WriteUp Your Paper


Adapted ONLINE format in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis.

Collaboration with Dr. Kerstin Minnich (scientific writing trainer & editor).

WriteUp Your Paper is an intense practical course where participants from natural & life sciences prepare, write and revise a complete research article manuscript and get it ready for publication.

The course provides:

  • all the relevant information from how to create a research article’s storyline and select a journal to effective communication with co-authors and detailed step-by-step revision instruction;
  • guidance in structuring the whole writing process to get organized and achieve optimal writing productivity;
  • individual trainer support through one-on-one consultations and text feedback.
  • facilitation of peer support among the participants for additional motivation, support and reciprocal text feedback.

The course is best suited for both inexperienced PhD students going to write their first research article as well as seasoned scientists frustrated with writing, feeling that their process is ineffective and takes too long. Participants are guided to experiment with their writing strategies, learning how to optimize their writing process and progress faster.

Course structure

I. Preparation (4 weeks)

Participants select & finalize figures and tables, create a storyline, select a journal, write a preliminary Abstract, and learn about effective writing strategies. The provided information is complemented with weekly Q&A sessions and one individual consultation with a trainer.

II. Drafting (2 weeks)

Participants write the first draft of their manuscript. This part runs in daily 4-hour live online sessions, which start with a warm up and finish with an input and Q&A session. The coffee break in the middle of each session can be used for further questions and (live online) networking. During these two weeks, each participant gets individual trainer support through three one-on-one consultations.

Weekly schedule

Day Participants’ activity Input topic
1+2 Write Methods Methods; Results
3+4 Write Results Introduction
5+6 Write Introduction Discussion
7+8 Write Discussion Abstract & Title
9+10 Write Abstract
Revising strategies

Suggested daily schedule

Time Activity
09:00 — 09:30 Warm up
09:30 — 10:30 Writing
10:30 — 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 — 12:30 Writing
12:30 — 13:00 Input / Q&A

III. Revision (4 weeks)

Participants revise their manuscript and get it ready for journal submission. The step-by-step revision instructions are complemented with weekly Q&A sessions and individual trainer feedback on the whole manuscript.

About the trainers

Dr. Martina Michalikova is a biologist and computational neuroscientist who obtained her doctoral title in 2016 from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. During her PostDoc period she acquired further qualification as a writing consultant specializing in scientific writing in English as a second language. Since 2017, she is working as a freelance trainer in scientific writing & publishing, giving workshops, leading writing groups, and providing individual writing support as a coach & consultant.

Dr. Kerstin Minnich is a biologist who obtained her doctoral title in Human Biology at the Ulm University Hospital, followed by a postdoctoral research period at the Leibniz Institute on Aging in Jena in the fields of endocrinology, immunology and cancer biology. In 2016, she founded the editing service LIFE SCIENCE WRITING. Additionally, she completed a writing consultant training at the University of Education Freiburg. Besides editing scientific texts, she is now working as an individual writing coach and giving workshops on scientific writing for students, PhD candidates and postdocs in life sciences.

Participant feedback

I learned SO MUCH! Now I know how to get organized and write a manuscript in a short time.

I strongly advice other colleagues to join the course. I saw myself doing within 5 days things that I would never have been able to do within a month!

I took home that there are so many helpful things that could be implemented within the department / groups like more structured revising / correcting of papers, regular peer feedback rounds or writing sessions.