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Logo for Dr Anna Clemens PhD who teaches scientific writing courses for researchers

Interview with Researchers’ Writing Academy Alumna Amelie Jeanneau, PhD

Interview with Researchers’ Writing Academy Alumna Amelie Jeanneau, PhD

Dr Amelie Jeanneau, bushfire risk researcher at The University of Adelaide in Australia and alumna of the Researchers’ Writing Academy details how she got the confidence to define her own voice through the Journal Publication Formula.

 

Hey Amelie! What is your research position, where are you based and what is your research about? 

Hi! I’m a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Adelaide in Australia and I’m looking at the impact of climate change and land use on future bushfire risk and what can we do about it.

What was your motivation for joining the Researchers’ Writing Academy? 

I had finished my PhD about a year before and still had one chapter left to publish as an article. I had moved to a new role in a new discipline and I really didn’t want to work on this. It was really hard to find the motivation, and also, that paper had been rejected twice already. I joined the Researchers’ Writing Academy to use it as an opportunity to nudge me into actually working on this paper.

What made it hard to work on the paper? 

At that point, writing was dreadful for me. It wasn’t an enjoyable experience at all. And with the paper, I think I needed closure. I was at the point where I started writing papers for my new project and working on two different topics made it really hard to focus on writing.

I understand that. What do you think were the reasons the paper was rejected?

The first time it got rejected, the main comment was that it was too complex, the journal editor didn’t really understand what we wanted to show. Apparently, I needed to learn how to write more clearly and concisely. The second rejection was because the paper looked too similar to another paper we had under review for the journal. So, I realised that I need to understand how to highlight what is novel and exciting about my research.

I think the main issue was that I was not confident in the results at all. I had lost sight of how important the results were because it was not a sexy research topic. That’s why I found it hard to see what readers would want to know about it.

Join a free interactive training for scientific writing

How did the Researchers’ Writing Academy help you with that paper and your writing going forward?

The Journal Publication Formula gave me that clear vision of why people should care about the research and that made it easier to write the paper! It helped me organise my thoughts and the structure of the paper. That’s something I was doing reluctantly before because I thought I didn’t have the time. Whereas now I know it can be done and that it’s going to pay off. Seeing that light at the end of the tunnel has so much value! I use the storyboarding template from the course quite a lot now.

What also really helped me was understanding how to divide the work of writing a paper into bite-size, manageable blocks. That’s something you talk about in the early lessons: how to define writing blocks in your calendar and define what you are going to work on when you are writing. So, when I was working on that PhD paper, I created a writing project plan. It gave me accountability – I could see if I actually did the things I thought I’d be doing. And that really helped me a lot. That’s the thing I needed to get started and once I followed the process, it was less daunting.

The Journal Publication Formula gave me that clear vision of why people should care about the research and that made it easier to write the paper.

The Researchers’ Writing Academy helped me to enjoy writing; before I didn’t enjoy the writing process at all. It was something I would do reluctantly, which is interesting because in academia that’s something you are expected to do on a regular basis.

I think the program made me a better academic! Because if you enjoy writing papers, you are going to write more of them.

I love how you implemented what I teach in the course in such a structured way!

I now schedule time with myself to write, which is something I didn’t do before. Because I had the feeling that I didn’t have anything to write about, so what was the point? Whereas now I schedule regular writing sessions because there is always a little bit of writing that needs doing, sometimes it’s a conference abstract or a funding application.

The Researchers’ Writing Academy helped me to enjoy writing; before I didn’t enjoy the writing process at all. It was something I would do reluctantly, which is interesting because in academia that’s something you are expected to do on a regular basis. 

I think the program made me a better academic! Because if you enjoy writing papers, you are going to write more of them. 



That’s fantastic to hear! I’m curious, how did it go with the paper that got rejected twice before? 

I resubmitted it a couple of weeks ago. It hasn’t been rejected by the editor and now it’s under review. So, it passed the first test and I’m really happy with that! (Update: Since Amelie and I talked, the peer review reports have come in and they recommended the paper to be accepted after major revisions. Yay! Fingers crossed for Amelie!)

