Scientific Writing Retreat

Large group of people posing for a photo outside at Kenya writing retreat

We hosted a five-day Scientific Writing Workshop in Mbita, Kenya. The Workshop included our Sustainable Development for HIV Health (SD4H) doctoral and masters’ trainees and other graduate students from Maseno University and KEMRI including those in the health and non-health sciences interested in S4DH. Workshop participants were selected based on a draft abstract or manuscript, a letter of reference, and their CV. Twenty-nine graduate students participated in the five-day workshop. The seminar was led by five faculty from Maseno University including Drs. Louisa Ndunyu, Collins Ouma, Evans Raballa, Elly Munde, and Lucas Othoun, Dr. Elizabeth Bukusi from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), three faculty from from University of California San Francisco (UCSF) including Drs. Sheri Weiser, Craig Cohen, and Pamela Murnane.

The Scientific Writing Workshop provided the skills needed to turn their S4DH research findings into a clear, concise, and comprehensible abstracts and manuscripts that are understandable to an interdisciplinary readership. The five-day workshop included a mix of didactic lectures, individual writing time, peer review, and time to meet with faculty advisors. The SD4H Principal Investigators also met with the eight SD4H Doctoral and Masters’ students to support them advance their research projects.

Publications from the Scientific Writing Workshop:

The evaluation from the students was very positive:

  • “The workshop provided a rich network of scholars/mentors and cutting-edge scientific writing skills.”
  • “The experience was great, and the sessions and training materials were informative.”
  • “This workshop increased my confidence in writing. I have also learnt excellent strategies to approach scientific writing and to plan and prioritize my writing. I am grateful for the diversity of mentors from Maseno, UCSF and KEMRI and for the generosity of the mentors with their life wisdom.”
  • “The mentors were all available for consultation and ready to take you to the next level.
  • “The small group sessions and one-on-one time with mentors were the most valuable.
  • “The presentations, homework and peer review were extremely helpful in moving the work forward.”