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Thu 25 Jun 2020
09:00 - 17:30

Venue: Department of Engineering, Lecture Room 4

Provided by: Researcher Development Programme (RDP)

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Other dates:

Thu 12 Mar 2020

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Register your interest - if you cannot make any of the currently scheduled dates and would be interested in additional dates being scheduled.

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Scientific Writing

Thu 25 Jun 2020


This one-day course focuses on the structure of good scientific writing. Including writing exercises as an integral part of the workshop, we will look at the practical process of writing, the nature of scientific publishing, and the importance of editing. The day will finish with a group editing session in which you apply the ideas you have learnt by editing each other's work.

For the group editing session you will need to write a 300-word abstract about your work in advance, and bring it with you as a printout (see 'Prerequisites' below for details).

REGISTRATION starts at 9.00am on the day. Please ensure you arrive on time as latecomers may be refused entry.


  • Develop skills for producing high-quality scientific papers aimed at the world's top journals
  • Understand the structure of good communication at the level of sentences, paragraphs, abstracts and entire papers
  • Apply these ideas to your own work
Target audience

All graduate students and postdoctoral researchers / research staff from the Schools of Physical Sciences, Technology and Life Sciences.
Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here.


In order for this course to be effective you must bring with you as a printout 300-word piece of writing!

Using a piece of research with which you are familiar (it can be your own, but doesn't have to be), write a one-paragraph abstract of no more than 300 words, describing the work for readers in other disciplines.

The paragraph should start with a basic introduction of two or three sentences, and include a statement of the general problem being addressed. You should follow this with a one-sentence statement of the main conclusions, starting 'Here we show', and then finish with two to three sentences putting the main findings in a general context. Provide a title for a scientific paper about the work you describe.


Number of sessions: 1

# Date Time Venue Trainers
1 Thu 25 Jun   09:00 - 17:30 09:00 - 17:30 Department of Engineering, Lecture Room 4 map Justin Mullins,  Mark Buchanan
About the presenters

Mark Buchanan is a physicist and science writer. A former editor for Nature and also New Scientist, he is the author of four books and numerous articles exploring the ideas of modern physics. He writes columns for both Nature Physics and Bloomberg View.

Justin Mullins is a consultant editor at New Scientist where he has covered everything from Chernobyl to the construction of the International Space Station. He was previously New Scientist’s San Francisco bureau chief and later its Boston Editor. He is also the author of the Physics arXiv Blog.


One full-day session.


This course runs once in Lent term and once in Easter term.

Writing Skills

Booking / availability