“This was an extremely valuable experience and I cannot wait to start using what I learnt in my writing!”

Max Planck Institute of Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, March 2021

“The workshop was really interactive and the trainer answered all questions kindly, precisely and appropriately!”

Max Planck Institute of Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, March 2021

“The workshop was great and definitely exceeded my expectations. As a native English speaker, I wasn't sure how useful the course would be for me. However, I felt it was very relevant to me and found the interactive sessions very engaging.”

Max Planck Institute of Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, March 2021

“Great combination of theory and practice!”

Max Planck Institute of Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, March 2021

“Very useful course for every stage of your PhD. In depth feedback and very helpful instructor. Definitely learned a lot and would recommend it to everyone! A must do during your PhD (or even later).”

Göttingen Graduate Center for Neurosciences, Biophysics and Molecular Biosciences, January 2021

“Very engaging trainer, who had a lot of expertise in the topic. Therefore, we always got useful and relevant feedback, which helped us to understand why another way might be better.”

Göttingen Graduate Center for Neurosciences, Biophysics and Molecular Biosciences, January 2021

“Awesome, great and fantastic workshop. By far exceeded my expectations. I really enjoyed it.”

TRR130, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin; Charité, Berlin; Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen; Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, November 2020

“I felt really supported throughout the course and I learned a lot, although I am a more advanced researcher. Wonderful job!”

Post-doctoral researcher, TRR130, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin; Charité, Berlin; Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen; Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, November 2020

“The online experience was great! I really liked the use of the graphic pad and pen and the switches between slides, pdf documents and the notepad. The private “sub-sessions” were new, very helpful and a really smart move.”

TRR130, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin; Charité, Berlin; Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen; Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, November 2020

“I feel I am much better prepared for thesis and/or paper writing – especially with the handout for help :)”

TRR130, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin; Charité, Berlin; Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen; Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, November 2020

“The workshop exceeded my expectations because I did a writing course during my PhD and this was much more practical.”

TRR130, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin; Charité, Berlin; Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen; Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, November 2020

“For the first time, I understand how to use commas in English!”

TRR130, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin; Charité, Berlin; Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen; Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, November 2020

“Good pace, clearly understandable and a really cool course! Also the facilitation via Zoom worked out nicely with the small groups and the shared screens… everything perfect.”

TRR130, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin; Charité, Berlin; Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen; Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, November 2020

“This was the best course I have ever done!”

TRR130, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin; Charité, Berlin; Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen; Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, November 2020

“There was a great working atmosphere – even in Zoom”

TRR130, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin; Charité, Berlin; Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen; Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, November 2020

“I wish I had had this kind of workshop earlier!”

Post-doctoral researcher, TRR130, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin; Charité, Berlin; Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen; Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, November 2020

“The workshop was very clear, concise and productive. I felt very comfortable with the instructor.”

TRR130, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin; Charité, Berlin; Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen; Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, November 2020

“This was a really good workshop. I loved that it was so interactive.”

IZKF Erlangen University Hospital, October 2020

“The facilitator was very motivating and passionate about the topic. The level and pace were really good.”

IZKF Erlangen University Hospital, October 2020

“This course has completely changed how I will read and write scientific texts.”

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, July 2020

“I had very high expectations of this course and I am happy to say that I was not disappointed.”

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, July 2020

“The clarity, planning, explanation and precision behind each section was exquisite. The material was perfectly suited to the background and future needs of the audience.”

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, July 2020

“I can’t believe that I am writing this, but I am now really looking forward to writing my next TAC report and using my new skills!”

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, July 2020

“It was really useful to learn how to structure my writing and how to get started.”

IZKF, Erlangen University Hospital, May 2020

“Everything was well explained and very useful.”

IZKF, Erlangen University Hospital, May 2020

“I was positively surprised how well we were able to do this online and I liked the way you guided us through everything using technical replacements for usual things like flipcharts and pinboards.”

IZKF Erlangen University Hospital, May 2020

“I feel much more confident about the tasks ahead now (thesis and paper). Thank you for this course!”

IZKF Erlangen University Hospital, May 2020

“I was really afraid of writing a scientific text. You taught us how to establish a clear structure that will guide us through the actual writing. I am now beginning to think that I am actually capable of doing it. Thanks a lot!”

