How to write about science policy… and do it well!

Date: 23rd of March 2016
Time: 17:00-19:00
Venue: Raleigh Seminar Room, The Maxwell Centre, Cambridge

Many of us find writing challenging, not least when we are required to write about a complicated topic such as science or science policy. Nevertheless, being able to communicate complex ideas in writing is a useful skill in both academic and policy careers. The aim of this workshop is to train early career researchers how to write a successful article, blog post or opinion piece on a science policy topic that is accessible to a lay audience. Whether you are applying for policy jobs/internships and need help writing an article for your application, you would like to write an opinion piece for publication by CUSPE, or simply want to try your hand at writing about policy, this workshop should provide you with the skills to do so.

This workshop will include short talks from experienced writers from academia and policy outlining how to write a successful article. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to try some writing for themselves and get feedback from their peers and the speakers.


Prof Dame Athene Donald

Master of Churchill College

Athene Donald was awarded both her BA and PhD in Physics by the University of Cambridge, and after a short time in the USA at Cornell University in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, she returned to the Cavendish Laboratory as one of the first generation of Royal Society University Research Fellows. She has served on the University Council from 2009–14 and several of its dependent committees, and was the University’s Gender Equality Champion from 2010–14. Fellow of the Royal Society since 1999, she has served on its Council and a variety of committees, chairing its Education Committee from 2010-14. She currently sits on the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC). She has been awarded prizes by the Institute of Physics and Royal Society, and was awarded the L’Oreal/UNESCO For Women in Science Laureate for Europe. She was appointed a Dame Commander of the British Empire for Services to Physics in 2010.

Hannah Corbett

Communications and Engagement Manager at the Institute of Development Studies

Hannah leads the Communications and Engagement Unit which is responsible for the coordination, planning and delivery of cross-institutional corporate communications, marketing and policy engagement. During her time at IDS, she has worked on several training and capacity building initiatives around policy engagement and research communications for students, staff within the Institute and as part of IDS-led programmes such as the IDRC’s Think Tank Initiative PEC Program. Prior to IDS, Hannah worked at a Connect Communications, a consultancy in Westminster, where she led the Conferences Unit and was responsible for advising public and private sector clients on their communications and engagement activities with UK policy makers.

Dr Julia Fahrenkamp-Uppenbrink

Editor for Science

I studied chemistry and mineralogy at the Free University, Berlin and then did my PhD in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. After postdoctoral work at the University of Sussex and at UCL, I joined Science’s editorial staff in 1995. My editorial work has covered many different areas, ranging from chemistry and biochemistry to climate science, evolutionary biology, ecology, and microbiology. As part of Science’s Insights team, my main focus lies in inviting and editing Perspectives, but I also contribute to many other parts of the magazine. My particular passion is the communication of exciting research findings to a wider audience.

Places for the workshop are limited to 25 attendees. To apply for a place, please email by 4pm on Monday 14th of March telling us:

  1. Your name and position at the University (e.g. PhD student, department of Physics);
  2. Why you think this workshop can benefit you, and;
  3. What you want or hope to achieve from it. (five sentences max please)


We will use this information to invite 25 of you to attend, and we will operate a waiting list system so that as many of the rest of you can benefit from this opportunity!