Skills & Careers in Science Writing Course

In this 10-week seminar, students hone their writing skills through authentic writing assignments for general readers. 
Training and support includes:
  • Editorial feedback and support from faculty and professional writers.
  • Training in popular science writing techniques and best practices, including narrative, interviews, and article structure.
  • Insights into science writing careers and opportunities from guest speakers and professional science writers.  
  • Guest editors from outlets like Discover Magazine will provide one-on-one writing feedback and support.
This course is designed for full-time, PhD-track STEM+ graduate students at Northwestern. At this time, we are not considering applications from postdoctoral fellows or Master's degree students or PhD candidates from other institutions. Relevant fields of study include Anthropology, Chemistry, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Computer Science, Engineering, Life Sciences, Math, Physics, and Psychology. 

Priority will be given to students entering the 3rd or 4th year of PhD study.
"This course has given me the confidence and experience to explore careers in science communication." – Danielle Fanslow
Science in Society Director Michael Kennedy spearheaded this initiative to create a formal graduate-level course designed to teach STEM graduate students the skills required for lay-centered scientific writing. Skills & Careers in Science Writing was launched in fall 2015, with a $25,000 grant from The Graduate School. 
The course was developed in partnership with the Medill School of Journalism. 
"Undoubtedly the skills I learned have been very useful, but most concretely the connections generated by this course were the reason I have been able to publish 2 pieces on Discover blogs since finishing the class." – Hannah Gavin 
Course alumni have been published by Discover, Vox, Chicago Botanical Gardens, and HELIX.


Sara Grady
Chambers Hall, 600 Foster St, Suite 130
Evanston , IL 60208
Phone: 847-467-3297

Get Involved!

Application Information

Graduate students must apply via the online application form, which includes a short essay. Where applicable a student’s most recent Versant English language test score will be considered. 

Applications for our Fall 2017 course are now closed. Spring course applications will open in Winter 2018. To keep up to date with the program's other developments, sign up for our center newsletter.


A digital science magazine published by Science in Society and written by Northwestern faculty, students and staff.

Connect with Science in Society on Facebook and Twitter.