Writing Fellow Training at Life Sciences Zurich (mixed format)

Course registration


1/8/22 March; 5/19 April; and 29 November 2023. First and last course day take place on-site, all other dates are online,

Course hours              08:30–11:45 am
Aim and content    

This course is designed for PhD students and postdocs who wish to become Writing Fellows in the Life Sciences at UZH and ETH Zurich. Writing Fellows will be trained to coach Bachelor, Master, and PhD students in writing the scientific and technical documents required for their studies, including semester papers, course reports, and theses. The Writing Fellow Training at Life Sciences Zurich consists of five half-day workshops, compulsory practical experience in student coaching, and a half-day refresher event. One training cycle extends over two semesters. Successful completion yields 2 ECTS for PhD students, equivalent to a workload of about 60 hours. Successful postdocs and PhD students qualify for Writing Fellow certificates. Candidates should have linguistic ability and motivation for coaching. This training is offered in collaboration with the Language Center of UZH and ETH Zurich and was initiated by the Life Science Zurich Writing Lab.

Syllabus and workload

The five half-day workshops cover essential coaching elements including how to explain language concepts, how to structure and prioritize feedback, and how to identify and address recurrent problems in scientific writing. These elements are introduced and trained through a combination of reading, discussion, writing, and individual and group exercises. The prospective Writing Fellows acquire and activate skills in text analysis at the level of vocabulary, sentences, paragraphs, and sections. Writing Fellow trainees are introduced to a range of resources and strategies that help them guide students through the various stages of the writing process.

After the five workshops, Writing Fellow trainees are expected to collect practical experience in coaching writing students (minimum 10 hours). The workshops and the practical experience are followed by a refresher event that takes place ca. seven months after the last workshop. Trainees are advised by the Writing Instructor throughout the entire period.

The workload comprises 18 hours of presence time (workshops and refresher), about 30 hours of homework, and 10 hours of compulsory coaching.
Instructor   Dr. Anna Ekert-Centowska, Language Center of UZH and ETH Zurich
Location Venue to be defined
ECTS 2.0
Contact gradschool@lifescience.uzh.ch