We work one-on-one with faculty and trainees to improve the success of their writing projects, by assisting with mechanics, style & clarity, presentation, and the science of their projects. Authors can select the level of editing they want us to provide. We also provide scientific writing courses and workshops, and we can facilitate grant planning forums.

Percentage of time spent on editing of various project types:

Percentage of time spent on various types of editing projects

Learn more about the types of projects we can help with:

We provide editing services for single-project grants. For effective grant planning, we encourage authors to contact us 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, because our editors can get busy before grant deadlines, we recommend that you contact us in advance to let us know by what date you'll send us your grant.

SERCC editors are available to assist with larger, more complex research grant proposals. We have experience working on NIH Program Project/Center Grants (e.g., P01, P20, P30, P42, P50), Cooperative Agreements (e.g., U54) and Training Grants (e.g., T32). These applications typically include multiple projects and/or multiple cores, although their structures can vary depending on the funding mechanism and sponsor. SERCC editors can provide feedback on the mechanics, style and clarity, and science of the proposal components. We also integrate different writing styles of multiple contributors to achieve a single voice.

SERCC editors can work with the principal investigator(s), the administrator/grant manager, and others on the research team to ensure that the proposal meets the program’s requirements with regard to both scientific content and application format. Specific activities that SERCC editors can undertake are outlined below.

  • Ensure that the proposal meets the funder’s intent, eligibility criteria, and requirements.
  • Provide templates tailored to sponsor instructions for grant sections (e.g., Biosketch, Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEPD), Facilities & Other Resources) and boilerplate text for non-scientific sections (e.g., facilities descriptions).
  • Develop custom templates based on any specialized application instructions.
  • Create a style guide for the writers to ensure that terms and formatting are consistent throughout all sections.

SERCC Expectations for Working on Multi-Project Grants

The above activities require that SERCC editors are brought in early during the grant planning and writing processes. The sooner we are involved, the better we are able to help create a proposal that is clear, concise, consistent, complete, and compelling; e.g., with a few months’ notice we can likely provide a full level of service, whereas with a few weeks’ notice we may only be able to provide limited editing. For larger center grant proposals (i.e., those that include multiple cores and projects), we require the following:

  • an initial meeting involving one or more SERCC editors, in which the PI outlines the scope of the project and specific services that are needed, and
  • a timeline specifying when documents will be submitted to SERCC editors and when they need to be returned (to be developed in collaboration with SERCC editors).

To set up an initial meeting with a SERCC editor, please Schedule an Editing Project (choose Multi-Project Grant).

We can assist you with your next research article. We strive to ensure that the significance of your research is immediately clear to the reader. 

As time permits, we work on other projects, including:

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

Note about Theses

We typically do not work on theses, as our focus is on scholarly output of CCOM faculty and trainees; the needs of authors working on grant applications and research manuscripts are our top priority. We highly recommend that students take advantage of our scientific writing courses and workshops early in their graduate careers to improve their writing skills.

Additional resources are available to help students with their writing projects:

Levels of feedback available (choose one or more):

Mechanics  Proofing for grammar, typographical mistakes, and other errors (provided for all projects)
Style, clarity, and presentation  Suggestions toward improving text flow and sentence/paragraph structure; 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)