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Office of Scientific Writing

The Office of Scientific Writing (OSW) is designed to assist research faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students in the writing of successful research grants and scientific manuscripts. The office supports the research faculty at our Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville campuses. The investigator must first complete a request form and provide a complete first draft to initiate the process.

The Scientific Writers work with investigators to sharpen the language so that the proposal or manuscript presents all of the science and specific aims of one’s research in a compelling manner, while being easy to read by reviewers. If a simple copy editing effort is all that’s required, the proposal or manuscript will be checked for typos, missing words, grammar, etc. – but the scientific content and structure of the manuscript will not be subject to revision unless this effort is specifically requested. See our FAQs webpage for more details about OSW services.

Currently, there are two Scientific Writers who can assist you: Amanda Clarke, PhD, Director of Scientific Writing, and Patti Smith, MPH, Scientific Writer, Center for Health System Improvement. Dr. Clarke has a PhD in Experimental and Physiological Psychology from the University of California, Davis. Before receiving her doctorate, Dr. Clarke pursued a successful research career studying the long-term effects of early experience on later endocrine, neurochemical, and behavioral responses to various challenges in animal models. Her most recent appointment in that capacity was at the Northwestern University School of Medicine. She received post-doctoral training at the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine and the Harlow Primate Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has published in Physiology and Behavior, Biological Psychiatry, Developmental Psychobiology, and Psychiatry Research, among other journals. Dr. Clarke is a member of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals, the National Council of University Research Administrators, and the Society for Research Administrators International. Ms. Smith has extensive writing experience, and her background in population health is most appropriate for the clinical, patient-centered side of the biomedical research spectrum, or T3-T4 research. 

In terms of grant proposals, the work of the Office of Scientific Writing is to provide assistance on the Abstract, Specific Aims, Research Strategy, or any text-intensive section of your proposal. If you need help with grant budgeting or a budget justification, please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Due to the high demand for services, we require one-week lead time for scientific writing assistance for proposals, prior to the internal submission deadline set by the Office of Sponsored Programs. In emergency time-critical grant application cases, we will work with you to deliver the markup of your proposal in an expedited fashion, depending upon the work already in progress at the time of submission.

Please contact Amanda Clarke or Patti Smith directly to schedule a meeting regarding your writing project.

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Last Published: Aug 16, 2019