Advancing the Art of Science Communication

2019 Program

Curious Science Writers (cSw) – – is a training program for high school students with a passion for science who love to write. Created to “advance the art of science communication,” cSw is an innovative, extracurricular program that prepares highly motivated high school communicators to bring complex biomedical science to the general public through the power of story. Founded by Jayne Mackta, past president of the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research, cSw has operated under the auspices of States United for Biomedical Research for the past six years and is now being transitioned to Americans for Medical Progress.

The 2019 program consists of a 5-day boot camp followed by one month of story development by participating student writers mentored by professional science communicators. A team of experienced student staffers is responsible for editing, designing and publishing stories written over the summer on the cSw website. This student team, which includes a Chief Editor, Creative Team Manager, and Social Media Manager, will work with new editors, designers and social media coordinators to polish, publish and promote stories throughout the 2019/20 academic year.

Who should apply?

Curious & creative students currently in Grade 10 or 11.

How many positions are available?

cSw will accept up to 10 writers, 2 editors, 2 graphic designers and 2 social media coordinators for training during the summer of 2019. Read 2019 job descriptions

2019 Schedule

  • Application Period: April 12 – June 1, 2019
  • Boot Camp: July 22 – 26, 2019: Daily program from 9 a.m – 4 p.m. at FASEB campus, Bethesda, MD. Lunch and snacks provided.
  • Story Development: July 26 – August 26, 2019: Working with a professional Communications Mentor, each writer will produce a carefully researched, clear and compelling biomedical science story for a general audience. Interaction is online; preferred means of communicating (email, skype, telephone, etc.) will be agreed upon by writer/mentor.

Rolling Admission

Notification of acceptance will be emailed to the student applicant two weeks after complete application packet is received.

The 5-day Boot Camp (July 22–26, 2019) will be held from 9–4 at FASEB campus, Bethesda, MD.

Boot Camp Objectives

  • To provide foundational skills needed to produce clear & compelling science stories
  • To model the real-world science communications experience
  • To expose participants to career opportunities in science communications

Staffed by professional communicators with expertise in science writing, the cSw Boot Camp will offer up to 16 select students an intensive short course in producing clear and compelling science stories for a public audience. Students will interview a content expert relevant to the biomedical science story they are researching and writing and be paired with a mentor actively working in the field. The month following the day camp will involve writer/mentor interaction. The cSw Editorial Team will be responsible for polishing the final version of each story and coordinating graphics. cSw student staffers will post one piece a month from September to June. These posts will also be promoted via trending social media-

What is the profile of the ideal cSw Candidate?

  1. Curious, creative and committed to Advancing the Art of Science Communication
  2. Open to constructive feedback; prepared to revise stories and rework graphics
  3. Self-motivated and self-disciplined but a team player
  4. Not afraid to ask questions regarding roles and responsibilities
  5. Organized and able to meet deadlines
  6. Passionate, expressive, and open to learning new ideas and skills

Ready to apply? Complete the three applications below.

cSw Student Application
cSw Parent/Guardian Consent Form
cSw Faculty Recommender