Storytelling Techniques for Scientific Writing

5 & 19 February 2021

NB covid: in agreement with the speaker, this workshop will be held on-site (in Neuchâtel) or on-line, depending on the evolution of the covid-19 situation. Therefore, you may register to this workshop without fear of cancellation!


FYI: The CUSO Microbiology program will also offer this workshop in autumn 2021. Both editions are open to students of both programs. You may choose the date that suits you best, keeping in mind that both editions are limited to 10 students each.


This workshop aims at helping PhD students develop narrative skills to improve the overall structure and style of their scientific articles. It focuses on what we intuitively name the “story” behind a scientific research and explores different ways to tell it to a readership. By the end of the workshop, students should have developed a better understanding of the narrative dimension of scientific article writing, experienced the effect of different narrative angles on the same set of results and used a method to keep narrative coherence throughout an article.


  • Dr Diego Gonzalez, Ambizione Fellowship, Microbiology Lab, University of Neuchâtel


This workshop is divided in two half-day sessions, one theoretical, one more practical. The first session will focus on concepts and methods relevant to scientific storytelling, especially the specificities of scientific “stories” and the importance of the narrative and conceptual angles chosen to communicate a research. In between the two sessions, the students will be asked to use these tools to write one or more abstracts about their own research topics. The second session will build on the abstracts written by the students and propose ways to improve them.

Here are some of the topics that will be addressed:

1. Scientific “stories”: elements of history, similarities with narrative fictions and specificities.

2. Readership: impact of the scientific field and target journal on the conceptual framework and style.

3. Conceptual angle: what is it? how to change or improve it? how to adapt it to a specific readership?

4. Narrative coherence: a progressive method to achieve narrative and conceptual coherence.

Requirements for attending the workshop

Since the practical part of the workshop will be based on the participants’ research and results, applicants should have at least one article ready for publication or at a fairly advanced stage by the time the workshop takes place.

General information

Dates: Fridays morning, 5 & 19 February 2021 (2 half days)

Schedule: 9.00-12.00

Venue:  University of Neuchâtel, room TBA or online

ECTS: 0.5 (Communication)

Evaluation: Full attendance and active participation.

Information: Please contact Dr. Diego Gonzalez. For administrative matters, contact the doctoral program coordinator.

Registration fee: the course is free. No meal expenses reimbursement.


  • This course is free and open to all PhD students, however until January 15, 2021 priority is given to "Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology" and CUSO Microbiology participants.
  • Post-docs are welcome as long as places are available.
  • Maximum number of participants: 10 people (minimum 7 people).

Registration through the web only: OPEN!

Please note the cancellation policy (CHF 40).

Deadline: 15 January 2021