Once I followed the process, it was less daunting.

Congratulations! Back when you joined the Researchers’ Writing Academy, what did you do first? 

I joined the community and looked at what people were talking about. Then I watched the lessons. I watched the first three modules within the first two or three months and then I implemented what I had learned in my paper. 

What I like about the Modules is that it’s easy to start watching one. When you’re interested in something else, you can jump back and forth between the Modules, I like that!

The Researchers’ Writing Academy helped me to enjoy writing.

Did you have any objections when you first joined? 

To be honest, I was concerned about the price. There isn’t a lot of funding in my project. Looking back, the program is definitely worth the money spent because you get the hang of how you want to structure your papers! Going through the process of the Journal Publication Formula gave me confidence into defining my own voice and what I wanted my papers to be like. 

Glad to hear that. How did you pay for the program? 

I went through my school manager and pitched it as an investment into early career researchers and they were happy to fund it, so it didn’t come out of my own research money in the end. Now I’m thinking about paying for the Researchers’ Writing Academy in terms of an investment into your future self. The fact that you are paying for training makes you more involved – you invest time into it.

What I like about the Modules is that it’s easy to start watching one. When you’re interested in something else, you can jump back and forth between the Modules.

Who would you recommend the RWA to? 

I think PhD Students and early career academics. That’s probably the best stage where you are not too attached to a method to write papers yet. It’s like driving, better to pick up good habits from the get go. I actually recommended a PhD student I’m mentoring to consider joining the Researchers’ Writing Academy and learn the Journal Publication Formula. 

I see the communication of scientific results as something very valuable. I think it’s a duty of researchers to make sure their results can be easily understood. I feel strongly about that because my position is funded by public money.

Thank you so much for talking to me, Amelie! And fingers crossed for your paper, keep us posted about how it’s going. 

The program is definitely worth the money spent because you get the hang of how you want to structure your papers!

Anna talked to Researchers’ Writing Academy member Dr Amelie Jeanneau, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Adelaide in Australia. She is currently working on a project to define best practices for wildfire risk reduction.


Viewing of the free interactive writing training for researchers

 


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Interview with Researchers’ Writing Academy Alumna Amelie Jeanneau, PhD

Dr Amelie Jeanneau, bushfire risk researcher at The University of Adelaide in Australia and alumna of the Researchers’ Writing Academy details how she got the confidence to define her own voice through the Journal Publication Formula.

 

Hey Amelie! What is your research position, where are you based and what is your research about? 

Hi! I’m a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Adelaide in Australia and I’m looking at the impact of climate change and land use on future bushfire risk and what can we do about it.

What was your motivation for joining the Researchers’ Writing Academy? 

I had finished my PhD about a year before and still had one chapter left to publish as an article. I had moved to a new role in a new discipline and I really didn’t want to work on this. It was really hard to find the motivation, and also, that paper had been rejected twice already. I joined the Researchers’ Writing Academy to use it as an opportunity to nudge me into actually working on this paper.

What made it hard to work on the paper? 

At that point, writing was dreadful for me. It wasn’t an enjoyable experience at all. And with the paper, I think I needed closure. I was at the point where I started writing papers for my new project and working on two different topics made it really hard to focus on writing.

I understand that. What do you think were the reasons the paper was rejected?

The first time it got rejected, the main comment was that it was too complex, the journal editor didn’t really understand what we wanted to show. Apparently, I needed to learn how to write more clearly and concisely. The second rejection was because the paper looked too similar to another paper we had under review for the journal. So, I realised that I need to understand how to highlight what is novel and exciting about my research.

I think the main issue was that I was not confident in the results at all. I had lost sight of how important the results were because it was not a sexy research topic. That’s why I found it hard to see what readers would want to know about it.

Join a free interactive training for scientific writing

How did the Researchers’ Writing Academy help you with that paper and your writing going forward?

The Journal Publication Formula gave me that clear vision of why people should care about the research and that made it easier to write the paper! It helped me organise my thoughts and the structure of the paper. That’s something I was doing reluctantly before because I thought I didn’t have the time. Whereas now I know it can be done and that it’s going to pay off. Seeing that light at the end of the tunnel has so much value! I use the storyboarding template from the course quite a lot now.

