Early-Career Advisory Group: Applications open for candidates to join in 2024

We’re looking to elect early-career researchers to seven vacancies opening this August.

Our Early-Career Advisory Group (ECAG) acts to influence and support our mission and to voice the needs and aspirations of early-career researchers within eLife. This year, we are pleased to announce seven vacancies opening to join the group for a two-year term.

Spanning graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior investigators from around the world, all members of the group are active early-career researchers in the life sciences or medicine. Facilitated by our Communities team, our early-career advisors regularly interact with our executive staff and eLife editors, benefit from targeted training opportunities, and receive a modest remuneration.

It’s an exciting time to join the ECAG; some of the key priorities the group is working on in 2024 concern:

  • Building community support for our new model of publishing
  • Increasing the involvement of early-career researchers in peer review at eLife
  • Increasing equity, diversity and inclusion in eLife’s communities
  • Identifying and addressing bias in the publishing process

To achieve the most representative group with our 13 members, priority will be given to candidates in countries not represented among the six continuing members of the group (who are currently based in Argentina, Australia, Lebanon, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States). We are especially interested in receiving applications from candidates based in Latin America, Oceania, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.

eLife also acknowledges that there are some territories around the world where it will not be possible for us to transfer funds. We will explore all practical and legal options to allow any new members in these locations to still receive their remuneration. Researchers based in countries subject to economic sanctions, or who are unsure about their eligibility or ability to receive funds, are invited to contact eLife’s Head of Communities, Godwyns Onwuchekwa (via community@elifesciences.org) before making an application.

eLife also champions a fairer and more inclusive culture for research and publishing. We particularly welcome applications from candidates belonging to groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in biology and medicine for instance, because of gender, race or ethnicity, disability, neurodivergence, religion, culture, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, or the intersection of these and other identities.

If you’re passionate about improving the quality of the early-career experience in the life sciences and medicine – please review the details on eligibility, responsibilities and the election process below.

Please note we have extended the deadline to apply to 5pm (BST) on Monday, May 20, 2024



Members of eLife’s ECAG are scientists who are conducting research in the life or biological sciences or a related field, and are currently in any of the following roles:

  • a graduate student, medical student or PhD student;
  • a postdoc, postdoctoral researcher or postdoctoral fellow;
  • an early-career investigator with no more than five years of active experience in an independent position

“Active experience” is intended to exclude time away for parental leave, health leave, or other reasons unrelated to research. An independent position is defined here as having secured funding to support a research group, for example in a Group Leader or Assistant Professor position.


Individuals meeting the criteria set above may apply through the form. During the process, they will be asked to confirm their status as an early-career researcher according to the definition above.

Applicants will be asked to provide a short statement (~200 words) that describes their vision for how different approaches to research communication might improve the career development of early-stage researchers, why they are enthusiastic to join eLife’s ECAG, and how they would contribute to the work of the group. An ability to demonstrate commitment to any of the key priorities for 2024 will be an advantage.

The related privacy notice for applicants can be found here.

Use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and technology

Applicants can use generative AI tools like ChatGPT or AI with large language models to help write the text for their application to the ECAG. As an applicant, however, you remain accountable for all contributions and are expected to cooperate with any questions regarding the accuracy or integrity of any part of your application.

Shortlisting and Elections

eLife staff will review applications for eligibility. Staff and current ECAG will then shortlist eligible candidates based on their enthusiasm, their demonstrable ability to help advance the work of the group, as well as their potential to balance the diversity already present within the ECAG (with respect to gender, career stage and geography). This initial shortlisting will be conducted anonymously.

Early-career researchers involved in the most recent eLife community initiatives, alongside the current members of the ECAG, will then vote for new ECAG members from the shortlisted candidates.


The role of the ECAG is to influence and support eLife’s work to catalyse broad reform in journal publishing and research communication and, in particular, to represent the needs and aspirations of global researchers at early stages in their careers. Members provide input in a number of ways:

  • Regularly attend monthly calls
  • Offer feedback and advice to eLife staff and editorial leadership
  • Support ongoing programmes like the eLife Community Ambassadors and Ben Barres Spotlight Awards
  • Organise or take part in events for the research community
  • Advocate for open science and research culture change

Members will abide by eLife’s Code of Conduct.

Terms of Service

Incoming members of the ECAG will serve two-year terms, starting on August 1, 2024, with the possibility of two optional yearly renewals – up to a maximum of four years in total. ECAG members must meet the eligibility criteria (career stage and profession) at all times, and are expected to step down if their status as an early-career researcher changes. ECAG members who no longer satisfy eligibility criteria step down at the end of the working year, or at the end of their term of service, whichever is earlier.


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

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