Become a preLighter

preLights, The Company of Biologists’ preprint highlighting service, has been up and running for over five years now. During that time, we have had over 1,450 preLights posts published on our dedicated website.

At the heart of preLights is the community of early-career researchers who select and highlight interesting preprints across diverse fields of biology. These ‘preLighters’ get in touch with preprint authors to discuss the work in an informal, engaging, and inclusive way.

We are always looking for ways to further grow and develop this community platform and welcome early-career researchers (PhD students, postdocs, early-stage PIs) who are passionate about preprints, enjoy writing and communicating science, and would like to join our friendly, diverse, and international group of preLighters.

How to apply

To apply to join our team of preLighters, please send your application to In your application, please include:

  • A short biography, telling us who you are, what you work on and what you’re interested in.
  • A brief summary of why you’d like to join the preLights community.
  • A preLight post highlighting a recent preprint that you are interested in. The preprint should ideally have been posted within the last three months.

We are flexible about the format of preLight posts, but you should aim to include:

  • A short and engaging ‘Tweetable’ summary of the preprint (which ideally includes a figure).
  • Background to the preprint.
  • Key findings of the preprint.
  • What you like about the preprint/why you think this new work is important.
  • Future directions and questions for the authors.

The preLight post should reflect your opinion on the research in the preprint – we want to hear your voice! You might find it helpful to look at some published preLight posts to get an idea of the style of posts our community write. Please provide the URL link of the preprint you are highlighting, and do not exceed 1000 words.

To learn more about preLights, please read this introduction. You can also check out interviews with current preLighters on our News page to read about their experience of being a preLighter.

How does preLights work? Early-career researchers (‘preLighters’) select interesting biology preprints and write highlights on them (‘preLight posts’). They interact with the authors of the preprint, who answer questions that the preLighter has raised in their post. Readers can find the author’s responses and the research highlight at and are welcome to join the discussion.

What’s in it for me?

Joining preLights is a great opportunity to gain experience in science writing and editing. You will be able to both provide and receive feedback on preLight posts and expand your portfolio outside of traditional scientific manuscript writing. The preLights community provides a friendly environment for early-career researchers to engage in discussion with their peers and participating in this initiative is a great way to grow your professional network.

We will aim to raise your profile as a trusted preprint selector and commentator and are happy to support you by providing recommendation letters or in other ways.

What’s my commitment?

We expect preLighters to contribute a new preprint highlight at least once every three months. We also ask that community members offer feedback and editing suggestions on another member’s post at least 3-4 times per year.

We encourage applications from all individuals regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, ethnicity, age, neurodiversity or disability status.

If you have any questions about the application process, please email