What also really helped me was understanding how to divide the work of writing a paper into bite-size, manageable blocks. That’s something you talk about in the early lessons: how to define writing blocks in your calendar and define what you are going to work on when you are writing. So, when I was working on that PhD paper, I created a writing project plan. It gave me accountability – I could see if I actually did the things I thought I’d be doing. And that really helped me a lot. That’s the thing I needed to get started and once I followed the process, it was less daunting.

The Journal Publication Formula gave me that clear vision of why people should care about the research and that made it easier to write the paper.

The Researchers’ Writing Academy helped me to enjoy writing; before I didn’t enjoy the writing process at all. It was something I would do reluctantly, which is interesting because in academia that’s something you are expected to do on a regular basis.

I think the program made me a better academic! Because if you enjoy writing papers, you are going to write more of them.

I love how you implemented what I teach in the course in such a structured way!

I now schedule time with myself to write, which is something I didn’t do before. Because I had the feeling that I didn’t have anything to write about, so what was the point? Whereas now I schedule regular writing sessions because there is always a little bit of writing that needs doing, sometimes it’s a conference abstract or a funding application.

The Researchers’ Writing Academy helped me to enjoy writing; before I didn’t enjoy the writing process at all. It was something I would do reluctantly, which is interesting because in academia that’s something you are expected to do on a regular basis. 

I think the program made me a better academic! Because if you enjoy writing papers, you are going to write more of them. 



That’s fantastic to hear! I’m curious, how did it go with the paper that got rejected twice before? 

I resubmitted it a couple of weeks ago. It hasn’t been rejected by the editor and now it’s under review. So, it passed the first test and I’m really happy with that! (Update: Since Amelie and I talked, the peer review reports have come in and they recommended the paper to be accepted after major revisions. Yay! Fingers crossed for Amelie!)

Once I followed the process, it was less daunting.

Congratulations! Back when you joined the Researchers’ Writing Academy, what did you do first? 

I joined the community and looked at what people were talking about. Then I watched the lessons. I watched the first three modules within the first two or three months and then I implemented what I had learned in my paper. 

What I like about the Modules is that it’s easy to start watching one. When you’re interested in something else, you can jump back and forth between the Modules, I like that!

The Researchers’ Writing Academy helped me to enjoy writing.

Did you have any objections when you first joined? 

To be honest, I was concerned about the price. There isn’t a lot of funding in my project. Looking back, the program is definitely worth the money spent because you get the hang of how you want to structure your papers! Going through the process of the Journal Publication Formula gave me confidence into defining my own voice and what I wanted my papers to be like. 

Glad to hear that. How did you pay for the program? 

I went through my school manager and pitched it as an investment into early career researchers and they were happy to fund it, so it didn’t come out of my own research money in the end. Now I’m thinking about paying for the Researchers’ Writing Academy in terms of an investment into your future self. The fact that you are paying for training makes you more involved – you invest time into it.

What I like about the Modules is that it’s easy to start watching one. When you’re interested in something else, you can jump back and forth between the Modules.

Who would you recommend the RWA to? 

I think PhD Students and early career academics. That’s probably the best stage where you are not too attached to a method to write papers yet. It’s like driving, better to pick up good habits from the get go. I actually recommended a PhD student I’m mentoring to consider joining the Researchers’ Writing Academy and learn the Journal Publication Formula. 

I see the communication of scientific results as something very valuable. I think it’s a duty of researchers to make sure their results can be easily understood. I feel strongly about that because my position is funded by public money.

Thank you so much for talking to me, Amelie! And fingers crossed for your paper, keep us posted about how it’s going. 

The program is definitely worth the money spent because you get the hang of how you want to structure your papers!

Anna talked to Researchers’ Writing Academy member Dr Amelie Jeanneau, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Adelaide in Australia. She is currently working on a project to define best practices for wildfire risk reduction.


Viewing of the free interactive writing training for researchers

 


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