Science Writing


Taking Criticism as a Professional Writer

To be successful in science, you have to learn how to take criticism. This is one of the reasons I left the bench. I didn't like feeling like I wasn't good enough all the time. At that time, I thought that the best coping strategy would be to ignore the criticism. Unfortunately, this left me feeling...


The Amount of Writing it Takes to Become a Writer

“I earned my PhD in drug discovery in 2011, and now I work as a curriculum writer.”  When I introduce myself this way, especially to other trainees who are interested in transitioning away from the bench, I always get asked, “How did you do that?”  I usually say that I wrote a lot,...


MSL: Medical..Science…What?

If you browse job listings on the websites of pharmaceutical companies, it’ll soon become apparent that there are a slew of titles and abbreviations, which often differ between companies…it can get confusing!  Sometimes, at Company X an ‘Associate’ scientist has more experience than a ...


Leaving the bench to advance public knowledge of current research

Given the current dismal job prospects in tenure-track science academia, it’s no wonder more science PhDs are exploring alternative career options. Although we were groomed to succeed our mentors in the academy, bench life isn’t for everyone. Some of us don’t have the passion for conducting th...

Sproul Hoverman

Plan Actively for Your Non-Academic Career

So you’ve obtained, or will a graduate degree in the life sciences, but you know for a certainty that traditional academia is not for you. Do you know what is? If you don’t then this blog is geared towards you.


When I Owned My Own Business

In the year after I earned my PhD, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I am as a professional. I would introduce myself as “Sandlin, I recently earned by Ph.D. in Molecular Virology,” to people at networking events and meet with something between silence and panic. Someone gave me the...

Reineke Pohlhaus

To Comment or Not to Comment

To comment or not to comment … that is the question. So I was listening to this program on Science Friday recently called “Preserving Science News in an Online World,” and the discussion was about the pros and cons of allowing comments on science news and blogs.


Medical writing: uncovered

Last week, at a seminar by the CEO of a medical communications company, I finally discovered what medical writing really is!  Although I have spent a significant chunk of my academic career dedicated to writing, I hadn’t considered the possibility that this might lead to a job in itself. When...


Finding My First Job as a Curriculum Writer

After I defended my PhD in 2011, it took more than a year before I had my first Real Job. It still makes me squirm to think about the gap, especially knowing what I know now: my first job was a job I had never heard of while in graduate school.


Publication plans....redux?

Another blog entry on pub plans? OK, It seemed like a good idea when I first thought of it because pub plans are important and many medical writers get involved in writing them. They are important because phase 2 through phase 4 industry-sponsored, academic and publicly funded drug and medical-devic...