Annual NISS Writing Workshop for Junior Researchers - An Overview

Annual NISS Writing Workshop for Junior Researchers - Overview

NISS annually hosts the two-day Writing Workshop (WW) for Junior Researchers in conjunction with the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM). Tutorial sessions on writing articles for technical journals and research proposals are followed by individual personal mentoring by experienced editors and proposal reviewers.

GOAL

To help junior researchers improve their technical writing skills by providing instruction on writing journal articles and grant proposals followed by individual mentoring from senior editors and funding program officers.

REQUIREMENTS

  • A current sample of your writing will be reviewed by a senior mentor as the basis for addressing potential improvements to your writing.
  • Suitable writing samples: A current draft of an article to be submitted for publication or an early version of a grant proposal
    • If a partial article, then must include abstract, introduction, at least half of technical text, and conclusions.
    • If a partial grant proposal, then must include purpose, at least half of background, and full draft of research plan.
    • May not be under current consideration for publication.
    • May not be previously or concurrently reviewed by others.
  • All writing samples are treated as confidential.
  • You will be required to submit your writing sample during your online registration. The writing sample may be updated before the Writing Workshop.

DESIGNED FOR

  • PhD researchers in Statistics, Biostatistics, Data Science, or related field.
  • Researchers with a PhD awarded within the past six years.
  • Researchers with a PhD anticipated in current year or within the year thereafter.
  • Applicants that are current members of a sponsoring society will receive registration preference.

STRUCTURE

The workshop consists of two sessions plus a final meeting with the mentor. The first day is an all-day session that covers scientific writing starting with how to organize a paper then addressing the actual writing process and successful expression of technical material. It also discusses ethical issues, writing grant proposals and issues of journal choice and understanding and responding to reviewers’ comments. During this session, each participant meets with their assigned mentor who has reviewed the participant’s writing sample prior to the workshop and prepared a critique.

The second session focuses on the specific issues covering the writing process and details of grammar, sentence structure and word choice, especially helpful for participants whose native language is not English. A panel of senior researchers discuss their experiences with technical writing in English. They also address the impact of AI on writing and our profession as they see it. A recent offering is available on ChatGPT to show how it may be adopted by statisticians to help with their writing

MENTORS

Senior mentors are former and current journal editors and program officers, who critique the submitted material and provide individual feedback on the writing process, article organization, and expression of technical ideas. Participants are expected to initiate a revision in response to the feedback from their assigned mentors.

DEADLINES

Registration opens in January (depends on site readiness). Annual application and writing submissions are due by June 30, 2024 with notification of acceptance soon thereafter. Submissions submitted after the advertised deadline will NOT be considered.

HISTORY (2007 - . . .)

From 2007 through 2019 (not held in 2017), the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) in conjunction with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the American Statistical Association (ASA), and with support from additional professional statistical societies, organized a writing workshop for new researchers in statistics, biostatistics, and data science. These workshops were held during two days of the JSM all day on Sunday and then a mid-conference day to allow new researchers working time and additional feedback from their mentors. Many of the participants from these early workshops have been very successful as associate editors and editors of major statistical journals.

In 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 intervened. JSM was held virtually. By also converting to virtual mode, NISS was able to continue these workshops in 2020 and 2021. In 2022 and 2023, the writing workshops were held in a hybrid format, with two days of Zoom presentations and online discussion and with breakout rooms for participants and mentors to meet. In-person meetings at JSM were optional, but provided a special experience for participants to meet with their mentors and enabled networking opportunities and follow-up discussions among participants and mentors. This format allows more participants to benefit, without the need to be at JSM, while still ensuring that all participants received some individual hands-on guidance on how to write journal articles and grant proposals as well as the ethical issues and career development.

PAST YEAR SUMMARIES

2024

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2023

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2022

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2021

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2020

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2019
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2018
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2016
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2015
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2014
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2013
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2012
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2011
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2010
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2009
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2008
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2007
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