What would your life look like if writing and editing papers and grants was suddenly simple? What if there were tips and tricks you could employ to make the process easier, so that it was no longer such a chore to sit down with your computer?
As a child, I saw myself as a scientist who regularly made beautifully colored solutions that bubbled and fizzed over my flasks while learning all of the world’s secrets. I wanted to know all the things, and I wanted to get my hands dirty doing it.
Even as a graduate student, I kept my idealized view of scientists spending their energy coming up with groundbreaking ideas and doing research. Isn’t that why they gave us the lab coats?
So why was so much time spent lamenting over writing and editing papers or scraping together applications at the last second? Why is scientific communication science so hard? Shouldn’t the results speak for themselves?
Why is so much mental energy spent doing the things that never fit into the star-eyed kid’s dream of science?
The truth is we have a finite amount of mental energy, and when its taken up by stressing over writing and communicating, it can’t be spent doing great science that changes the world.
Just think, if your writing process could be simplified and streamlined, could you:
- publish papers with a higher impact?
- write more papers in a year?
- submit more effective grant applications?
- increase awareness of your lab and your research?
Learning to easily and effectively craft compelling science papers and presentations is not an inherent skill for most of us and is also not something that is often taught in grad school. In fact, most students, like I was, are taught how to write a paper like a kid is taught to swim by being thrown in deep water.
Its not fun, and learning like this can leave a lasting phobia of a blank page. I know, I had it.
In fact, whether you are just starting out in academia or are a tenured professor, you have likely experienced one or many of these things:
- an awesome result that you can’t get someone excited about – whether PI or journal editors!
- a paralyzing inability to just sit down and write. “Carve out 1 hour a day to focus on writing”, they say…yeah right!
- a blank stare when explaining your project to a colleague, friend, or relative.
- an looming abstract submission, but no time or energy to get the damn paragraph on paper.
- a talk with a zombie audience and no subsequent questions.
- a paralyzing dread that arises when you need to communicate…like at lab meetings or even brief run-ins with the PI at the coffee machine!
- overwhelming imposter syndrome when you just can’t figure out how the other scientists are able to do these things. Is this skill something that better scientists are naturally born with?!
The good news is that effective scientific communication is a LEARNED SKILL, and one that ANYONE can master with the right tips.
This page is about taking the stress out of communicating your results to the world – be it in a manuscript, grant application, or at the coffee corner with your PI – so you can get back to the real reason you became a scientist.
It will help you quickly write and edit your papers.
It will show you how to convince Reviewer 2.
It will increase the impact of your publications.
It will walk you through crafting powerful applications. Who doesn’t love money?
It will help you show anyone, scientist or editor or general audience, why your work is important.
Overall, it will REMOVE THE STRESS of scientific communication from your shoulders, so you can focus on fulfilling your dreams, be they from childhood or recently, and the only thing that really matters – your science!
Spread your results and tell the world what you’ve done, because science doesn’t happen in a vacuum. And because that’s the only way to change the world.
Hi, I’m Kaycie!
I earned a Ph.D. in chemistry and did a postdoc in chemical biology before figuring out that my path was helping other scientists improve their communication.
I know that scientific communication can be stressful, and I also know that you can learn how to do it because I was there. I went from completely inept at speaking and writing (not to mention a nervous wreck!) to a scientist who:
- published a first-author paper in a Nature journal as a graduate student
- won an award for my ability to effectively communicate science to a broad audience
- was invited to present my science in prestigious settings, such as the university board of directors and alumni association
- won a distinguished postdoctoral fellowship
- now regularly helps scientists publish papers in journals with impact factors higher than they ever imagined possible
How did I get there?
One day I realized that my results were never going to matter if I couldn’t convince someone that they were worthy. So I studied people who could communicate – I watched how they spoke and what they said. I read everything I could, from books and articles on communicating and public speaking, sales and persuasion, to human psychology, and combined everything I learned to figure out how to best convey my ideas and do it in a way that others wanted to listen.
And after all of that work, something amazing happened…