Given the central role of scholarship in academic medicine, the CFD has created a dedicated webpage to bring together the information to support your writing needs, projects, and goals.

Upcoming Programs


Back to Basics Better Writing
Sponsored by Mass General Brigham
Classes will take place on Mondays & Wednesdays, 12:30-2:00 pm from February 5 to April 10 over Zoom (skipping 2/19)

In this course, students will practice: 

  • Avoiding common grammar and punctuation errors 
  • Editing and correcting mistakes in writing 
  • Creating clear and concise emails that people can easily read and act upon 
  • Using professional language and formatting and more!

Conquering the K Workshop
Sponsored by the MGH Division of Clinical Research
Wednesday, February 21 from 9:00-11:00am
This is a workshop for applicants of NIH Career Development Grants or K Grants. Bring one section of your upcoming K grant to review and discuss with fellow applicants and one of our experienced faculty!

K to R Workshop
Sponsored by the MGH Division of Clinical Research
Thursday, March 7 from 2:00-4:00pm
This is a workshop for applicants of R Grants. Bring one section of your upcoming R grant to review and discuss with fellow applicants and one of our experienced faculty!

Crafting your Faculty of Medicine CV

Sponsored by the HMS Office for Faculty Affairs
Monday, March 11 from 3:30-5:30pm
This 90-minute presentation, followed by a 30-minute Q&A, highlights some of the best practices for anyone maintaining a Faculty of Medicine CV. Participants will better appreciate how to use the standardized format to their advantage. The session covers the narrative as well as common questions about how to list various activities and achievements. We strongly encourage attendees to review our online resource guidelines before arriving to better facilitate engagement and allow more time to ask questions. Sessions are not recorded, please plan accordingly.

Are you writing a K? Get practical advice
Sponsored by the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research
Thursday, March 28 from 1-3pm
This in-person workshop is appropriate for clinical and basic science
researchers from all fields. K99 applications will not be discussed in detail.

Effective Writing for Health Care
Sponsored by Harvard Medical School
Application deadline: April 24, 2024
Program begins: May 20, 2024
The Effective Writing for Health Care certificate program is a one-year, blended learning program designed to help individuals achieve their writing and career objectives through a core curriculum and one of two specialized tracks. The program’s schedule and learning models are designed to accelerate and elevate communication skills with minimal time away from practice or research activities.

NIH K Grant Applicants: Apply to have your specific aims page reviewed
Sponsored by Harvard Catalyst
Currently accepting applications for consultations in February, March, and April 2024.
This consultation service provides individualized feedback on draft Specific Aims pages to applicants who are applying for NIH K grants. Harvard faculty who have demonstrated recent success in NIH grant funding will serve as consultants, offering edits and feedback on submitted draft aims. The consultations will occur remotely.

Breaking News

Harvard University and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research have purchased a subscription to Nature Masterclasses.

Nature Masterclasses is an online platform by Nature Research (Springer) that offers courses and modules relevant to research, publishing, and grant writing. Anyone with an active HarvardKey – faculty, staff, trainees, and students – may freely access this resource during our subscription period (now through February 27, 2024). 

Please click here to register. More information on accessing Nature Masterclasses can be found in this user guide.

The courses include the following:

  1. Scientific Writing and Publishing
  2. Effective Collaboration in Research
  3. Managing Research Data to Unlock its Full Potential
  4. Narrative Tools for Researchers
  5. Focus On Peer Review
  6. Persuasive Grant Writing
  7. Networking for Researchers
  8. Advancing Your Scientific Presentations
  9. Data Analysis: Planning and Preparing
  10. Data Analysis: Conducting and Troubleshooting
  11. Interpreting Scientific Results
  12. Finding Funding Opportunities
  13. Experiments: From Idea to Design

Recommended Resources on Writing

Consulting service: NIH K Grant Specific Aims Page
NIH K grant applicants, apply to have the specific aims section of your grant reviewed by Harvard faculty who have successfully received NIH grant funding. Offered by Harvard Catalyst's Writing and Communication Center, this service is free for Harvard-affiliated schools and institutions. Learn more and apply for a consultation.
Apply for a consultation

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) membership:

