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Scientific Writing

Scientific Writing

  • Basic
    This course will introduce fellows to current Scientific Writing techniques and conventions for publication submission.
    Curriculum & Expected Outcome

    Participants will receive guidance in writing the sections of a scientific paper, including an Abstract, Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, and Discussion. The course will also address such aspects of scientific language as clarity, concision, level of formality, and correct use of terminology. Through application and practice, participants can use these tools for writing effective papers in the future. By the end of the course, participants should have in hand, a good working draft of a research report.
    Course Design
    Students will attend four 110-minute classes over four-five weeks. Participants will have one-two individual meeting with the instructor at mutually convenient times during the course. Participants will receive written feedback on their assignments, and e-mail access to the instructor for questions or brief discussion.
  • Assignments
    • Due prior to 1st session: Introduction (about three pages) by e-mail and due as hard copy at the first class meeting.
    • Due at 2nd session: Material & Methods and Results, text and illustrations
    • Due at 3rd session: Discussion, Abstract, and revised Introduction
    • Due at 4th session: Cover letter and Revised Abstract
  • Advanced Class for Clinical Research
    This course is for Boston Children’s Hospital fellows in the last year or near completion of their fellowship. It is open to both Research and Clinical Fellows. Participants should have prior experience with scientific writing and good command of written and spoken English.
    Curriculum and Expected Outcome
    Participants will receive guidance on organization of papers, reader expectations, making effective visual material (figures and tables) and figure legends, working with statistical data, writing a cover letter, submitting a manuscript for publication, dealing with editors, responding to reviewers, and other aspects of publication. Students will be given four clinical papers to read at the beginning of the course. At each class meeting, one section (e.g., Introduction) of all four papers will be discussed. A presentation by the instructor will be followed by work on an observations, and a small group discussion.
    Course Design
    Students will attend four 120-minute classes over four weeks. Individual meetings will be scheduled with the instructors. Participants will receive written feedback on their assignments, and e-mail access to the instructor for questions or brief discussion.
  • Advanced Class for Basic Research
    The advanced course in scientific writing for basic and translational research is for Children’s Hospital fellows in the last year or near completion of their fellowship. This course is open to both Research and Clinical Fellows. Participants should have prior experience with scientific writing and good command of written and spoken English. This course will emphasize the form and style of scientific writing. Published articles will be discussed with regard to quality of the written presentation of scientific methods and results. This is NOT a course on the critical evaluation of the scientific content of a paper. There may also be the opportunity to critique participants’ own drafts or manuscripts.
    Course Design
    Students will attend four 120-minute classes over four weeks. One session of the course will be devoted to peer review and publication.
    First sessionOverall structure of the paper
    Second session: Material and Methods, Results, figures, tables.
    Third session: Discussion: the writing of argument.
    Fourth session: Peer review: submission, responding to comments, writing comments as a reviewer.
  •            Six-Part Grant Writing Workshop 

    At the conclusion of this course participants will know how to organize and write the sections of an NIH-style thesis proposal: Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Approach (Preliminary Results, Experimental Design), Innovation and Abstract, and should have a completed proposal.

Self-Nomination (required for all courses) 

Please CC your PI or Department Head in your nomination. The Office of Fellowship Training is dedicating significant resources to this course and enrollment will be limited to 10 fellows per session. It is essential that the fellows who are enrolled are committed to attending all four sessions. Optimal candidates will be those who have a rough or first draft of a manuscript in hand, that can serve as their "homework," to be developed throughout the course. In your one-paragraph nomination, please include reasons for wanting to enroll in the course, appointment and department, PI and career stage, as well as any other pertinent information.

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