ForBio course: Writing a Scientific Paper



Publish or publish—we really don’t have a choice. Once you have performed experiments and analyzed data, you then need to write a clear and compelling paper. Your paper will allow others to learn about what you did and to build upon your work. This course aims to help you write a scientific paper to submit to a journal. Through lectures and constructive interactions with the other students, along with some serious time on your own, you will write, edit, write some more, edit way more times than you originally thought necessary, make a final draft, edit, make even more drafts, and then produce a version that you are happy with (although your advisor and collaborators may have their own ideas and requests).

Topics include: choosing a journal to style your writing, placing your work into a broader context and setting up your specific study in the introduction, making your methods clear and followable, writing the results to focus on the most important findings, distilling the results and placing them into a broader context in the discussion, and crafting a conclusion that shows how your study has advanced your field.

Students will write their manuscript throughout the course, and edit each other's drafts. Emphasis will be on making sure there is a logical flow through the manuscript. We will not edit for English.  

By the end of the course, you will: have a solid draft of your manuscript, and be in a stronger position to write your future papers.

An in-person start-up meeting will take place in Drøbak, 7–8 March (arrive 6 March, depart 9 March). During the start-up meeting there will be introductory lectures, and each student will present their work in informal 15-minute presentations. During subsequent online meetings, we will discuss what you have written and what you have edited in the intervening days.

Time and place

In person: 7–8 March, at Drøbak Marine Station.

On Zoom: every Wednesday from 9: 30–12: 00, 16 March through 18 May.


You should be an advanced MS or PhD student, or a postdoc, who has already analyzed data and already made figures. You should be ready to write up your study as first author.

Course Book

Heard, SB. The Scientist's Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily and Effectively Throughout Your Scientific Career. Princeton University Press

Number of Participants



Micah Dunthorn

Natural History Museum, University of Oslo


5 ECTs

Application deadline



Quentin Mauvisseau - Micah Dunthorn for practicalities. 

Published Nov. 15, 2021 1:40 PM - Last modified Jan. 31, 2022 9:58 PM