promoting all areas of neuroendocrinology

Announced: New JNE Early Career Perspective Editor

Announced: New JNE Early Career Perspective Editor

Head shot of Dr Kate Ellacott - brown hair, white topDr Kate Ellacott announced as a new Senior Editor for Early Career Perspectives at the Journal of Neuroendocrinology (JNE), the British Society for Neuroendocrinology's (BSN) official journal - owned and managed by BSN.

Kate is a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Neuroscience at the University of Exeter. Her broad research interest is in understanding how the brain controls food intake and body weight. In particular Kate’s research is focused on how different cell types in the brain (neurons, microglia, astrocytes and endothelial cells) coordinate and interact to regulate these processes. Her lab also studies how the normal function of the brain changes in response to alterations in body weight, including obesity (excess body weight) and anorexia/cachexia (insufficient body weight), and how this contributes to the development of commonly associated diseases such as diabetes.

"The current COVID-19 pandemic situation is especially challenging for many researchers who find their laboratories closed and their plans are on hold...We are promoting Early Career Perspectives articles as opportunities for ECR’s to use this pandemic-enforced reflection time, when they may not be able to carry out their research as normal, to establish their independent scientific voice."
- Dr Kate Ellacott

We interviewed Kate to find out more about the role and her motivation for taking it on.

What is an Early Career Perspective?

An Early Career Perspective is a short, review-style article from a scientist establishing their career and/or launching their independent research team. An Early Career Researcher (ECR) is defined, at the time of article submission, as having completed their PhD not more than 10 years previously (with additional allowances made for career breaks). The author should include their own ideas of the critical issues in a topical field within the published Aims and Scope of the Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Early Career Perspectives are peer-reviewed papers written by a single ECR author – a senior post-doc or semi-autonomous researcher (with track record in their research area), with PI or mentor support as appropriate.

Why do you feel the JNE Early Career Perspectives are important?

Establishing research your independent research programme can be an exciting yet daunting time in your career. Supportive career development opportunities can really make the difference in enabling ECR’s to raise their profile and share their unique perspective. The current COVID-19 pandemic situation is especially challenging for many researchers who find their laboratories closed and their plans are on hold. This level of uncertainty is hard for everyone, but for ECR’s who may be on fixed term contracts and/or looking for permanent positions, this may be even more acute. The BSN is a friendly society committed to developing the careers of neuroendocrinology researchers. We are promoting Early Career Perspectives articles as opportunities for ECR’s to use this pandemic-enforced reflection time, when they may not be able to carry out their research as normal, to establish their independent scientific voice.

What led you to take on this role with JNE in particular?

I enjoy mentoring and have been fortunate enough to have had many supportive people who helped me as and ECR and beyond. I believe that by supporting each other with opportunities to learn and develop we make the community stronger as a whole.

What are the advantages of getting an Early Career Perspective published?

In addition to sharing your knowledge and perspectives, publishing your first senior or single author paper is a big milestone in your career. It is a marker in the step towards independence that reviewers of grants and fellowships look for.

Who can submit articles?

An Early Career Researcher (ECR) is defined, at the time of article submission, as having completed their PhD not more than 10 years previously (with additional allowances made for career breaks). Early Career Perspectives are papers written by a single ECR author – a senior post-doc or semi-autonomous researcher (with track record in their research area), with Principal Investigator or mentor support as appropriate. ECR authors who don’t feel quite ready to submit an ECR perspective should consider writing a standard JNE review with their mentor(s) (please follow the same pre-submission enquiry route as outlined below).

Where can I find more details?

In the first instance expressions of interest, outlining your ideas for the article, should be emailed to the JNE Editor-in-Chief, Julian Mercer (J.Mercer@abdn.ac.uk). This is to help us ensure that we don’t encourage multiple submissions on the same topic and that the proposed articles fit the remit of the journal.

More details about the format of the ECP articles and the Aims and Scope of the Journal of Neuroendocrinology: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/13652826/homepage/forauthors.html#aims