration by the whole group. A final consensus was reached by vote, and we are now delighted to welcome five excellent recruits. The new members are already doing great work to support junior researchers and shape the future of research communication. Moving ahead we are excited to work with both existing and new members of the ECAG to support their efforts and to help guide the direction of our work at eLife.

Finally we want to say a big thanks to Jiawei and Gabriela for their work at the ECAG and wish them success in their future careers.

Our new members are:

Vinodh Ilangovan who is a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, where he studies the role of transcription factors in regulating circadian clocks and sleep using fruit flies. He is an ASAPbio ambassador working on a Preprint Journal club. He also initiated a project through OpenCon community to measure scientific integrity and rigour of different research outputs with a goal to redefine metrics used in research and researcher evaluation. You can follow Vinodh on Twitter @InquisitiveVi

Benjamin Schwessinger is an independent postdoctoral fellow at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra currently working on evolution and genome architecture of plant fungal pathogens. He has previously been involved with the UCD postdoc union UAW5810, and organizing conferences for the Future of Research in San Francisco and the postdoc community at ANU. He is currently an ambassador of protocols.io and member of the equity committee at ANU. You can follow him on Twitter @schwessinger

Laurent Gatto is a senior research associate in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, where he leads the Computational Proteomics Unit. He is currently involved in the Wellcome Trust Open Research Project, which explores the barriers to open research, and the Bullied Into Bad Science campaign, an initiative by and for early career researchers who aim for a fairer, more open and ethical research and publication environment. He is also a Software Sustainability Institute fellow, a Data/Software Carpentry instructor and a member of OpenConCam.

Prachee Avasthi is an assistant professor of Cell Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She promotes preprints as an ASAPbio Ambassador and BioRxiv affiliate, and is working to provide community and resources for early career faculty through the New PI Slack group.

Margarita Calvo is an assistant professor at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago. She is interested in building a network of new researchers in Latin-America and working to help young researchers make the transition to an independent position.

New ECAG Members
New ECAG members, Margarita Calvo, Benjamin Schwessinger, Prachee Avasthi, Vinodh Ilangovan and Laurent Gatto. The photo of Laurent Gatto is courtesy of the photography service at the Dept of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge.

They will be joining the existing members of the ECAG listed below, for more information please visit our about page.

Alecia Carter, Postdoc, France

Jason Gallivan, PI, Canada

Melissa Gymrek, PI, US

Melissa Kapulu, Postdoc, Kenya

Brianne Kent, Postdoc, Canada

Babak Momeni, PI, US

Jeanne Salje, PI, Thailand

Sonia Sen, Postdoc, US

Emmanuelle Vire, PI, UK

Interested in finding out more about opportunities, events and issues that are important for early-career researchers? Sign up to the eLife Early-Career Community newsletter or follow @eLifeCommunity on Twitter.