Early-Career Advisory Group: Applications open for candidates to join in 2022

We’re looking to elect early-career researchers to five vacancies opening in August 2022.
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The Early-Career Advisory Group (ECAG) is a small yet diverse committee, which influences and supports eLife’s work to catalyse broad reform in the evaluation and communication of science. The group represents the needs and aspirations of researchers at the early stages in their careers for a research culture that is healthy for science and for scientists.

We have five vacancies opening in 2022 for talented graduate students, medical students, postdocs and junior PIs from around the world to join the group.

It’s an exciting time to join the ECAG, as we increase opportunities for working closely with journal staff and editors on policy development and shaping the ‘publish, review, curate’ future of science communication. Some of the key priorities the group is working on in 2022 concern:

  • 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
  • Supporting the transition to the ‘publish, review, curate’ model of science communication
  • Increasing openness and integrity in the way science is done and shared

You can learn more about what’s on the ECAG’s agenda from the recent report of the group’s 2021 activities.

Please note that our Early-Career Advisors regularly interact with executive staff and eLife editors, benefit from some targeted training opportunities, and receive a modest remuneration for their service to the eLife community.

If you’re passionate about improving the quality of the early-career experience in the life sciences, biomedicine and related fields – please apply to join.

The more diverse our community, the richer our perspective and the greater our creativity. We welcome candidates of different cultures, neurological processing, religions, abilities, genders, orientations and socio-economic backgrounds. As we seek geographic and career-stage representation in the group, we’re very interested to hear from researchers based in Africa and Oceania, as well as other regions; and doctoral and medical students.

Applications for five new members to join the eLife ECAG, for two-year terms starting on August 1, 2022, are now invited. Candidates will be shortlisted based on their potential to increase the diversity of perspectives in the group, and their demonstrable ability to contribute to changing the scholarly culture for the better. Details on eligibility, responsibilities and the election process are available below.

The application deadline was 23:59 (UK time) on May 24, 2022; you can no longer apply via the form.

Eligibility

Members of the eLife ECAG are scientists who:

  • Are conducting research in the life or biological sciences or related field, as a graduate student, medical student, postdoctoral fellow, or junior investigator
  • Have no more than five years’ 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.

Applications

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.

Nominees will be asked to provide a short (~200-word) statement 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, and how they would contribute to the work of the ECAG. An ability to demonstrate commitment to any of the key priorities for 2022 will be an advantage.

Elections

eLife staff and the ECAG will review applications for eligibility and shortlist candidates according to their potential to help advance the work of the group, their enthusiasm, and contribution to balancing diversity within the ECAG (with respect to gender, career stage, geography and research focus).

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

Responsibilities

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 researchers at early stages in their careers. Members provide input in a number of ways:

  • Offering ideas and advice to the editors and staff on new and ongoing efforts at eLife with the potential to help early-career scientists
  • Providing direct support for ongoing programs such as monthly webinars and the Community Ambassadors, participating in working groups
  • Leading efforts to reach out to early-stage colleagues to gather their feedback
  • Participating in online or in-person events about issues of concern to early-stage researchers
  • Attending monthly calls and an annual in-person meeting

Members will abide by eLife’s Code of Conduct which is outlined here.

Terms and conditions

Incoming members of the ECAG will serve two-year terms, starting on August 1, 2022, with the possibility of two 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.

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We welcome comments, questions and feedback. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at hello [at] elifesciences [dot] org.

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.