Scientific Writing Consultant

Promoting Excellence in the Communication of Science

I am delighted to announce that from this year I will be working with the Dresden International PhD Program (DIPP) to provide an exciting new training programme in writing and publication. DIPP comprises two large graduate programmes—the International Max Planck Research School for Cell, Developmental and Systems Biology and the Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering. The international reputation of the research centres involved in these programmes makes participation highly competitive. The goal of this multilevel programme in writing and publication is therefore to build on the reputation of DIPP for training world-class scientists and make it a reference point for promoting excellence in the communication of science.

The programme has three levels. At the beginning of their studies, all students will participate in a 4-day workshop that will explore the main writing challenges they will face during their PhD studies. This workshop will also help them to use writing as a tool for critical thinking and to understand how to apply this to their work as scientists. In subsequent years, smaller groups of students will have the option to apply for additional training in specific areas of writing according to their interest and needs. For instance, specific input on thesis writing and guidance on the preparation of effective fellowship proposals will be available to students at the appropriate point in their studies. This combination of compulsory foundation-level training and optional support in areas that are important for the completion of graduate studies and the transition to postdoctoral work is expected to play an important role in supporting the development of DIPP students.

For students seeking to achieve the highest standards in their future careers, advanced training will be offered in two core areas. Firstly, the intensive Writing for Publication programme will be offered to a small number of highly selected students. Participation in this programme will allow motivated students to contribute to research publication at a level above that seen even in many postdoctoral researchers. Secondly, small groups of students, particularly those considering scientific careers in allied disciplines such as science management and communication, will be offered an exclusive training in writing for the public and other non-specialist audiences. The success of students who participate in these advanced training options will play a significant role in creating a culture of excellence in writing and publication within DIPP.

It is an honour to work with DIPP on this initiative, and I look forward to seeing the students on this programme develop their skills in the coming years.