Popular scientific writing: reach readers outside of academic walls


Communication skills

Target audience

All Doctoral Schools members of Ghent University


Purpose of this workshop is to offer practical tools to write your own popular scientific blog, press release, opinion article, magazine article, leaflet, mail or other text. The workshop is also useful if you want to contribute to texts by press officers or (science) journalists.

Writing for non-specialists or for news is an interesting challenge. If you stick to an academic writing style and only translate the jargon and give extra background, people will not read your text. But you do not want to be too simplistic either, so what to do?

This workshop starts from examples and your own text-to-be. It is hands-on: you will define a key message customized to your own audience, think about a suitable text structure, discuss texts, give and receive feedback on text outlines of fellow participants.

We start from with some important tasks beforehand:

• Defining your audience and your own purpose
• Choosing an appropriate and sharp key message
• Finding ways to attract your reader

After that we design an appropriate text structure, and find how it differs from the structure of an academic publication. We look at ways to deal with jargon and how to write in an appealing and concrete writing style.


The workshop consists out of 1 day on campus group sessions, followed by a half day of online training. At the end of the workshop, you get 1 short individual feedback session with the trainer and 1 other participant, discussing your own text and questions. 

IMPORTANT: ASSIGNMENT BEFOREHAND (ONLY IF THE FIRST DAY IS ONLINE) There is a brief writing assignment beforehand. You do not need to send this assignment beforehand, but do have it ready in a text file at the start of the workshop.

Dates and time schedule

Dates (1 course = 2 days) Time Venue

05/05/2022 +


09:30 - 17:00

09:30 - 12:00 + PM individual session 



*If the covid situation requires it, the on campus session will take place online.


Follow this link: https://eventmanager.ugent.be/Popsciwrit

If the course is fully booked, you can ask by email to be added to the waiting list doctoralschools@ugent.be

Free of charge for members of the Doctoral Schools. The no show policy applies: no-show policy UGent


Ann De Ron worked for 10 years as a journalist and editor for several Belgian and international print media and websites, for instance for the newspaper De Morgen, Knack magazine, MO*Magazine and Natuur & Techniek (the Dutch NewScientist). She is a master in Molecular Biology and has been training researchers in popular scientific writing since 2008.

Number of participants


Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

Active participation