Supporting early-career researchers

Whether you’re a student, a postdoc or a new PI, the early stages of a research career often present a pressure to publish papers, grow your connections and engage in informal scientific activities to continuously promote yourself and your work.

We’re a publishing company made up of scientists, so we understand the intricacies of life as an early-career researcher (ECR). We believe that, as our future leaders in biology, it is vital to provide you with the right support during these early stages of your academic career.

Alongside our five journals, we offer a number of practical ways to help you meet the unique needs and challenges you may encounter as an ECR.

Grow your network

Apply for one of our grants to help you make new connections within the scientific community.

Join the community

Online communities are a powerful way to keep the conversation going no matter where you are. They offer an opportunity to promote your work and expand your network globally, allowing interactions with people you might not usually meet face-to-face.

  • Join 200+ ECRs over on preLights to highlight the latest preprints in your field, build confidence in your scientific writing and interact with preprint authors.
  • Freely contribute to the Node and FocalPlane, our community sites that serve developmental and stem cell biologists and microscopists with discussion threads, jobs, event listings, resources and beautiful images.
  • Keep up to date with the Node and FocalPlane Correspondents and preLight Ambassadors as the selected members help shape the future of their respective communities.
  • Follow us on WeChat where we are building a community of Chinese researchers.
  • If you’re a new Principal Investigator, or looking to make this transition soon, check out Development’s Transitions in Development series along with the Pathway to Independence Programme aimed at supporting researchers as they progress from postdoc to PI.
  • Hear from new PIs as they share their personal experiences of setting up their own lab in Journal of Cell Science’s Cell Scientists to Watch series.

Maximise your impact

Let us help you spread the word about your exciting research.

Raise your profile

We understand that the published paper is just part of your research journey and we want to help you tell the whole story.

Can you benefit from our Read & Publish initiative?

With over 800 institutions in 49 countries and many library consortia now participating, find out if you can benefit from our Read & Publishing initiative.

Engaging Chinese biologists with WeChat

Scan the QR code to find us on WeChat and find out how we’re using the channel to engage Chinese researchers.


Have you recently set up your own lab? About to take the plunge? Read the cartoon series full of tips,  advice and wise words, in typical Mole style.

What ECRs say

Headshot of Roberta Azzarelli









“I would like to praise Biology Open for featuring ‘First Person’ interviews in their journal. This is a great way to foster early-career scientists.”

Roberta Azzarelli, a first author in Biology Open


Why apply for a funded place at one of our Workshops?

What ECRs say

Portrait of ECR









“The best thing about preLights is the community of like-minded biologists passionate about communication and about promoting science!”

Sam Seah, a preLights Ambassador

Visit our journal websites

Development Journal of Cell Science The Journal of Experimental Biology Disease Models & Mechanisms Biology Open

© 2024 The Company of Biologists Ltd | Registered Charity 277992
Registered in England and Wales | Company Limited by Guarantee No 514735
Registered office: Bidder Building, Station Road, Histon, Cambridge CB24 9LF, UK