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Creative Science Writing Program

Creative Science Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh

Overview. The development of effective writing skills in the sciences has become increasingly more important given the critical roles that science plays in society. To help undergraduates at the University of Pittsburgh develop such highly valuable skills, the Creative Science Writing Summer Program is intended to foster undergraduate writing projects that are focused on communicating science in a compelling, accessible manner to non-scientists. This Program is available to undergraduates in the Departments of Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Physics & Astronomy, Neuroscience, History &

Philosophy of Science, and/or English. Up to six applicants will be selected to be "Writers in Residence" and each awarded a prize of $250 to pursue creative writing involving scientific journalism, poetry, and other works of nonfiction during the summer.

The Program. During an 11-week period from late May to late July, each participant will complete the following:

How to Apply. To be eligible for the Program, undergraduates must be in good academic standing and declared a major in the Departments of Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Physics & Astronomy, Neuroscience, History & Philosophy of Science, and/or English. The deadline for application is March 15th annually. To apply, please email a brief summary (≤ 250 words) to Prof. Lillian Chong (ltchong@pitt.edu) that includes the following:

  • A description of the proposed writing project, outlining the research/science topics of interest, forms of writing, and motivation/significance of your writing project. 
  • The names of (i) a faculty member of the Department of Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Physics & Astronomy, Neuroscience, or History & Philosophy of Science Department who has agreed to mentor you during the summer on communicating the science in an accurate manner; and (ii) a faculty member in the English Department who has agreed to mentor you during the summer on the writing.
  • Mention any previous experiences with creative writing, including writing workshops.

A faculty committee will review the proposals and select up to six awardees.