Editing & Other Services


Most of our time is spent working one-on-one with faculty and trainees on their writing projects as outlined below. We assist authors not only with mechanics, but also with style & clarity, presentation, and the science (see descriptions below). Some of our time is also spent on didactic teaching of scientific writing and grant planning activities.

Single-PI Grants

The bulk of our time is spent editing single-PI grants. We encourage authors to let us know well in advance of the submission deadline, and to submit their initial Specific Aims page (or equivalent) 1–2 months before the deadline.

When authors are able to provide this information at least 2 months before the deadline, we also encourage them to let us help them organize a Grant Planning Forum – with our staff and local (and if possible, outside) faculty who have related research interests.

Submission of the remainder of the grant within a month of the deadline typically ensures that we have time to go through all documents at least once. However, we recommend setting up appoints for submission because some deadlines get very busy.

Complex Grants       

We have also assisted with larger, more complex grants. In addition to providing feedback like that for single-PI grants and other documents, in these cases we work to achieve a single voice. Thus, it is typically best for us to be involved in the planning process early – including participating in strategy sessions and other team meetings.

Research Articles

A large percentage of our time is dedicated to research manuscripts. We strive to ensure that the significance is immediately clear to the reader. Like grants, research articles are of high priority.

Other for Publication and Miscellaneous

As time permits, we will work on projects other than grants and manuscripts of primary research articles. These include the following.

Other for Publication  Reviews | Book Chapters | Meeting Abstracts
Miscellaneous  Cover Letters | Progress Reports | Reviewer Reports | Recommendation Letters |  News Releases | Science Columns | Website Materials | Job Ads

Note about Theses

We typically do not work on theses, as our focus is on improving the scholarly output of COM faculty and trainees. One exception is to help with mechanics when this is requested by the student's mentor or thesis committee. However, our work on such projects can be limited by the needs of authors working on grant applications and research manuscripts.

Input on theses is usually limited to one chapter or less, preferably one that is in preparation for pubication. Feedback includes suggestions for revision as well as comments explaining the problems. It is up to the student to apply what they learn from our limited suggestions to the rest of the thesis.

We highly recommend that students work with us earlier in their graduate careers to improve their writing skills, e.g. when preparing fellowship applications and research manuscripts. Additional offices that provide help with writing are the Writing Center within the UI Department of Rhetoric and the UI Graduate College.


Levels of input available (choose a subset or all):

Mechanics  Proofing for grammar, typographical, and other errors
Style and Clarity  Suggestions toward improving text flow
Presentation  Suggestions toward highlighting significance of the research and, in the case of multi-author documents, achieving a single voice
Science  Pre-review from the perspective of a non-specialist reviewer; on request, feedback on how well scoring criteria for grants are covered


Authors  Submit electronic text and figure files by e-mail (or Dropbox if files are large)
Core staff  Return annotated copy of electronic file(s)