Course Science Writing and Communication


Course leader: Ashley Pearcy Buitenwerf

Language: English

Graduate school: Course collaboration

Course fee: 4,800.00 DKK

Status: Course is open for application

Semester: Spring 2024

Application deadline: 07/01/2024

Cancellation deadline: 21/01/2024

Course type: Classroom teaching

Start date: 05/02/2024

Administrator: Thilde Møller Risgaard

The course Science Writing and Communication is being offered by the Graduate School of Natural Sciences/GSNS and Graduate School of Technical Sciences/GSTS, Aarhus University, spring 2024.

Course parameters: No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like: 20/110

Objectives of the course: The aim of this course is to: 1) Equip students with the tools they need to approach and deliver a high quality, high impact scientific paper, proposal or poster. 2) Give students a space for immediate and direct feedback to progress more rapidly with their active or developing manuscripts or proposals

Learning outcomes and competences: Students should be able to:

  • Understand the components of a typical scientific research paper and the process of writing andpublishing manuscripts
  • Structure and write a scientific manuscript that is concise and engaging
  • Assess and evaluate their writing (and others’) for clear, cohesive delivery of their research
  • Understand the presentation of a poster (layout and content) and its goals
  • Learn the components of a grant proposal and how to captivate reviewers

Compulsory programme:
Outline preparation before lectures start, participation in lectures and workshops, and completion of final assignment (paper/part of paper or poster for evaluation within two weeks of completion of lectures)

Course contents:

  • What’s the story? The power of the abstract and title and choosing a journal
  • Rules to write by for high impact, writing efficiency, and critiquing scientific articles
  • The parts of a scientific paper, their purpose and how to write them
  • Evaluating a published paper and engaging with peer review
  • Poster layout and content
  • Proposal development and points of focus

At minimum students should have a topic for a proposal, or the start of results for a manuscript- though the course is designed to be helpful at the earliest stages of writing a manuscript

Name of lecturer:
Ashley Pearcy Buitenwerf

Type of course/teaching methods:
Lectures, workshops, assignments


Hofman, AH 2014. Scientific Writing and Communication: Papers, Proposals and Presentations.

Heard, SB 2022. The Scientist’s Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily and Effectively throughout Your Scientific Career.

among others

Course homepage:
Will be managed through correspondence with lecturer

Course assessment: Attendance threshold (80%);

Special comments on this course:

Students will receive reading assignments on building an outline a week prior to the lecture series and should come with an outline of their intended paper or proposal following the guidelines presented in the reading.

We will be actively working through developing a manuscript within the course, but time will be given following the final lecture to further finalise the manuscript/poster for feedback and the final course assessment.

Class prep delivered: 1 week before the start of classes


Monday, 5 February at 9:00-15:30
Tuesday, 6 February at 9:00-15:30
Wednesday, 7 February at 9:00-15:30
Monday, 12 February at 9:00-15:30
Tuesday, 13 February at 9:00-15:30
Wednesday, 14 February at 9:00-15:30

Place: Aarhus University, Aarhus

No show fee:
Course participants on our transferable skills courses, who do not show up at the course or cancel their course participation after the course cancellation deadline (without providing a doctor’s note), may have to pay a no-show fee, unless someone from the waiting list is able to take part in the course instead.

The no-show fee is DKK 1,200 (the price of one ECTS). The no-show fee has been introduced due to many late cancellations, thus preventing people from the waiting lists to have a seat at the courses.


  • Participation in the course is without cost for PhD students from Aarhus University

Due to an Agreement between Danish Universities that came into force as of 1 January 2011, participants from other universities than Aarhus University will have to pay DKK 1,200 per ECTS. In principle this also applies to external parties, but exemption can be granted under specific circumstances.

Please be aware that your registration for the course not necessarily equals your admission for the course. You will receive an e-mail after the registration deadline regarding whether you are admitted for the course or if you are registered on the waiting list. Please note that seats are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Course dates:

  • 05 February 2024 09:00 - 15:30
  • 06 February 2024 09:00 - 15:30
  • 07 February 2024 09:00 - 15:30
  • 12 February 2024 09:00 - 15:30
  • 13 February 2024 09:00 - 15:30
  • 14 February 2024 09:00 - 15:30