Harvard has an institutional membership with the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), effective Feb. 1, 2022. The pilot membership runs for 3 years, through Jan. 31, 2025. NCFDD’s career development resources, including robust writing support, are available to all Harvard-affiliated faculty, postdoctoral fellows, clinical trainees, staff, and medical, dental, and graduate (master’s/PhD) students.  All you have to do is choose “Harvard” from the options; membership is free
Register here

NCFDD writing resources include these Monday Motivator topics:

 

Noteworthy books and articles on (scientific) writing:
  • We highly recommend this succinct yet thorough guide to excellent writing: 

 The Elements of Style, Strunk and White 



  • This book specifically addresses scientific writing:

 The Craft of Scientific Writing, Alley 




  • Other excellent resources on writing: 

 

How to Write a Lot, Paul J. Silvia




 

Clear and Simple as the Truth: Writing Classic Prose, Francis-Noël Thomas and Mark Turner


 Style: Toward Clarity and Grace, Joseph M. Williams





Guides to writing and publishing:

 

MGH Scientific Writing Group Writing Support

The MGH Scientific Writing Group (SWG), led by Rebecca Ward, PhD, is comprised of Medical/Scientific Writers in the Department of Medicine with specific expertise in cancer immunology, cardiovascular biology, neuroscience, and infectious diseases. Together, they have experience editing and writing manuscripts as well as all types of grants (R01, R21, K99, F31, U19, U01, U54, internal MGH and foundation grants). They assist in the publication of primary articles, reviews, commentaries, perspectives, and book chapters.

In collaboration with the CFD, the MGH SWG provides freelance writing and editing services for MGH faculty and trainees which is fully subsidized by the CFD, up to 5 hours and limited to once annually. Please fill out this brief application
There is no deadline; apply when writing support is needed.

Workshops and Courses on Writing


PAST PRESENTATIONS:


TO CONSULT:

NIH Grant Writers' Seminars and Workshops
 
Sample Resources:

  • Tips Before You Submit: Ever Wondered What Happens During the Scientific Review of an NIH Grant Application? Understanding how peer review works is key to writing a good grant application. In this 44-minute video, NIH Peer Review: “Live” Mock Study Section, scientists have gathered virtually to review three fictional applications in response to a fictional Request For Applications. Watch their discussion to learn how applications are scored, what questions are commonly asked, and what mistakes to avoid in your application.
  • All About Grants Podcast: Considerations for a Research Plan In this NIH All About Grants episode (MP3 / Transcript) a duo of NIH program officers share their advice and experience on developing a research plan for a grant application.
2021 NIH Virtual Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration

HMS Office for Postdoctoral Fellows
This resource includes a component on Manuscript & Scientific Writing (Prep Strategies for Writing, Writing for Publication Boot Camp, Cultural Aspects of Writing, and Professional Correspondence for Scientists).

Harvard Catalyst

By cataloguing content from a collection of courses and resources, the Writing and Communication Center provides countless videos, articles, websites, rubrics, and course offerings surrounding funding, written communication, speaking skills, visual media, and professional development.

Multi-year program for K grant awardees seeking independent research funding.

Watch a series of interviews with Harvard researchers as they explain how to create a good research question. Researchers share helpful frameworks, factors to consider, candid advice, and how they've utilized these strategies in their own work.

HMS Effective Writing for Healthcare
This resource is a professional development program launched in 2020-2021, with specialized tracks in (1) Writing for Medical and Scientific Journals, (2) Writing for the Public, and (3) Writing Grant Proposals.

Writing Evaluation Letters
Templates and Samples

Promotion-Related Templates and Samples

  • CV Narrative Samples:
    • CV Narrative Instructor AoE Inv (Sample)
    • CV Narrative Instructor AoE CEI + SSA Inv (Sample)
    • CV Narrative Asst Prof AoE CEI (Sample)
    • CV Narrative Asst Prof AoE CEI + SSA Inv (Sample)
    • CV Narrative Assoc Prof AoE Inv (Sample)
    • CV Narrative Assoc Prof AoE CEI + SSA Inv (Sample)
  • Composing the HMS CV Narrative (Recording) (Slide Deck)
  • Chief/Chair Letter (Template) (Sample)


Fellowship Application


Responses to NIH Review of R01


Resources for an Effective Poster