Applications for the Class of 2023 are OPEN!
2023 Summer Bootcamp will be held online July 10 to 14
* New feature for 2023: In-person experiences available in some areas *
What is involved?
Interested students apply for a role as either writer, editor, graphic designer or social media coordinator. Students become part of the Curious Science Writers commjunity where they are able to learn and apply new skills while building long lasting relationships with fellow students from across the nation and around the world, program faculty and science communication professionals.
Once accepted via a highly compettive application process, candidates will begin to prepare for the summer boot camp. Writers will research their assigned bioscience topic. Editors, graphic designers and social media coordinators will become familiar with the bioscience topics chosen for the current class.
All students accepted to the program will actively participate in a 5-day virtual boot camp.* The program is taught by core faculty and guest speakers who are professional science writers and science communicators. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with scientists and others involved in the biomedical research community. In addition, each student is matched with a professional science communications mentor who will provide guidance as new skills are applied after the boot camp.
The writing, editing, design, publishing and distribution of stories happens after the boot camp. Stories are written and turned in by the end of the summer. The editorial team and graphic designers then work to edit and design the art for the story. Finally, the social media team promotes the publish story to their peers and other public audiences.
Students then attend monthly meetings featuring guest speakers, sci comm activities, time to work on assignments and networking.
*Thursday during the week of the summer bootcamp will feature in-person or live virtual visits to a cutting edge research facility.
Who should apply?
The program is open to all curious and creative high school students. Preference is provided to those currently in grade 10 or 11.
How many positions are available?
cSw accepts up to 24 writers, 2 editors, 2 graphic designers and 2 social media coordinators for the Curious Science Writers Class. Training will primarily occur during the summer, with some sessions occurring during the academic school year, depending on the position. Read the cSw Position Descriptions here.
- Application Period, January 1 – May 15 (or until all slots are filled)
- Story Assignments, May 15-June 15 Students are assigned a biomedical research topic to cover. They collect information about the topic (e.g. scientific literature, science-based websites, reliable news coverage).
- Boot Camp, July 10-14 Online program from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. Mornings will consist of course content, guest speakers, and interactive activities. Afternoons will consist of independent work and group exercises.
- Story Development, July – August: 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. Editors, designers and social media coordinators will attend one to three additional training sessions during this time frame.
- Story Editing and Publishing, August – June : Editing and publishing will happen between August and June of the next academic year. Each student writer will be required to attend one meeting with the editorial team via web/call and provide edits as requested before the story is published. Editorial team members (editors, designers, social media coordinators) schedule to be determined post-boot camp.
- NEW Monthly cSw Gatherings: Students, alumni and friends are invited to a monthly gathering featuring a guest speaker, program updates, time to work with editors, designers and social media coordinators and skill building.
Candidates are accepted on a rolling admission basis. Applications will be closed when all slots are filled.
$350 Early Registration (before April 1). $450 Regular Registration. Scholarships for those in need are available. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on scholarships.
- 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 extensive expertise in science writing, the cSw Boot Camp will offer up to 30 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 while students write their stories. Stories are then sent to the cSw Editorial Team. This experienced student team, which includes a Chief Editor, Creative Team Manager and Social Media Manager, will work with new student editors, graphic designers, social media coordinators and writers to polish, publish and promote stories throughout the academic year.
What is the profile of the ideal cSw Candidate?
- Curious, creative and committed to advancing the art of science communication
- Open to constructive feedback
- Prepared to revise stories, rework graphics and/or promote stories
- Self-motivated and self-disciplined but also a team player
- Not afraid to ask questions regarding roles and responsibilities
- Organized and able to meet deadlines
- Passionate, expressive, and open to learning new ideas and skills
- Willing to work hard
- Committed to actively participating fully in the program, including attending the monthly meetings
- Genuine desire to be a Curious Science Writer
Thinking about applying? You will need to complete an application and submit three additional items: two recommendations – one from a teacher and one from a supervisor for an activity outside of school – and a parent consent form. Apply here.
Questions? Contact the cSw Program Coordinator at email@example.com.