PLOS ECR (Early Career Researcher) Community, formerly The PLOS Student Blog, is a forum for the next generation of scientists and science writers.
Starting in 2016, we’ve changed the name of this blog site on PLOS BLOGS Network from The Student Blog to The PLOS ECR Community. We’ve also refocused its purpose and scope into an outlet for promising writers who are currently studying a science discipline at the undergrad, graduate or post-doctoral levels (up to 5 yrs post PhD).
The ECR Community blog is managed by three ECR Community Editors and written by members of a community of undergrads, graduate students and post-docs from a variety of academic and private sector institutions and disciplines. Their posts will provide unique insights into the current state of science education, research developments in individual disciplines, the art and science of science communication and Open Access science with special attention paid to education and career choices facing younger scientists at these critical early stages of their work lives.Your comments are invited and will be answered by the individual bloggers.
Meet ECR Blog Managing Editor, Sara Kassabian
Sara Kassabian is a recent graduate from the University of California San Francisco Master’s degree program in Global Health Sciences. As an undergrad, she studied journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder. Currently, Sara serves as the PLOS Social Media Associate, managing the PLOS Science Wednesday series on redditscience, among other projects. As the ECR Blog Managing Editor, Sara helps manage and edit blog posts from student scientists and postdocs in both basic and social sciences. Undergrad, Masters, professional, Ph.D. students or postdocs in the sciences are more than welcome to contribute. To contribute to the PLOS ECR Community, email Sara at email@example.com.
Introducing our PLOS ECR Community Editors
Hi! I’m Andreas Vilhelmsson, a public health researcher (PhD in medical science) at the Division of Social Medicine and Global Health at Lund University, Sweden. Here I’m pursuing my early research career by being involved in research focusing on pharmaceutical regulation, and especially the self-regulatory systems in Sweden and the UK compared to the US system. I am also doing research concerning migration and health and public health effects from climate change. In 2014 I completed my PhD at the Faculty of Medicine at Lund University with my thesis ‘A Pill for the Ill? Depression, Medicalization and Public Health’ that analysed patient adverse drug reports on SSRIs. In 2013, a version of my thesis was published in PLOS ONE. I also work as a public health specialist for the Regional Council (equivalent to a US state) at a Center of knowledge in women’s health and a Center of knowledge in migration and health, two prioritized areas within the Swedish regional health care system. In addition I am a lecturer in a course in global health within the Medical programme at the Medical Faculty of Lund University from 2012 and onwards and in the MPH programme since 2014. I am also an author of course books in public health and global public health. I’m happy to be included in this great opportunity and endeavor of scientific importance. I have always liked the PLOS concept and open access generally, and what first drew me to contribute to the Student Blog was the possibility to write about important global health issues and connect with others through the PLOS platform. Follow me on Twitter at @andvilhelm.
Hi! I’m Mary Gearing, a fourth year PhD student in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard University. Using mouse models, I study how insulin resistance/diabetes increase cardiovascular disease risk. Outside of the lab, I blog about metabolism/nutrition for the student group Science in the News, and I’ve also given public talks on nutrition and diabetes for their seminar series. I blog for the nonprofit plasmid repository Addgene, writing about CRISPR and other technologies to help scientists better use them. After graduation, I’m hoping to transition into a career in science communication. I’m a big fan of open science, and that’s what first drew me to the PLOS Student Blog. Coming from a very biomedical atmosphere here in Boston, I also appreciate that the Student Blog has a lot of topic diversity. Follow me on Twitter at @megearing.
Hi! I’m Meredith Wright, a third year PhD student at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. I’m in the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis program here, studying tuberculosis. I am part of a grant that studies genes of unknown function in tuberculosis — about half of the protein-coding genes in the M. tuberculosis genome still have no confirmed function. The hope is that learning more about this bacterium could provide new drug targets for further study, which will be crucial for combating antibiotic-resistant strains of tuberculosis. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and have written for my undergraduate newspaper The Daily Princetonian, for the Cornell Daily Sun, and for Rockefeller University’s ‘Incubator’ blog. The PLOS Student Blog has been a great way to both hone my skills as a science writer and also to learn from scientific literature outside of my own field. I’m excited to continue learning from my peers around the world as the blog transitions to the ECR Community. I’m still trying to figure out what I’d like to do after graduate school, and writing/editing scientific content is high on the list! Follow me on Twitter at @MerWright13.
If you are interested in becoming a student contributor, please send an inquiry with a sample blog post to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the past our student science writers have come from the following programs — we’re pleased to keep their archived posts on the PLOS Student Blog:
Inside Knowledge, featuring Anna Perman, Ben Good, Lizzie Crouch, and David Robertson, who are working on a master’s degree in science communication at Imperial College, London.
Science, Upstream, featuring Jamie Hansen and Julia James, two students working on a master’s degree in journalism at Stanford University.