Science writing program helps Wichita State students with organization, presentation

  • Five Wichita State University students are taking part in the BioKansas Scientific Writing Scholars program.
  • Students work in groups and with mentors to sharpen their organizational and writing skills.
  • Students also learn techniques for data visualization using charts and graphs.


While writing is a vital part of studies and careers in science, the skills required for scientific writing are sometimes overlooked. 

BioKansas, a non-profit focused on supporting the biosciences in Kansas and the surrounding region, aims to help students with those skills. Five Wichita State students are participating in the year-long BioKansas Scientific Writing Scholars program. 


"We expect our students to write – dissertations, peer-reviewed manuscripts – throughout their career,” said Dr. Moriah Beck, a chemistry and biochemistry professor in the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “It’s oftentimes just the faculty taking (on instruction) informally. I thought it would be nice for students to have this more formal experience, get some one-on-one feedback.” 

The Wichita State students in the program are Rachel Sargent, Asha Rankoth Arachchige, Emmanuel Ajiboye, Oluwatosin Ajiboye and Sanju Ghimire. They receive training and mentoring, both in group and individual sessions, to help their writing, organization, time management and data management skills.

“The program is to ensure we have a smooth journey in the graduate program,” said Emmanuel Ajiboye, a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “You always need to do a lot of writing. It (helps) me to sharpen those skills.” 

The Wichita State students expect to learn writing skills and organizational skills that will carry them through their academic career and into their next phase, whether in industry or academia. Communicating clearly and concisely will be important no matter what path they follow. 


“When you make your research, it does not end there,” Emmanuel Ajiboye said. “You have to present it to the outside world. How do people view that?” 

This is the first year Wichita State students participated in the program through a grant coordinated by Beck with BioKansas that has also funded an undergraduate writing course and an industry immersion experience. 

“No matter what career they go into, they will be doing writing,” Beck said. “All these students will probably be writing manuscripts, or protocols, or some sort of proposal.” 

Rankoth Arachchige is also in the third year of her doctoral program in biochemistry. The program’s lessons on collecting data and writing are helpful, as is the feedback on best practices for data visualization using graphs and charts. 

“They train us on how to write a manuscript for our thesis in a scientific way,” she said. “It shows us how to organize data and summarize your data.” 

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