Call for preLighters – deadline extended until 31 March

20 March 2020

We know that many researchers have been adjusting to working from home this week and to reduce the stress, we have extended our deadline for applying to become a preLighter until 31 March 2020.

We are seeking early-career researchers (PhD students, postdocs, PIs in their first few years) who are passionate about preprints and enjoy writing and communicating science. We welcome researchers from any field in the biological sciences, and especially encourage researchers from the fields of Bioinformatics, Neuroscience, Ecology, Plant Biology and Comparative Physiology to apply.

To join our team of preLighters, please send your application to

In your application, please provide:

  • A short biography, telling us who you are and what you work on
  • A few sentences about why you are interested in joining the preLights community
  • A preLight post written by you about a recent preprint (ideally not older than 1-2 months)

We have a flexible format for preLight posts, but you should aim to include:

A short and engaging ‘Tweetable’ summary of the preprint (less than 250 characters); background of the preprint; key findings of the preprint; what you like about this preprint/why you think the work is important; future directions and questions for the authors.

The post should reflect your personal opinion on the research in the preprint that you selected. Please also provide the URL link for the preprint. Your post should not exceed 1000 words.

To learn more about the ideas behind preLights, take a look at this introduction or this overview about the first year of preLights. You can also check out interviews with current preLighters to learn about their experience on our News page, or watch this video.

The preLights process: early-career researchers (‘preLighters’) select interesting biology preprints and write highlights on them (‘preLights posts’). They interact with preprint authors who reply to questions raised in the post. Readers can find the authors’ responses together with the digests of selected preprints on and are welcome to join the discussion.


What’s in it for me?

This is a great opportunity for you to gain experience in science writing. You will get editing feedback from us and your peers and we aim to raise your profile as a trusted preprint selector and commentator. You will grow your professional network, and we are happy to support you by offering recommendation letters or in other ways.

But there is also a commitment; we expect you to select and highlight a preprint approximately every two months. We also encourage you to contribute to preLists, a new initiative for curating lists of topic-specific preprints and collecting preprints that were presented at scientific conferences.


We are aiming to have a diverse team and might not be able to accept all applicants.

For any enquiries about the process, please email