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Development's Pathway to Independence programme

Visual to show transition from postdoc to PI


Development is excited to announce a new programme aimed at researchers transitioning to independence - our Pathway to Independence programme. On this page, you will find further details about what this programme hopes to achieve and how to apply.  Please also read our recent Editorial to find out more about why we have initiated this programme.

To apply, please visit The Company of Biologists' grants portal, but please read the questions and answers below first to find out more and check your eligibility. 

If you have any questions about this new initiative, please contact us on


What is the Pathway to Independence (PI) programme?

Development's PI programme aims to support researchers in the developmental biology and stem cell field as they transition from postdoc to principal investigator. This new, competitive, scheme will provide mentorship and networking opportunities, and will help to raise the profile of those individuals selected to be part of the programme.

Why is Development offering this programme?

Development is published by a not-for-profit publishing organisation, The Company of Biologists, whose mission is to support the biological community. We already offer a number of grants to the research community, including meeting grants to help offset the cost of running conferences and travelling fellowships to support early career researchers make collaborative visits to other laboratories. The PI programme extends the range of support we offer to the community, and targets a group of people who can sometimes struggle to receive the advice they need to navigate the job market successfully. 

What exactly does the programme offer?

Selected 'PI fellows' will receive the following:

  • A tailored mentorship session with one of our editors (which could, for example, involve a mock job interview, or help the fellow refine their research proposal)
  • The opportunity to give a practice job talk and receive feedback from editors and peers 
  • A recording of a job talk hosted on the Node as a showcase of their work
  • The opportunity to be featured in the journal and/or on the Node to help raise their profile
  • Networking opportunities with other PI fellows and (in future) alumni of the scheme
  • Some financial support for training to help make the transition to an independent position

Full details will be developed in consultation with our first cohort of PI fellows to ensure we provide the most useful support we can. 

Who is eligible and how do I apply? 

The programme is open to any researcher active in a field relevant to Development (animal and plant developmental biology, stem cells or regeneration) who is planning to go on the job market in 2023. To apply, you will need to fill in a short application form via our grants portal (first create an account, then select 'Development PI programme' from the menu on the left hand side). You will need to provide information about your research career to date and your future research plans, and will also need to upload a CV, publication list and letter of support from your current supervisor. You will also have the opportunity to select which of our editors you would most like to meet with.
This document provides full details of the application form. 

What's the deadline for applications and when will I find out if I have been successful?

Applications must be submitted by 31 January 2023. We aim to announce the successful candidates in March 2023.

How will you select the successful candidates?

Given our limited resources, we will only be able to support a small number of candidates. All applications will be reviewed by our team of academic and professional editors, and the successful applicants will be selected based on their research record and future plans, as well as on the extent to which they are likely to benefit from such a scheme. We hope to receive applications from across the world and aim to support researchers from a  diverse range of backgrounds. The selection procedure will involve an initial triage, an in-depth review by one or more Academic Editors to shortlist candidates, and a final selection by a committee comprising our Editor-in-Chief, Executive Editor and a small number of Academic Editors. 

How does this programme link to Development presents...?

Development presents... is the journal's webinar series. In 2023, we aim to showcase researchers who have applied to the PI programme - not just those who have been selected as PI fellows. We will be hosting monthly webinars, each featuring 2-3 talks from people who have applied to the PI programme and indicated on the application form that they would like to give a talk. Unfortunately, we may not be able to feature all those who wish to present their work, but we hope this gives more people the opportunity to showcase their work than we can through the PI programme. 


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