Writing Academic Papers

Offered2021–2022, 2022–2023
Course IDX000947 (PhD), C004411A (MSc)
LecturerProf. Danny Haelewaters
TimeMon & Wed 13.00–14.30 CEST
Link(s)Course website (UGent login needed), Syllabus (pdf), More information

Papers, papers, papers! Scientists are judged based on the quality of their written work. A key skill for a good scientist is to write papers that get read and cited by other researchers. How do you learn this skill? It takes work, and a lot of practice to master writing skills, but you do not have to reinvent the wheel. By analyzing published work, you will learn to distinguish good writing from bad. You will start thinking about scientific writing as storytelling. You will prepare, section by section, your own manuscript ready for submission. The instructor(s) and your peers will review your work and provide feedback—in person and written. In addition to writing papers, we may also discuss the peer review process and talk about how to write an objective, effective, and constructive manuscript review. By the end of this workshop, preferably, you should have a well-structured and polished manuscript that is close to being ready for submission. The workshop is based on a course that was previously offered at the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, which resulted in papers published in Science, Molecular Ecology, Scientific Reports, and others.

Mycology: Basidiomycota

Offered2021–2022, 2022–2023
Course IDC002777A
LecturerProf. Dr. Annemieke Verbeken, Prof. Danny Haelewaters
Link(s)Course website (UGent login needed), Course specifications (pdf)

This course is part of the major/minor cluster Biodiversity in the Master Biology and is thus focusing on the diversity of one particular group of organisms: the Basidiomycota, which together with the Ascomycota are the most important group in the kingdom of true fungi. Prior knowledge for this course is acquired in the course Mycology in the second bachelor of Biology where a more general overwiew of the Pseudofungi, the slime moulds, and the true fungi is given. This more specialized course is starting with a view on the present state of knowledge of the tree of life: what are the relations between Basidiomycota and the other groups of organisms and what are the internal relations? You will gain insights in the currently accepted large groups and clades and in the way modern molecular analyses influence the more classical morphology-based classification systems. This traditional classification based on both macro- and micromorphological characters is still important when it comes to recognition and identification of species, another important aim in this course (especially in Agaricales). Discussing diversity and evolution of fungi of course goes hand in hand with discussing their life strategies and ecology.

Scientific Communication

Course IDC003334A
LecturerProf. Danny Haelewaters, Sara Denayer
TimeWed 10.00–12.45 CEST
Link(s)Course website (UGent login needed)

This course continues on what is given under “Academic Grant Writing” (Master 1 in Biology), with the focus in the 2nd master course going to: (1) scientific communication in a broad sense and under a broad range of formats, (2) putting into practice scientific communication under the form of a discussion panel debate, dealing with societally relevant topics; (3) communicating towards the press (press text); and (4) preparing oneself towards the job market.

The lectures focus on: (1) different formats of scientific communication; (2) overview and preparation towards the job market for biologists (a.o. with an overview of funding sources for PhD research grants, how to write a letter of application and CV); and (3) scientific communication towards the press and the laymen in practice (lecture given by Dr. Jan Seys, responsible for science communication at the Flemish Institute of the Sea). The practical exercises comprise: (1) active participation in a discussion panel debate, dealing with societally relevant topics linked to biology (and other scientific displines), with preparatory work towards specific subtopics; (2) writing of a press text (max. 60 words) and a tweet dealing with the topic of the master thesis; and (3) making of an application letter with curriculum vitae based on an existing job vacancy. The teaching activities are followed by a networking event “Biologists on the job market”, during which alumni biologists have roundtable discussions with students about their experience with job hunting, applying for jobs, and working.