The UOC offers research, transfer and entrepreneurship courses in English which target students, researchers and professors as a way to boost research in academic, scientific and business fields.

Writing for the Biomedical Sciences is a research and transfer course organized in conjunction with the Dr Antoni Esteve Foundation. Anyone looking to fine-tune their scientific writing skills in English is welcome to join.

The course equips students with tools for writing scientific articles in a proper, acceptable manner by following the cornerstones of English writing: preciseness, simplicity, fluidity and conciseness. Additionally, it provides practical information on the ins and outs of scientific publishing. The methodology revolves around the writing of a scientific article, section by section. As a result, students on the course can choose to work on an article they are currently writing, transform their final degree or master's work into an article in english, or revise and improve an article they have already published.

The programme will take just one semester, lasting a total of 13 weeks.

Date: 11 March 2020

Certificate: Writing for the Biomedical Sciences (UOC, FDAE)

Language: English


The general objectives of the Writing for the Biomedical Sciences course are:

  • How to adequately structure a research paper.
  • About the publication process for research papers.
  • About the principles of scientific writing in English —precision, simplicity, fluidity and concision— and how to apply them.
  • How to apply the knowledge acquired about scientific writing to a research paper.


The course aims for students to develop skills for writing and publishing scientific articles. 

Interdisciplinary competencies

  • Applying information and communication technologies in academic and professional settings.
  • Writing and interpreting scientific texts in English.
  • Analysing, assessing and synthesizing information.
  • Developing further skills through self-learning.

Specific competencies

  • Making feasible plans for starting and completing scientific articles.
  • Furnishing each section of scientific articles with the structure and register it requires.
  • Understanding and overcoming the different stages of scientific publishing, from choosing a journal to final publication.
  • Avoiding the most typical errors that occur when writing and presenting results.
  • Identifying the errors most commonly made by Spanish writers when expressing themselves in English, and refraining from falling into the same trap.




This course will focus on the structure of a research paper and how each section is written but also how it can be improved, as well as a couple of sections about how to choose a journal to publish and how to deal with the reviewers. 

The contents and activities of the course are:

1. Biomedical writing basics

  •  IMRaD structure for research papers
  •  The writing process and how to choose a journal

2. The introduction section

  •  Principle: Fluidity
  •  Avoiding plagiarism
  •  Writing the introduction

3. The methods section

  •  Precision
  •  Writing the methods section

4. The results section

  •  Principle: Simplicity
  •  Presenting data and making good figures
  •  Writing the results

5. The discussion section

  •  Principle: Concision
  •  Writing the discussion

6. Putting it all together and the icing on the cake

  •  Titles
  •  Abstracts
  •  Summary statements and conclusions
  •  Putting together the manuscript

7. Getting published

  •  How to deal with the reviewers


Director of the Doctoral School:

David Masip Rodó
Official llicenciatura degree and doctoral degree in Computer Engineering from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). At the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), he is the director of the Doctoral School as well as a professor with the Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications. He is also the director of the research group Scene Understanding and Artificial Intelligence Lab (SUNAI) and a member of BCN Perceptual Computing Lab. His interests lie in computer vision, artificial intelligence and image processing.

UOC faculty:

Raquel Viejo
Master's degree in Cognitive Neuropsychology and doctoral degree in Neurosciences from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). She is currently a tenured professor at the UOC and conducts research with Cognitive NeuroLab (CNIT). She also works with the Laboratory for Neuropsychiatry and Neuromodulation at Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA). Her research focuses on exploring the neural bases of cognitive processes and emotional processing, for which she employs non-invasive brain stimulation and neuroimaging techniques. 


Course instructor:

John Giba
Originally from the United States, he completed a bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh in 1984 and has taught English in Spain since the following year. His current activity centres mainly on helping scientists and healthcare professionals to draft scientific manuscripts for international journals and prepare for oral presentations at conferences. In this vein, he has led conferences and workshops as part of a number of biomedical English courses. Additionally, he has designed and taught a module on scientific English in a range of master's degree programmes at the faculties of medicine of the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). He has co-authored three books on scientific communication: Surgical English (2010), Inglés médico y sanitario (English for Medicine and Health, 2010) and Preparing and Delivering Scientific Presentations (2011). His fourth book, Developing Skills in Scientific Writing, is available free of charge through the Dr Antoni Esteve Foundation.

Fees and enrolment

Methods of payment

You can pay for Research, transfer and entrepreneurship courses with a credit or debit card.

  1. VPoS: payment using a credit or debit card via the VPoS (virtual point of sale) provided by «la Caixa».

Enrolment withdrawal


Concept Price
Price of this course 233,00 €

Next period for enrolment: November 2020

Research courses starting in February

Information on enrolment and fees

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