Scientific writing clinic

9, 16 and 23 October 2008


Dr Heather Murray, Language Center, Universität Zürich (heather.murray(at)sprachen.uzh.ch)


The chief aim of the course is to enable participants to improve their written scientific English to such an extent that their articles are considered by high-impact journals in their field.

summary and pre-course assignment

The course takes a 'hands-on' approach to writing, with all participants receiving individual help in correcting and re-structuring their own writing, which they must have started before the beginning of the course.

The course consists of three main components:
- Linguistic components of better writing, including areas like word order, text linkers, tenses, cohesion, scientific style, and text flow.
- Linguistic characteristics of research texts: the textual characteristics of abstracts as well as of introduction, results, discussion and methods sections.
- Self-help strategies for scientific writers, such as the effective use of model articles as well as books and online references in checking style, grammar, terminology and usage in specific fields.

Attendance with active participation on all 3 days is required. This means participants must submit 3-10 pages of an article/dissertation before the beginning of the course, and continue to work on their text in the weeks while the course is taking place.

Dr Heather Murray will contact directly all registered participants 1 month before the course begins.

general information

Dates:  Thursdays 9, 16 and 23 October 2008

Schedule: 8.55 - 16.30

Location: Université de Neuchâtel, Faculté des sciences, UniMail, building C (Animalerie), room 001

Credit points: 2.0 credit points (Communication)

Evaluation: Active participation including preparation (home work as described)

Information: Please contact the  NCCR education officer Dr. Christiane Bobillier or Dr. Heather Murray

Travel expenses: NCCR Ph.D. participants are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train (half-fare card, and 2nd class). Please send the original tickets (no copies, except for the general abonnement) at the end of the term with this form (17 ko, pdf document) to Dr. Christiane Bobillier.  No reimbursement for bus, taxi or car travel expenses will be paid.


This course is opened to all Ph.D. students. However, priority is given to doctoral programme "Plants and their Environment" participants. Postdocs and diploma students are welcome depending on availability.

Minimum number of participants: 8, maximum: 12.

This course is free, but the effective cost is approx. CHF 600.00 per person. Therefore a waiting list will be prepared to ensure that there are no empty seats.

Registration through the web only: closed

Deadline: 13 September 2008