IZKF Erlangen University Hospital, May 2020

“The online experience worked great for me. We had a smooth transition between exercises, group session, plena, and discussion.”

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen/Stuttgart, May 2020

“I find it very helpful that we discussed a lot of examples and especially examples from our research field.”

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen/Stuttgart, May 2020

“It was a great course! Both the general content and the online format were done really well. I also liked the material I would definitely recommend the course to colleagues.”

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen/Stuttgart, May 2020

“I am very satisfied. I really liked the structure of the workshop and the flexibility of the facilitator.”

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen/Stuttgart, May 2020

“It was really helpful for me to understand the teaching material that we had time to do simple exercises in the middle of seminar. Otherwise, I would have just understood the material in my mind and not really digested it. The group work was also useful for understanding.”

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen/Stuttgart, May 2020

“I especially like the handout, and will refer to it in the future.”

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen/Stuttgart, May 2020

“I got excited about the 'science' of writing good research articles and feel more confident in critically analyzing my writing. The online format was very smooth.”

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen/Stuttgart, May 2020

“I really liked that the workshop was individualized to the participants' background. The instructor was well-prepared. Receiving individual feedback on an abstract was also very insightful.”

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen/Stuttgart, May 2020

“The overall experience was great. I am now a more confident in writing and feel like I know what I am doing.”

GRK2162, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen, April 2020

“The online course worked very well. It was nice to use all the different options in Zoom – seeing the presentation slides, working in small groups and then coming together to discuss our ideas in the larger group. All in all I am very happy with the course!”

GRK2162, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen, April 2020

“It was great that all the tasks and examples are from our own scientific context.”

GRK2162, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen, April 2020

“Compared to other writing courses I have been on, this was better adapted to my needs and more practical.”

GRK2162, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen, April 2020

Training:
The essentials
of academic
writing

Before they can actively participate in the dialogue within their research field, many early stage researchers must first develop their proficiency in academic English. BETA offers specialist training to help participants through this process, familiarising them with the writing conventions adopted in their particular field and providing them with practical tools to improve their English academic writing skills.

All courses are available online
All courses are available online
Overview

This introductory course offers a practical guide to writing academic texts (e.g. progress reports, abstracts for conferences and research articles) in English. Training is delivered in short intensive in-house workshops and participants learn the key elements of academic writing through a combination of instruction, guided practice, discussion and individual feedback on practical assignments.

Target group

Post-graduate students, post-doctoral students and faculty members. Training can be provided for both individuals and small groups (max. 12) from a post-graduate programme, research group or university department. It is recommended that participants have a similar degree of research experience and come from similar disciplinary backgrounds.

Course content

This course consists of two key strands, one focusing on language use and the other on structuring. A typical example is shown below.

Structural component:

  • Articulating your key message
  • Developing a structure
  • The Abstract: Drawing your reader in
  • The Introduction: Positioning your research
  • Methods and Results: Detailing your experiments and presenting your findings
  • The Discussion: Putting your findings in context and communicating your key message

Language component:

  • General guiding principles
  • Formality and precision
  • Cohesion and flow
  • Punctuation and grammar
Method

Every workshop uses authentic materials from the participants’ disciplines. The structural component is based on a genre analysis approach, identifying critical steps in each section of the target text. The language component includes short practical exercises within the disciplinary context. All participants have the opportunity to write a short first draft of a text section and received detailed individual feedback. Small groups foster a relaxed atmosphere, encouraging a high degree of interaction.

Course Format/Duration

Workshops typically consist of ten 90-minute units, although this can be modified according to individual requirements. Whilst the format is flexible, two options are particularly popular:

Standard:
The standard format consists of two 90-minute units per day over five days (e.g. Monday to Friday, 09:00-12:15). This provides the maximum opportunity for writing practice in the afternoons, allowing participants to practise and consolidate what they have learned in the morning.

Intensive:
This format comprises two full days (e.g. 09:00-16:30) and one half-day (e.g. 09:00-12:15). This option is appropriate for those with limited time available.

Course fees
Course fees will vary according to the duration of the course and the number of participants involved. Fee for standard course (ten 90-minute units and 12 participants): €1750 + expenses (travel, accommodation, printing of handouts)
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