Introducing the preLights ambassadors

4 May 2023

preLights has been up and running for over five years now and wouldn’t be where it is today without the continued support and dedication of all our preLighters. To keep developing this platform and respond to the needs of the community, we’re making some changes to the community structure by introducing network hubs: the preLights ambassadors.

 Image adapted from: Schneider, Éder Milton, et al.PloS one9.6 (2014): e99064.

Four amazing preLighters will act as #preLightsAmbassadors this year and help to further shape and develop our community platform. Below, you’ll find out more about our ambassadors and their plans for the coming year.

Jennifer Ann Black

Jennifer joins us from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she’s been living and working as a postdoc since the pandemic. Around the same time, she joined preLights to improve her ability to read and evaluate scientific literature, to summarise information, encourage herself to read outside her comfort zone and broaden her general knowledge. She is now one of our most active community members with over 25 posts published on the website!

As a preLights ambassador, Jennifer hopes to engage young researchers in Brazil, connect them with the wider community, and offer help and support to them in developing skills that will encourage them to think of science as a positive experience. She aims to do so by hosting a series of ‘scientific skills’ classes, inviting specialists and running group-based activities for individuals to practise these skills.

Martin Estermann

Martin recently relocated from Australia to the triangle area in North Carolina (USA), where he works as a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). He is eager to meet and interact with early-career researchers in the area and to help promote scientific discussion and collaboration within the area as a preLights ambassador.

Martin plans to invite early-career researchers who have just submitted a preprint to talk about their manuscript, their experience with preprinting, and (if applicable) peer-review. These talks can either be virtual or in person, in which case it will be organised at a local university or research institute. The goal is to show the research community the benefits of preprints and to introduce them to the preLight community.

Girish Kale

Girish is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Heidelberg University, Germany. He has represented preLights at national and international meetings before and is therefore a very natural ambassador for the platform.

Girish would like to encourage all preLighters to further develop their mentoring skills by helping out one (or more) student(s) if/when the student wants to write a preLight post. He hopes that this will make the preLighters’ community an even stronger catalyst for networking and help to further increase the visibility of preprints. Also, he believes that it could represent a win-win situation for both the mentor (preLighters) and mentee (undergraduate/Masters students): A curated publication list for the student’s CV, and mentoring experience/ community service for the mentor.

Juan Moriano

Our fourth and final ambassador is Juan who is currently finishing up his PhD at the University of Barcelona, Spain. While he transitions into a postdoctoral position, further expanding his scientific network is one of his main goals. He feels that representing preLights at events or when attending a conference will help him to establish new and meaningful connections and build a profile based on sharing excitement about the science of peers and colleagues.

Juan proposes an initiative he can lead as preLights ambassador which aims at helping early-career researchers to present their scientific work in a clear and engaging way to both a specialized and a general audience. He feels that this useful skill is often not sufficiently covered in training programs. His exciting proposal is titled: ‘Figuring out your science’ – more information will follow soon!