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Office of Scientific Writing

The Office of Scientific Writing (OSW) assists research faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students in writing successful research grants and scientific manuscripts. The office supports the research faculty at our Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville campuses. For publication, 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 of the proposal or manuscript so that the science and specific aims of the research in a compelling manner, that is highly readable. If simple copy editing is all that’s required, the proposal or manuscript will be checked for typos, missing words, grammar, etc. – but the scientific content or terminology 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.

There are two staff 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. After 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 (NORDP), the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), the Society for Research Administrators International (SRA), the Grant Professionals Association (GPA), and the Textbook and Academic Authors Association (TAA). 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. 

For grant proposals, the Office of Scientific Writing can provide assistance with 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 a one-week lead time for scientific writing assistance for proposals, ahead of the OSP's internal submission deadline. In emergency grant application cases, we will work with you to deliver the markup of your proposal in an expedited fashion, depending upon OSW workload at the time.

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

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Last Published: Sep 9, 2019