MBE - Call for Editors-in-Chief (EiCs)

The Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE) is looking for evolutionary biologists with an active research program to lead its journal Molecular Biology and Evolution (MBE) as Editors-in-Chief (EiCs). The EiCs have the opportunity and responsibility to contribute to the advancement of our field and the success of the journal, hence SMBE itself. The EiCs oversee the running of the journal with a focus on scientific content and smooth operations. They also serve as ex officio on the SMBE council to contribute to strategic discussions and deliberations on academic publishing. The SMBE Council appoints the EiCs. The Oxford University Press currently publishes MBE.

The term of the new EiCs will begin no later than June 2022, but an earlier start would be preferable as it would allow a period of ‘shadowing’ of the outgoing EiC, which we expect would make for a smoother handover. The SMBE Council may choose to appoint a sole EiC or make a joint appointment (preferred). EiC candidates may apply as a team or indicate their willingness to be matched with another applicant.

MBE is a high-impact journal established in 1983 and is one of the leading and most influential evolution journals. MBE publishes fresh insights into the patterns and processes that impact the evolution of life at molecular levels across a full breadth of taxonomy, genomic organization, and functions, forms, and phenotypes. MBE's Methods, Resource, and Protocol sections provide our community with cutting-edge evolutionary research tools that enable discovery, while our Reviews and Perspectives present syntheses to inspire new directions in evolutionary thought. From 1 January 2021, MBE has become completely open access.

The EiC roles and responsibilities include:

  • Nominating senior and associate editors to the editorial board. The SMBE Council provides the final approval.
  • Ensuring that the composition of the editorial board reflects the SMBE policy and practice of equality, diversity, and inclusion;
  • Has the ultimate responsibility for decision-making on manuscript acceptances, appeals, and scientific-fit with the journal;
  • Making strategic decisions regarding the journal publication strategy and quality control; and,
  • Promoting MBE content to the public and all relevant scientific communities.

The initial appointment will be for a term of 4 or 5 years, the terms of which will be laid out in a contract signed with SMBE under the guidance of our publisher. Under the SMBE bylaws, an individual cannot serve more than two terms in all SMBE journals combined.

Interested candidates may contact Aoife McLysaght aoife.mclysaght@tcd.ie with informal inquiries or directly apply by email to the same address. The application must include the following information:

               i. Description of your research/knowledge/experience relevant to the field of the journal

             ii.  Description of editorial experience

            iii.  Description of previous involvement with SMBE and/or the journals

            iv.  Vision for the journal

              v.  Preference for sole or joint editorship; if you prefer joint editorship, it is allowable for editors to apply in pairs

            vi.  Additionally, please indicate your availability for a (virtual) interview

The appointment process will be conducted transparently and according to the following guidelines: Council will appoint a subcommittee; the subcommittee will read all applications and shortlist interview candidates; after interviews, the subcommittee will take an anonymous vote and make a recommendation to the Council. The SMBE Council will make the final appointment decision.

Applications must be received no later than 5 September 2021. If no suitable applications are received, SMBE reserves the right to reopen the application window.


  • Tuesday, July 06, 2021
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