Attention young and early-career science writers with a recent background in developmental biology, this is an essay competition tailor-made for you. Run by the prestigious journal, Development, and its sister community website, the Node, the essay competition has as theme: “developments in development.”

More information from Development’s online editor, Eva Amsen follows.

All the best!


The essay competition “developments in development” is the perfect opportunity for aspiring science writers with a recent background in developmental biology. This is your chance to show off your writing skills and take advantage of your experience in the lab!

Over the past decades, developmental biology has changed a lot. There are different tools, different types of experiments, collaborations with different disciplines, and differences in funding and publication of research. But which changes are still to come? What will the future bring?

If you’d like to share your thoughts about the future of the field, please see the full contest details on the Node.

This competition is hosted by the journal Development and by the Node—the community site for and by developmental biologists. That means that the audience will be (other) researchers—keep that in mind while writing! Submission is open to anyone who is involved in developmental biology research or related fields (such as stem cell science or genetics), or has been within the past three years. That includes lab heads, postdocs, and PhD students, but also new science writers who recently left the lab.

Initial submissions will be judged by Olivier Pourquié, who is the Editor-in-Chief of Development, and by Claire Ainsworth, a freelance science writer (formerly at New Scientist and Nature) with a developmental biology background. They will be looking for well-written essays that convey an interesting take on what the future holds for developmental biologists. Your essay can focus on the future of a particular subfield of developmental biology, emerging techniques or model organisms, changes in science policy that affect the field, or anything else that you see as affecting the future of the discipline.

A shortlist of the best few essays will then be posted on the Node, and readers of the Node—who are mostly developmental biologists themselves—will have the final vote to decide the winner.

Nominees all receive a £50 Amazon gift certificate (or equivalent value in another currency; it’s worth about $80 at the moment), and the winner will have their essay published in Development later this year.

If you have any questions about the competition, feel free to contact me at the Node via thenode [at]

Good luck!

Eva Amsen

Online Editor for Development and Community Manager for the Node