The Plant Cell is accepting applications for Assistant Features Editors


TPC call for AFEsAre you an early career researcher passionate about plants, writing, and science communication? The Plant Cell is accepting applications for new Assistant Features Editors (AFEs) for 2022. AFEs provide a valuable service to the journal, our authors, and the scientific community. In return, AFEs join our editorial board and receive training and experience in writing and communicating scientific findings to a wide audience, as well as networking opportunities and editor training through participating in activities of The Plant Cell editorial board. We are welcoming applications through Monday, September 27, 2021.

The Plant Cell AFEs contribute “In Brief” articles highlighting recent publications in the journal and other writing assignments, such as profiles of editorial board members, and have the opportunity to participate in editorial board discussions and receive peer review training.

Although largely a volunteer position, AFEs are paid a small honorarium and AFE profiles are posted on the editorial board page. AFE appointments are initially for one year and are renewable for a second year upon mutual agreement. Candidates should be senior Ph.D. students or postdocs, and preference is given to postdoctoral researchers with a proven track record of research excellence, writing skills, and a commitment to communicating science. To apply, please send your application materials to with “Plant Cell AFE Application” as the subject. Questions can be directed to Nan Eckardt ( Application materials must include:

  • A cover letter explaining your experience and interest in the role and describing your areas of expertise.
  • Current CV.
  • Contact information for two professional referees; and request that each of these referees email a letter of recommendation to Nan Eckardt ( by the September 27 deadline.
  • A first-author paper that you were responsible for writing.
  • An In Brief writing sample. Please select an article from the following list and follow the guidelines below to prepare your sample:

The Arabidopsis circadian clock protein PRR5 interacts with and stimulates ABI5 to modulate abscisic acid signaling during seed germination

HBI Transcription Factor-Mediated ROS Homeostasis Regulates Nitrate Signal Transduction

WRKY53 integrates classic brassinosteroid signaling and the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway to regulate rice architecture and seed size

ERAD-related E2 and E3 enzymes modulate the drought response by regulating the stability of PIP2 aquaporins

Light-adapted charge-separated state of photosystem II: structural and functional dynamics of the closed reaction center

A gene regulatory network for antenna size control in carbon dioxide-deprived Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells

VPS18-regulated vesicle trafficking controls the secretion of pectin and its modifying enzyme during pollen tube growth in Arabidopsis

RAD51 supports DMC1 by inhibiting the SMC5/6 complex during meiosis

A ferredoxin bridge connects the two arms of plant mitochondrial complex I

Rare instances of haploid inducer DNA in potato dihaploids and ploidy-dependent genome instability

Maize decrease in DNA methylation 1 targets RNA-directed DNA methylation on active chromatin

Length variation in short tandem repeats affects gene expression in natural populations of Arabidopsis thaliana

Function of the HYDROXYCINNAMOYL-CoA:SHIKIMATE HYDROXYCINNAMOYL TRANSFERASE is evolutionarily conserved in embryophytes

Identification and utilization of genetic determinants of trait measurement errors in image-based, high-throughput phenotyping

In Brief Guidelines

In Brief articles are intended to provide readers with a brief summary of the main findings of a recent research article, along with relevant and interesting background information and a brief commentary on why the findings are important. Articles should be aimed at the general audience of The Plant Cell; that is, they should be written in an engaging style that will be understandable by graduate students or upper-level undergraduates majoring in science and also appealing and interesting to experts in the field. The text is limited to approximately 600 words and a maximum of five references (including the highlighted paper).

The In Brief should have a short descriptive title and should be accompanied by a relatively simple figure that illustrates a key point and is amenable to a brief legend (legends are limited to approximately 40 words). The figure might be an image from the research paper, possibly one or a few panels of a multi-panel figure, or another idea of something that is not in the paper, such as a picture of the plant or organism(s) under investigation or a simple diagram that explains a concept. (You don’t need to assemble a high-resolution figure; you might use the snipping tool and cut and paste into a PowerPoint or Word document or simply provide a suggestion and potential brief figure legend below the text.)

You may wish to read examples of published In Brief articles to familiarize yourself with the style and format. Good examples can be found in any recent issue of the journal, at