Dr Viacheslav Vasenev

Scientific writing skills

  • MOOC
  • Self-Paced
  • English
  • Statistics & Data Analysis

About this course

The course brings the follower through all the steps of scientific writing, starting from browsing of literature for the introduction and finishing with the papers submission. Especial attention is given to scientific fundraising. Different source of funding available for fundamental and applied research are observed and the practical recommendations on writing a successful grant proposal are given.

The main objectives of the course SWS: the formation of skills for the processing and analysis of scientific data of a wide profile, the presentation of research results in the format of oral or poster presentations at conferences, the writing of scientific publications (theses, articles) and the development of the principles of commercialization of scientific research, the preparation of applications for scientific grants, participation in scientific educational projects and mobility programs.

Who is this course for?

The course is recommended to master and PhD students, researcher, project manager and a broad audience of experts, involved in research and education.

What do I need to know?

The SWS course aims developing knowledge and skills in scientific writing from the basic level, therefore there are no requirements for the initial competence. Background in environmental science is assumed and will facilitate better understanding and mastering the practical exercises.

What will you have learnt?

After taking the course, students will be able to write and edit their professional CV, make a conference abstract and presentation. They will know the structure of a research papers and the main requirements for its preparation. Student will be trained to prepare applications for Russian and international research grants.

Course Structure

1. Lecture 1 presents the aim and structure of the course and gives the basic ideas on the motivations to write scientifically. Author’s and reader’s perspectives are discussed.

2. Lecture 2 overviews different types of scientific publications from abstracts to the conference to research papers and grant proposals.

3. Lecture 3 is devoted to training the practical skills in developing a professional CV (curriculum vitae). The structure of CV is discussed based on several examples of the research CVs.

4. Lecture 4 starts the section on the research reading and introduces the basic principles of reading scientific literature. The main focus is given to browsing literature sources – different platforms (Scopus, e-library, Research Gate are discussed).

5. Lecture 5 focuses on dealing with the scientific terminology when reading. The research vocabulary is presented as a way to expand one’s scientific lexicon. The structure and examples of scientific vocabularies are given.

6. In contrast to the fiction literature, scientific papers are mainly data source. Lecture 6 shows how to extract the research data from papers. Figures and tables are discussed as potential data sources Practical skills in organizing and processing data is given (for more information on data analysis please follow our DASELS course).

7. Lecture 7 is the final one in the scientific reading session. It aggregates the information and skills from lectures 4-6, necessary to work on the literature review.

8. Scientific conference is the main approach for research communication and knowledge dissemination. Lecture 8 presents different types of research conferences and categories of conference materials.

9. Lecture 9 provides practical skills in developing conference materials: abstracts, posters and oral presentation.

10. The 10th meeting is an Interim assignment 1 to train practical skills in conference presentations.

11. Lecture 11 starts the section on writing a research paper and overviews the structure and the main components of the papers to be thoroughly in following lectures.

12. Existing background and knowledge gapes to be filled, as well as the research objectives are presented in the introduction. Lecture 12 introduces the main principles of writing a successful introduction. A special attention is given to a paper title.

13. Lecture 13 presents different components of a research paper: material and methods, discussion and conclusion. Practical advices are also given regarding the submission procedure.

14. The 14th meeting is Interim assignment 2 to train practical skills in writing an individual research paper. The most successful papers would be recommended for further publication in research journals.

15. Lecture 15 starts the final section, devoted to fundraising. Different sources of research funding are presented. Detailed information is given about the foundations supporting the fundamental research.

16. In addition to the previous one, Lecture 16 presents different foundation, supporting applied research. Mobility grants, supporting staff and students exchange are also discussed.

17. The final lecture of the course trains the practical skills in developing a strong scientific proposal. Different parts (e.g. scientific background, research team, proposed methods and expected results, budget and project management) are explained. Several examples of successful applications for fundamental and applied grants are provides.

Additional literature for self-study

B. Malmfors, P. Garnsworthy, M. Grossman. Writing and presenting scientific papers 2nd edition. Nottingham University Press.

J. Leek. The elements of data analytiс style.

R. Lyman Ott & Michael Longnecker. An introduction to statistical methods and data analysis. 6th edition

Hans-Peter Pifo. Statistics for bachelors in Agriculture and Renewable Energy sources. Hochenheim. 288 P.