Date and Time
12th May 2014 09:00 –– 12th May 2014 17:00
University of Edinburgh

The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science welcomes postgraduate research students to the following advanced training event:


Academic Journalism: writing social science for readers

12 May 2014

University of Edinburgh


This one-day workshop aims to convey the skills and knowledge to be able to successfully conceive, pitch and write a newspaper comment piece. Though public writing is an increasingly important part of academic social science, the practical task of engaging a wider readership is seldom addressed. This event draws on the expertise of journalists, editors and academics to show how you can write for readers and how your ideas can shape the public debate. Topics covered include:


  • conceiving research as a news object
  • making a successful pitch to a newspaper editor
  • thinking about form, genre and voice
  • structuring and writing a comment piece


The workshop is organised and hosted by Fraser MacDonald (University of Edinburgh) with contributions from Alice Bell (editor, New Left Project; science blogger, The Guardian); Peter Geoghegan (editor, Political Insight; blogger, London Review of Books); Hayden Lorimer (Reader in cultural and historical geography, University of Glasgow). The keynote presentation will be by David Shariatmadari, deputy editor of The Guardian's Comment is Free.



As there are limited places to attend this event, applicants are requested to supply a short piece of their own writing as part of the registration process. All that is required is the opening 200 words of a piece related to your own work written for a wider audience. This could be a published or unpublished comment or feature article; or a blog post. It could be something written specifically for this application process. All we need is just 200 words to give us a sense how you might approach the task of writing your research for a wider audience.

The deadline to apply for a place is 08.00 (BST) on Monday 7 April. We will endeavour to inform applicants if they have a place or not before the end of the day on Monday 14 April.  

To apply please go to the registration page.  

Further information 

The organiser of this event is Fraser MacDonald and further questions can be directed to him at

Students based at Scottish universities should be able to claim back travelling expenses, details of which will be given on the day.

A map of location, plus directions on how to get to the ECCI can be found here

Last updated 4 Mar 2014 10:26am