Science Writing Workshops

From grant proposals to peer reviewed publications, writing is a critical career skill for PhD candidates. As part of an ongoing professional development effort focused on doctoral students, Pratt offers a scientific and technical writing course for doctoral students each semester. 

Upcoming Workshops

NSF Writing Workshop

Open to 1st and 2nd Year MS & PhD Students

Info Session:  8:30 – 10:00 am, Aug. 30, location TBD

Workshop Dates:  Tuesdays –  Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27 and Oct. 4

Time:  8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Location: Schiciano Auditorium, Side A, Fitzpatrick Center

Registration Required through DukeHub –

Course Number: Special Topics: Pratt NSF Writing Workshop – EGR 790-01

Description:  The Pratt School of Engineering highly encourages graduate students to submit a proposal for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Pratt offers a six-week writing workshop this fall (1.5 hrs./wk.) with a special focus on preparing your NSF GRFP proposals. Over five weeks, you will draft, critique, revise, and polish proposals. You will learn concrete strategies for making your writing as clear and cohesive as possible, from individual sentences to paragraphs to overall organization.

Credit: 1

Enrollment limit:  35


General Science Writing Workshop:  Making Texts Clear and Concise

Open to Pratt PhD Students only

Fall 2016:

  • Dates:  Tuesdays – Oct 18 and 25, and Nov. 1, 8, and 15
  • Time: 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
  • Location:  Schiciano Auditorium, Side A, Fitzpatrick Center

Spring 2017:

  • Dates: Tuesdays – Jan. 31 and Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28
  • Time:  8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
  • Location: TBD

Registration required through DukeHub –

Course Number: Special Topics: Pratt PhD General Science Writing Workshop – EGR 790-02

Description:  You are invited to participate in a professional development class focused on scientific and technical writing. From grant proposals to peer reviewed publications, writing is a critical skill for your career. This workshop is a series of five 1.5-hour workshops designed to help make your writing as clear and strong as possible. Workshop topics will include clarity, conciseness, cohesion, organization, common errors, and “putting it all together” in research proposals and scientific papers. You’ll develop a toolbox of strategies for crafting, evaluating, and revising texts. Throughout the workshop, text examples will come directly from participants’ own writing. As a participant, you will be asked to submit writing samples in advance.

Credit per workshop series: 1

Grading: S/NS

Enrollment limit:  25


Our Writing Workshop Instructor:

The course instructor is Elizabeth Paley, who led academic writing workshops for six years at the Duke Writing Studio before branching out on a freelance basis; she has taught numerous science-writing workshops at Duke and the University of Freiburg (Germany) since 2010. With an MS in Astronomy and a PhD in Music Theory, she has publications in a variety of venues, including The Astrophysical Journal, Nineteenth-Century Music, and The Chronicle for Higher Education.

To register or for more information, please contact Sara Faust at