Opportunity for you: Scientific Writing and Publication Scholarship course by the Tropical Biology Association (TBA)( 7th October 2021)

This course is designed to help conservation scientists communicate the importance and impact of their work to the wider scientific community. Participants will learn how to structure a scientific paper, how to write engaging content, and how to present results.  The course will include modules on how to select scientific journals, and how the publication process works.  Conservationists from tropical countries have relatively low publication rates and this course is designed to address this issue.   The course is based on our in situ training workshops that TBA has run for young African conservation scientists who have been able to publish their work as a result of these workshops.

Taught by the Tropical Biology Association (TBA)

Sponsored by MAVA Fondation Pour la Nature

Minimum academic requirement

BSc in conservation-ecology related subject

A Tropical Biology Association online course on Scientific Writing and Publication

The course has been specially developed by experienced conservation educators and is being led by Dr Rosie Trevelyan and Dr Kevin Wallace from TBA. The course will be hosted on our virtual learning environment.  The course is mostly self-paced and the activities and resources will be engaging and interactive.  It will give you ample opportunity to learn from each other.  You will also receive feedback from the course tutors on your own work.

You will need internet connectivity to access our virtual learning environment, complete some of the tasks and join the  Zoom meetings. However, much of the course can be completed offline and will be accessible from either a computer or smart phone.

Most of the course can be completed at your own pace, with a deadline for completion a few days before the end of each module. This will allow you to complete a task based on your learning and will give us enough time to give feedback on your work. Keeping to this schedule will help you to improve your skills and make it easier to progress onto the next module.

Each module will include a live interactive Zoom session so you can put your new skills into practice,  meet each other, share ideas and form a network of contacts.

How the course will work

25 October – 5 November (2 weeks)        Publishing your work

8 November – 19 November (2 weeks)   Writing skills

22 November – 3 December (2 weeks)    Presenting results, data and visualisations

What you will learn

The training will consist of 3 modules:

Module 1: Publishing your work

In this first module we shall explore some of the issues around the challenges and opportunities you may encounter when looking to publish your work. We will look at ways in which you can select appropriate journals to submit your paper and how to avoid the dreaded predatory journals that prey upon the unsuspecting. We have some helpful Top Tips for you to engage the editor and ways you can tactfully and productively respond to reviewer’s comments. Unfortunately, not every submission will result in a publication, and that is a fact of academic life, and we will look at ways you can deal with those feelings of rejection. Finally, we look at new publishing models such as preprints and discuss when you might (or might not) consider using this to disseminate your research.

Module 2: Paper structure & writing skills

Now we move into the structure of the paper, and consider each of the sections from the abstract to conclusion as well as your choice of title. Not only will we look at what you should be putting in each section, we will review the logical order of which sections to approach first, and what to leave for later, which will help maximise your efficiency. We will also look at writing styles, as how you write can be as important as what you write. One important consideration is your reference management system, and we’ll explore ways to make this as easy as possible for you, which should help free up time. Let’s not forget your acknowledgement’s, we will discuss the best ways to use this section and who to include.

Module 3: Presenting results, data and visualisations

All of the sections in your paper are important, but the results section offers an opportunity to showcase the impact of your work using words as well some engaging graphics. After all the effort you have put into collecting data and analysing it, now you need to show what you discovered – whether they are statistically significant or not. This module will guide you through some ways to think about what and how to present your findings. As well as Figures and Tables, there are other ways of presenting results, such as infographics, that can help explain your research in a simple, visually appealing manner.

  • Who is this course for?

The course is designed for early career conservationists from Africa. It will bring together people from across the African region and develop a networking and support mechanism for your work beyond the training course.

Dates: 25 October – 3 December

Format: Online – mainly asynchronous with occasional live ZOOM sessions

Length of course: 6 weeks

Weekly time commitment: 4 hours

Price: Free

Places: 30

Minimum academic requirement: BSc in conservation-ecology related subject

Application Deadline: midnight (East Africa Time) Thursday 7 October 2021

Click HERE to download the course flyer

Click HERE  for a pdf version of the application form, this can help you pre-write some of your responses and make the online application process smoother.


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