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Editorial: Introducing TPJ Fellowships for early stage Principal Investigators

Recognizing that the transition from post‐doctoral scientist to a principal investigator position is a critical and often daunting one for many scientists, The Plant Journal editorial board recently discussed how the journal might provide support and mentorship for researchers in the formative years in which they establish themselves as independent group leaders. The outcome of this discussion was the unanimous decision to establish a TPJ Fellowship scheme.

The fellowship will comprise of (i) a monetary award of £2000 for use for conference attendance as the fellow decides; (ii) an invitation to The Plant Journal editorial board meeting in the second year of the fellowship – including a chance to present a research talk at the meeting; (iii) the choice of an editorial board member to act as a mentor with respect to publishing and reviewing/editing of papers; (iv) an invitation to write two articles for The Plant Journal – a TPJ Focused Review and an interview piece with a scientist that has particularly inspired the fellow (these articles will be published free‐to‐access at no cost to the fellow).

We will award the first fellowships in early 2020. The fellowship will last for three years and be awarded annually to two researchers (one female and one male). To qualify for the fellowship, the applicant should have been an independent researcher running their research group for no more than three years at the time of application. For the full details of the application process, go to https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/1365313x/homepage/TPJ-fellowships

The application deadline is the 31st of January 2020. The selection of the successful candidates will take place over the following two months and will be announced on the TPJ website shortly after.

We are looking forward to receiving applications and indeed, to ultimately congratulating the recipients of the 2020 TPJ Fellowships.

Application Instructions for the TPJ Fellowship scheme

Eligibility

To qualify for the fellowship the applicant should have been a Principal Investigator leading their own research programme for no more than three years at the point of application. This includes academic faculty positions and also independent research fellowships where the fellow is fully independent  - i.e. not embedded in a host laboratory.

Documents to be submitted

To apply, applicants should email the following documents to Rosie Trice (rtrice@wiley.com) by noon on the 31st of January 2020:

  • curriculum vitae detailing their PhD and post-doctoral studies, subsequent posts, prizes, research presentations at conferences and other institutes, track-record of competitive funding and a full list of publications.
  • A description of their current and future research programme (maximum of two pages)
  • A short letter of support from their current head of institute or from a previous post-doctoral supervisor.

Selection criteria

The selection of two successful candidates, one male, one female, will take place in the two months following the application deadline. Successful candidates will be informed by email. The primary selection criterion will be the originality and potential impact of the applicant’s research programme. But we will also consider the applicant’s track record of publication, looking for evidence of consistent productivity at all stages of their career, as well as their funding track record and measures of esteem such as conference invitations and prizes.

The TPJ Fellowship

The fellowship will last for three years. The fellow will receive:

  • A monetary award of £2,000 for use for conference attendance as the fellow decides
  • An invitation to The Plant Journal editorial board meeting in the second year of the fellowship, including an opportunity to present a research talk at the meeting
  • An invitation to write two articles for The Plant Journal – a TPJ Focused Review and a more personal interview piece with a scientist that has particularly inspired the fellow. These articles will be published free-to-view at no cost to the fellow.
  • Mentoring from a member of The Plant Journal editorial board. The fellow will choose their mentor. Mentoring will consist of advice on the reviewing / publishing process as well as advice on career progression and personal development.

Role of the Fellow

The TPJ Fellow will be expected to contribute feedback and ideas for the improvement of The Plant Journal as well as helping promote new developments of the journal to the wider community. The fellow is expected to acknowledge the support of the TPJ Fellowship when speaking at conferences for which they have used the fellowship funds to cover travel and attendance.