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Learning to write

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It’s terrible to admit: I didn’t learn to write until I was in college. My freshman year at a liberal arts school was brutal – but by the end of four years, this science major managed to catch up. (Look at me now, Ma!) The difficult memories of writing tutors and tears resurfaced when I read an…

Reasoning, arguing, and biomedical writing

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Now that I’ve completed the Writing in the Sciences course on Coursera (and received my official certificate, yay me!), I decided to take a course called Think Again: How to Argue – along with 72,000 other people around the world. I originally signed up to learn how to argue politics more civilly with my family-who-supports-the-other-party. But as the…

Grantwriting for biotech? Sign me up!

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Earlier this month I attended an excellent workshop on SBIR/STTR grants that was hosted by the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Association (iBio) PROPEL program, and was led by Lisa Kurek from Biotechnology Business Consultants. I decided to attend because I’ve touched just about every research and training grant mechanism from the NIH, but haven’t done much in the…

Giving the vision a voice – program/center grants

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Been busy with several large center grants lately, so I thought I’d write a little something about what that’s like. Essentially, center grants–or program grants–bring together multiple investigators, each with their own project and research goal, into a single overarching program. Each project stands alone as its own R01, but must also link to all the other projects…

Know your audience

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I recently took a grantsmanship course at Northwestern and my brain is now full. Seriously, though, I came away from the course with so much great information and advice that I could fill 10 blog posts, but I thought I would start with this: when writing a grant, always keep your audience in mind. For…

Branding and Passive Marketing for Freelance Medical Writers

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I attended a session at the AMWA annual meeting today on marketing for independent healthcare communicators (a fancy way of saying freelance medical writers). Deborah Gordon (GordonSquared) and Brian Bass (The Accidental Medical Writer) gave two fantastic talks about the importance of branding your freelance medical writing/editing business and the power of passive marketing. Deborah…

On the importance of definitions

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I just received a link from a colleague on an AMWA listserv to an article in PLoS on one medical writer’s experience with ghostwriting. It got me all worked up, so I thought I’d share. First, let me make it clear that I completely agree that there is a problem, called ghostwriting, in which medical writers are asked to write…

The Multidisciplinarity of Freelance Medical/Science Writing

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It was meant to be a funny status update–I mentioned on Facebook yesterday that I was spending my Saturday brushing up on neuroscience. As most people do, right? Then one of my fellow medical writers said something like, “Well, that’s part of our line of work, right?” It got me thinking that not only is freelance…

Knee-deep in grants

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I know I’m way overdue for a post; January has been chock-a-block (which for a freelancer is a good thing), and I just haven’t been able to come up for air. With the February NIH grant deadlines looming, I have been pretty busy with grantwriting and editing jobs. If you are a regular reader, you might…

Industry-sponsored textbooks! The sky must be falling!

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Coming off my last post, I just wanted to put in my two cents on the recent NYT story on the psychiatry textbook that was ghost authored by Drs. Nemeroff and Schatzberg, funded by an unrestricted educational grant from SmithKline Beecham. First, yet another spotlight trained on ghostwriting could have been avoided if the doctors were named…

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