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

Scientific Communication Series
Sponsored by the HMS/HSDM Office for Postdoctoral Fellows
IMRaD for Publication | September 27 (in person)
Writing Clearly and Effectively for Publication | October 11 (in person)

Learn Something New: How to write study-related standard operating procedures
Sponsored by the Division of Clinical Research
Thursday, August 24 from 12-1pm
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are a set of step-by-step instructions created to help study teams perform study-related tasks accurately and uniformly. In this session, we will discuss common SOPs for research projects and outline the process for writing effective SOPs.

Techniques to Writing a Competitive Grant
Sponsored by the Division of Clinical Research
Register by Fri, Sep 1
Session dates: September 13-November 8
This online course, formerly known as Successful Grant Writing Strategies, is designed to provide an overview of the requisite skills and comprehensive considerations needed to give participants an in-depth introduction to the grant writing process. Participants in this course will learn grant writing strategies firsthand from researchers who have successfully applied for funding from a variety of sources.

Crafting Your Faculty of Medicine CV
Sponsored by the HMS Office for Faculty Affairs
Monday, September 11 from 3:30-5:30 pm
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.

K to R Workshop
Sponsored by the MGH Division of Clinical Research
Thursday, September 21 from 2:30-4:30 pm
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!

Manuscript Writing - 4 Sessions
This course is being offered to the entire Longwood Community
Mondays on September 11, 18, 25, and October 2 (October 16 in case of cancellation)
3:00PM-5:00 pm on Zoom. Link will be sent to all registrants. Please plan on keeping your video camera ON.
The focus of the class is how to write a research manuscript. We will have four 90 to 120 minute sessions, one session per week. The goal of the lectures is to provide writing instruction on topics that have immediate relevance to class participants. Each week's class will focus on how to write one or more components of you research paper: 1. Introduction, 2. Methods, 3. Results/Illustrations, 4. Discussion/Title/Abstract. Learning will occur via in-class didactic instruction and discussions.

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



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