Plant Physiology is recruiting Assistant Features Editors

By Michael R. Blatt and Mary Williams

Note: This call for applications is now closed. Check back in autumn 2020 for a new call for AFEs.

At the beginning of 2018 Plant Physiology welcomed 23 new Assistant Features Editors to the editorial board. Over the past eighteen months these young scientists have brought their passion for science to the journal, communicating to our readers some of the most exciting developments at the forefront of global research in plants today. Introducing the Assistant Features Editors to the journal has proven a tremendous success. Their contributions have helped shape and expand our content through commentaries, blog posts, and related material that highlight Plant Physiology content of special interest. I am convinced, too, that they have gained professionally and will build on their experience going forward. For us, working with the Assistant Features Editors has been immensely satisfying.

We are now looking to expand and recruit a new cohort of Assistant Features Editors to join the Plant Physiology editorial board. This new cohort will work with the journal for 24 months beginning in January 2020. If you are interested in becoming an Assistant Features Editor, we are welcoming applications through Monday, 30th September 2019. Questions can be directed to Mary Williams ( or Mike Blatt (

Each Assistant Features Editor is expected to write 3 to 4 (or more) News and Views articles per year.

We are interested in hearing about your current position and future goals, and why you are interested in the position. We will need your Curriculum Vitae and the contact details of two individuals familiar with your work as a researcher. We will also expect two samples of your writing, one a first-authored paper, and the other a sample News & Views commentary you write on your selection of the Plant Physiology papers listed below. We hope to have selected the new Assistant Features Editors late in November.

Please send your application materials to with Plant Physiology AFE application as the subject. These materials should include

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • First-authored paper
  • Sample News and Views, on one of the papers listed below
  • Contact information for two referees

Please write a “News and Views” style summary of one of these papers.

UPDATE: (September 9, 2019). We’ve received several queries about guidelines for the News and Views. Here are our suggestions.

News and Views 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. The text is limited to approx. 800-1000 words and a maximum of 10 references (including the highlighted paper). The News and Views articles may be accompanied by an image, for example a panel from an image in the paper or a diagram you prepare that summarized the key findings. You may wish to read examples of published News and Views articles to familiarize yourself with the style and format. Good examples can be found in any recent issue of the journal, e.g.,