Creating Compelling Research Narrative Workshop: Strategies for Effectively Presenting Your Science

July 11, 2024 | Livestream, virtual

Creating Compelling Research Narrative Workshop

The next Creating Compelling Research Narrative Workshop is on July 11, 2024. Sign up below to hear about registration opening! 

In the Creating Compelling Research Narrative 5-hour short course, you will learn narrative concepts, identify those concepts in various pieces of scientific writing, and put those concepts into practice to craft an effective research story so you can write more effective grant proposals, manuscripts, and more. 

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Jump to: Overview | Audience & Requirements | Instructors | Scholarships | Location | Testimonials | Registration Fees | Additional Information

Workshop Overview

Summer 2024 date: Livestream, online training July 11, 2024; 10am EDT - ~3pm EDT

This five-hour hands-on writing bootcamp covers several approaches to create compelling research narrative and is led by expert instructors with more than two decades of experience providing research writing, editing, and training for researchers worldwide. This intensive will lead you through detailed examples, revise writing in guided group settings with instructors, and then put those lessons into practice on your own writing. Thus, we encourage you to bring a draft in progress (e.g., grant proposal, research manuscript), so this workshop can directly impact an active writing project. Participants also will come away with an SOP for writing logically and will learn some additional narrative tricks and tips to entice and engage readers on their science.

By the end of this writing intensive workshop, participants will have:

  • A clear and organized approach for writing manuscripts and grants
  • Several easy grammar concepts for clear communication
  • Examples to share/work with their trainees
  • An improved portion of your own grant or manuscript (if you bring it with you to the workshop)

Audience and Requirements

Investigators at all career stages are welcome to attend, and we particularly encourage research trainees and early-stage investigators to participate. To register for this training, you must have:

  1. Written at least one thesis chapter, manuscript, or grant
  2. A grant or manuscript that is in progress is strongly encouraged, but not required to attend this training.


Sheila M. Cherry, PhD, Co-Founder, CareerVolt; Founder, Fresh Eyes Editing (now closed). Dr. Cherry completed a PhD in Genetics from Case Western Reserve University in 2006, where she studied chromosome segregation in mammalian germ cells. She pursued postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in dissecting genetic contributions to congenital heart defects in the context of Down syndrome. During that time, she also helped create and teach a course on Effective Scientific Communication. Following that initial foray into teaching other scientists to better communicate their science, Sheila launched Fresh Eyes Editing in 2009. In their first decade in operation, Fresh Eyes helped researchers in the U.S. to win over $220 million in federal funding alone. Recognizing a need for training that could help researchers fill key skills gaps, in 2016, Sheila began presenting workshops on grant writing, along with online writing intensives and 1-on-1 trainings. In 2019, Sheila joined with long-time friend and colleague Dr. Jessica Lerch to launch CareerVolt, centered wholly on fostering skills development that will enable scientists to accelerate their career trajectories.

Jessica K. Lerch, PhD, Co-Founder, CareerVolt; Founder, Significance, Innovation, Impact. Dr. Lerch earned her PhD in Neuroscience at Case Western. She then completed postdoctoral training at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami and went to a Research Assistant and then a tenure-track Assistant Professor appointment in the Department of Neuroscience at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In late 2017, Jessica moved to a science consulting role with Eva Garland Consulting, helping small biotechnology companies and researchers across the world strategize their science to achieve over $37 million in grant funding for their R&D and early-phase clinical trial projects. Jessica started her first company, Significance, Innovation, Impact, in 2018 as a grant-writing consultant. In 2019, Jessica joined with long-time friend and colleague Dr. Sheila Cherry to launch CareerVolt, born of their shared desire to help scientists succeed in their career paths by filling skills gaps and supporting attainment of professional goals.


Training scholarships are available for the Creating Compelling Research Narrative Workshop.


Summer 2024: The Creating Compelling Research Narrative Workshop will be a livestream, remote training that takes place over live, online video on July 11, 2024 from 10am EDT - ~3pm EDT. Please note this training is not a self-paced, pre-recorded online training.


"The workshop and activities involved were very useful to considering what is required to write a compelling narrative and how to employ simple strategies that will greatly improve the flow of your writing." - Student at Northeastern University, 2023

"I can't wait to apply these strategies to my academic writing! Thank you so much, Jessica and team!" - Faculty member at Stanford University, 2023

"Very helpful workshop. Helped me identify some shortcomings in my writing that I had not realized before." - Postdoc at University of Southern California, 2023

Registration Fees

  Early-bird Rate (through 5/10/24) Regular Rate (5/11/24 - 7/4/24) Columbia Discount*
Student/Postdoc/Trainee $595 $695 10%
Faculty/Academic Staff/Non-Profit Organizations/Government Agencies $695 $795 10%
For-Profit Organizations $895 $995 NA


*Columbia Discount: This discount is valid for any active student, postdoc, staff, or faculty at Columbia University. If paying by credit card, use your Columbia email address during the registration process to automatically have the discount applied. If paying by internal transfer within Columbia, submit this Columbia Internal Transfer Request form to receive further instructions. Please note: filling out this form is not the same as registering for a training and does not guarantee a training seat.  

Invoice Payment: If you would prefer to pay by invoice/check, please submit this Invoice Request form to receive further instructions. Please note: filling out this form is not the same as registering for a training and does not guarantee a training seat.

Registration Fee: This fee includes course material, which will be made available to all participants both during and after the conclusion of the training.

Cancellations: Cancellation notices must be received via email at least 30 days prior to the training start date in order to receive a full refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Cancellation notices received via email 14-29 days prior to the training will receive a 75% refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Please email your cancellation notice to Due to workshop capacity and preparation, we regret that we are unable to refund registration fees for cancellations <14days prior to the training.

If you are unable to attend the training, we encourage you to send a substitute within the same registration category. Please inform us of the substitute via email at least one week prior to the training to include them on attendee communications, updated registration forms, and materials. Should the substitute fall within a different registration category your credit card will be credited/charged respectively. Please email substitute inquiries to In the event Columbia must cancel the event, your registration fee will be fully refunded.

Additional Information

The Creating Compelling Research Narrative Workshop is hosted by Columbia University's SHARP Program in the Mailman School of Public Health.

Jump to: Overview | Audience & Requirements | Instructors | Scholarships | Location | Testimonials | Registration Fees | Additional Information