Writing Scientific English

Writing Scientific English

Understanding the language and processes involved in writing a scientific manuscript is an essential part of the scientific endeavour. This course is designed for doctoral researchers of all disciplines who wish to learn the language and conventions of scientific writing and to practise their use.

The course, entirely in English, will present a basic template for writing and improving a scientific manuscript, independent of the particular discipline being studied. The English employed in scientific manuscripts will be presented and suggestions on words and expressions to be used will be given. Emphasis will be placed on supporting the participants to identify poorly written sections and how to improve them. There will be several opportunities for the participants to improve texts of other PhD students as well as their own.

The workshop will be rounded off with discussions on various aspects of scientific writing such as data interpretation and presentation as well as how the meaning of the text can be modified by the use of a particular word or expression. Participants will be encouraged to actively search for words on their own and to find examples of their usage in scientific texts.

Note that a couple of weeks before the workshop, participants will be asked to hand in an abstract of ca. 200 words that briefly describes their doctoral project in English.



Workshop Information

September 3rd and 4th, 2010

: 10:00 – 18:00 (one hour lunch break)

:Building A2 4, Room 2.16 (SRIIb), 2nd floor

:80 Euro (minus fee reduction sponsored by GradUS; see below)

: see information in the top right corner (max. 12 participants)





  • For each PhD student, participation in the GradUS workshops is sponsored with 100 Euro per year by the presidium of Saarland University, which are considered when calculating course fees.

  • Participation in every workshop is certificated.

  • Childcare can be provided for doctoral researchers with children for the duration of a particular GradUS event at no charge (see website "Kinderbetreuung").


Prof. Dr. Tim Skern, a native English speaker, studied biochemistry in Liverpool and London. Now working as a "Außerordentlicher Professor" at the Dept. of Molecular Biology of the Medical University of Vienna and as a group leader at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories, he has been teaching scientific English since 1992. Tim Skern is the author of the book "Writing Scientific English: A Workbook" (UTB, Stuttgart).



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