Working at the boundary between research and writing

 
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I think I learned more about scientific writing in three days with Iain than in the rest of my scientific career.
— Dr Florian Wegwitz, Group Leader, University Medical Center Göttingen

Developing confidence

Writing is central to our careers as researchers, yet many of us find it challenging and struggle to integrate it effectively into our normal working lives. What most of us don’t realise is that we already have the necessary skills to be effective writers, we are just not applying them. Over the last 15 years, I have worked closely with researchers at all levels to help them build their confidence as writers and develop the flexibility to adapt their writing according to the audience they are writing for, the purpose of the writing, and the material they are presenting. A key feature of this training is its focus on learning through practice. We learn as we work on the real writing tasks we face, whether it be a PhD thesis, a research article or even the challenge of mentoring other writers. Each program is focused on a particular writing task and guides participants through the whole process, step by step.

The ideal learning situation is one that reflects the reality of the situation in which it will be applied. Since we rarely have the luxury of locking ourselves away for long periods of time to focus exclusively on our writing, I have developed training options that can be integrated into our normal research activities. Training is provided via weekly online modules with recommendations for independent work and is supplemented with regular live streams or individual tutorial sessions.

Graduate students

Your PhD may be a voyage of discovery, but to avoid a shipwreck, it is wise to think from the beginning about how your work can build to completion. The training offered here can help you navigate the process from research proposal to thesis and make best use of your ideas and findings.

Postdoctoral researchers

Now is the time when we can really show our potential. We have greater freedom and few responsibilities—it doesn’t get much better than this. But quickly we need to turn that potential into impact with significant publications. And soon we’ll need to convince people that we have the vision to run our own research program.

Group leaders

Suddenly the research doesn't just depend on us. How can we consolidate our reputation at the same time as mentoring and nurturing the future generation of researchers? And, secretly, we might like to get a bit of help ourselves!

Sometimes it takes an external observer with deep expertise and experience to truly understand how to better communicate one’s ideas.
— Dr Loic Royer, Group Leader, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, San Francisco

Dedicated support

No matter how experienced we are as writers, it can be helpful to have an impartial opinion. We need someone with our best interests at heart to help us decide whether our text is fit for its intended purpose and identify ways to get it into the best shape possible. Sometimes this will be a simple edit to improve clarity and consistency of style, and sometimes we might need to refocus sections or even reorganise the whole document. Writing support can take many forms, from line-by-line correction of language and style in a final draft through to close collaboration to prepare a document from start to finish. I will work with you to identify the best solution, whatever stage in the process your writing project is at. But nothing will happen without your agreement—in the end, the text is yours.

Editing

If you would like me to work on a text with you, all you need to do is book an appointment, send me your work, and we will take it from there. Based on the material you send, I will offer feedback on your project and suggestions on how to proceed. I will present different options to you and discuss the benefits and implications of each in terms of time and cost.

Translation

I have extensive experience of translating a range of material from Spanish to English—from translation of individual research articles to full bilingual publication of academic journals. Writing and editing can also be combined with translation to ensure your text has the intended impact.

Writing

Complex projects sometimes benefit from having a dedicated professional to steer them to completion. Whether you are a group of authors developing a manuscript for publication or an organisation seeking to commission a report, I will work with you to identify the most appropriate solution.

Testimonials

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