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Writing about New Science with Integrity, Authority and Imagination

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    By Marisol Capellan
    Special to UM News


    Princeton’s Judith Swan shares her knowledge on writing persuasive grant proposals at a SEEDS Program workshop.

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 1, 2017)—When writing grant proposals to the National Institutes of Health or any other organization, think like a reviewer. That was the advice Judith Swan, a leading authority on grant-writing techniques, gave faculty, post-docs and graduate students who attended a daylong career workshop presented by the SEEDS Program on October 28.

    “In addition to including the expected outcomes of your proposals, you must also include the unexpected outcomes,” Swan, the associate director for Writing in Science and Engineering at Princeton University, said at the workshop on Persuasive Proposals: Writing about New Science with Integrity, Authority, and Imagination. “This demonstrates to the reviewers that you are failure-proof.”

    Swan, who developed and oversees Princeton’s writing programs for graduate students and post-docs, also emphasized the importance of ensuring “that your aims are not dependent on each other.” Her research focuses on writing development during scientific training and on the ways language shapes the interpretation of emerging science.

    The SEEDS Program, which supports initiatives that promote faculty advancement and is institutionalized under Faculty Affairs in the Office of the Executive VP and Provost, hosted Swan’s visit with the College of Arts and Sciences’ Scientific Writing Programs. Led by Professor Joanna Johnson, the writing program offers a range of services to help faculty in all disciplines and on all campuses write grants, publish peer-reviewed articles and make compelling presentations.

    SEEDS also collaborates with UM’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Vice Provost for Research, and the School of Education and Human Development’s Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, chaired by Laura Kohn-Wood.

    All SEEDS events are open to all faculty, post-docs, and graduate students. For more information about SEEDS and to get involved please contact Marisol Capellan, SEEDS program manager, at


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