Call for preLighters – deadline extended until 21 May

4 May 2021

We have extended our call for preLighters until 21 May, so there’s still plenty of time to get involved.

We are seeking early-career researchers (PhD students, postdocs, early-stage PIs) who are passionate about preprints and enjoy writing and communicating science. We welcome researchers from across the biological sciences, but are particularly interested in applicants with expertise in Bioinformatics, Ecology, Systems Biology, Zoology, or who are interested in research related to Science Communication and Education.

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 after 1 March 2021.

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

  • A short and engaging ‘Tweetable’ summary of the preprint
  • 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 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 two-to-three months. We also ask that community members offer feedback and editing suggestions on another member’s post at least once every two-to-three months.

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