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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…

Addicted to learning

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Am I crazy? Don’t I have enough on my plate already? Thanks to my AMWA colleagues (I’m looking at you KOKedit!), I was introduced to the world of free online courses at Coursera. Essentially, Coursera has enabled my addiction to school. Since graduating, I’ve often mentioned that it would be nice to go back to school – and…

Descriptive vs. Experimental Research

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Because I have this handy soapbox, I’m gonna use it. Here’s the thing. There is descriptive research and there is experimental research. Descriptive research on its own is not enough. You’ve got to get in there, change something, and see what happens. Just reporting on what you see under the microscope or on a blot is NOT…

Balancing freedom and security in a freelance career

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I’m one year into my freelance career in biomedical writing and editing, and I just passed my two-year blogiversary. So, I suppose it’s time for me to take a look back and evaluate my progress. In general, freelancing boils down to balancing the need for financial security with the freedom to plan my own day. Freelancing is…

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…

Training grants: I had no idea…

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I just finished working on an NIH training grant (T32) for the very first time, and I have to say, I had no idea. First off, a definition: the NIH T32 grant mechanism is “the primary means of supporting predoctoral and postdoctoral research training to help ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to…

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…

On niches and boundaries

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2012 will be my first year as a completely independent freelance biomedical writer and editor. My freelance business has been through the various stages of hobby to side work to part time job to full time job, and this will be the first year that it represents all of my income. No pressure, right? When…

Thoughts on Growth

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I wished I could have made it to 50 posts before the end of the year, but alas. In any case, I thought I’d do one more, before I plunge back into grant editing for the February NIH cycle. I was thinking about growth today – my professional growth as an individual writer and the…

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