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Writing a Scientific Paper - ONLINE - FULLY BOOKED

Course description

This eight-week course covers all basic skills and topics of the writing process, structure and style of a scientific paper. During the training, the primary focus lies on the writing process of a paper and on the linguistics of academic writing: structure, cohesion and style.

Learning objectives

This course offers practical guidelines for a successful approach of your (future) writing task. We will pay special attention to the problems of the beginning writer: how to start, how to determine what you have to say, how to overcome writing blocks, how to compose a coherent line of thought? During this course you will learn about the process of writing a scientific paper and the criteria it should meet. You will learn how to design, write, analyse and edit a scientific paper with an eye for cohesion, clarity and conciseness and gain confidence in writing.

Instructional method

You are trained through short web lectures as well as through feedback from the trainer and your peers through the Elevate Platform. It is not mandatory for participants to be writing an article at the time of the course, but if you wish, you may submit a draft for discussion and feedback. Every week you have to work on assignments (about 4-5 hours a week) that you need to submit before the new week (learning unit) starts.

The course consists of 8 learning units, spread over 8 weeks:

  1. Basics of scientific writing
  2. Building an introduction and a discussion
  3. Paragraph structure: topic and key sentences
  4. Textual cohesion and emphasis
  5. Results: tables and figures
  6. Academic style 1: sentence length and the passive voice
  7. Academic style 2: noun style, concision, hedging and boosting
  8. Revising your article: verb tenses, pitfalls of scientific English, punctuation


This course will be coordinated by Elevate Health. To take part, you need to buy the book by Adrian Wallwork: English for writing research papers, Springer 2011, ISBN 978-1-4419-7922-3. Price: € 26,01 The book is also available as a download from the Online Library of the Utrecht University.


You will be trained by Annemarie van der Zeeuw (Scientific Writing). Annemarie has ample experience in teaching science writing and has been training Graduate School of Life Sciences PhD candidates face to face since 2015. As from April 2017 her science writing course 'Writing a Scientific Paper' is available online as well. Several resources of this course are available here.

Group size

10 to 12 participants

Number of credits

1.5 EC

Course schedule

Starting June 15, 2020, every week one new session will be online for you to follow. In total you will follow 7 sessions, which means this course will end on August 10, 2020. 
You are free to decide what time in the week you will complete the learning unit.

Course certificate

You will receive a course certificate after completing all seven learning units and being an active participant on the online platform.

Course fee

Internal PhD candidates: €0
UU/UMC academic staff: €585
External participants (space permitting): €980

  • Internal PhD candidates are PhD candidates who are registered with the Graduate School of Life Sciences via MyPhD. 
  • UU/UMC academic staff are PhD candidates of Utrecht University who are not registered to the Graduate School of Life Sciences via MyPhD, postdocs employed by Utrecht University or UMC Utrecht and other academic staff employed at Utrecht University or UMC Utrecht.
  • External participants are all other participants.

Our no-show policy

We are happy to offer courses and workshops for free to all GSLS PhDs. However: free of charge does not mean free of responsibility. Our activities tend to be fully booked well in advance. For every late cancellation or no-show we have had to disappoint others who would have liked to attend. 

This is how we work: 

  • Once you have signed up for a course, we expect you to participate;
  • If you need to cancel your registration, do so at the earliest possible moment, at least four weeks before the start of the course;
  • You have to complete all seven learning units before the end of the course;
  • Not meeting these requirements or cancelling within four weeks before the course starts means you will be charged no-show fee (€295 for this course);
  • We are unable to make any exceptions.

This was the most informative and helpful course that I followed, ever. It was structured very smoothly, starting at the basis of writing and ending specifically. It was nice to write on your own research. The fact that I was able to apply most of the content directly, was perfect to me.

This course directly improved the quality of my papers and research proposals.

My knowledge on how to write has improved and I got useful tools that I can use when writing and even to use on how to get feedback from others.

Start date and time
End date and time
Any place convenient to you
Entrance fee
Course fee for internal PhD candidates: €0. Course fee for UU/UMC academic staff: €585. Course fee for external participants (space permitting): €980.

Unfortunately, this course is fully booked. Get on the waiting list here.

More information
PhD Course Centre