Sparks of Change: Share your story in eLife

A new column in eLife’s Magazine section is looking for stories that capture people's experiences of the changing culture of research.
Inside eLife
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Sparks of Change is a new eLife column that features stories about how research culture is or should be changing. Whether it is a personal realisation or an action that led others in a new direction, each piece will centre around a moment that ignited change.

Data in hand, a PhD student challenged the status quo in her department and helped improve it for those who came next. Image credit: Carys Boughton (CC BY 4.0)

The articles should interweave the author’s experiences, anecdotes and reflections in an engaging and relatable manner that allows the readers to take away their own lessons, rather than offering specific advice. The first column – in which Chrissy Stachl describes how a change of direction during her PhD also led to changes to the culture of her department – gives a sense of what we’re looking for with future articles.

Topics for the articles can be as varied as the experiences of those working in research. We'll regularly call for pitches on specific themes, in particular as we launch the column. Ideas for stories beyond these topics are welcome too if potential authors have unique or unexpected stories to share.

Sparks of Change is for anyone and everyone in research with an interesting story to tell and the willingness to tell it. 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.

Interested in writing for Sparks of Change?

Check out our current calls for pitches below for inspiration and share your idea with us. Guidelines are also available, and you can contact us via sparks@elifesciences.org.

Open Calls for Pitches

  • Did a decision to be more open in how you work as a researcher spark other changes in you or those around you? Tell us about your story by Monday, August 9, 2021.
  • How have moments and experiences contributed to you feeling like you are a scientist, or made it difficult for you to feel this way? Share your story by Monday, August 9, 2021. ‎

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We welcome comments, questions and feedback. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at sparks@elifesciences.org.

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