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Develop your skills

Advanced continuing education | Support measure for event organization by postdocs for postdocs | Academic English Workshop | Figure, graphics and illustration design for scientists

Advanced continuing education

Staff members of the UNIL are encouraged to follow advanced continuing education programmes. The webpage of the RH (Human ressources) gives several information. You will also find information on the following links:

Workshops of the Teaching Support Centre (CSE)

Workshops of the "Réseau romand de conseil, formation et évaluation" (RCFE)

Workshops of the Regard programme

Workshops of the Language centre

Workshops of the Computer centre

Workshops of the Guidance and Advisory Service information desks (SOC)


Support measure for event organization by postdocs for postdocs

As a postdoc, you want to organize an event for Postdocs of UNIL or CHUV (workshop, conference, visit, etc.)

Submit your project to the UNIL Direction!

Submission can be done at any time, after the evaluation process, funds (maximum CHF 4'000.-) are attributed as long as the annual budget is available.

Please find details in the documents on the right.


Academic English Workshop

Workshop description
Students will work towards the goals of clarity, economy and relevance in English academic writing. They will review the conventions used in scientific writing, including the structure of a paper or a presentation, and details of each part thereof. They will ask critical questions about their own and their peers' use of scientific English in submitted texts. The participants will begin to develop a toolbox of their own critical writing skills. These skills will be applicable to all academic publication formats from proposals to dissertations.

Workshop content
The course offers a hands-on training in scientific writing that is task-oriented: we will focus on practical issues such as how to begin the parts of a paper and how to revise drafts. Both linguistic and argumentative structures will be discussed. We will proceed by means of practical exercises (including formal exercises, text production assignments with oral presentations and peer critiques) and analysis of existing scientific papers and conference abstracts. Network building will be promoted.

Target Audience
This course is intended for doctoral candidates, already advanced in their work (3rd year and more) and post-doctoral researchers who wish to improve their English writing abilities specifically for the purpose of scientific publications or presentations.
Participants are required to have a good mastery of the English language (minimum B2), though common errors will be extensively covered.
Course contents and course materials specifically target the needs of the humanities and the social sciences, although because of its fundamental nature it is directly applicable to the exact sciences.

Participants are required to send to the trainer, 1 month before the workshop, a scientific text (conference or publication proposal, short article or beginning of a publication) of about 4 pages. The trainer will review this text prior to the workshop. This work will be used for peer review periods during the workshop. The trainer will provide the powerpoint presentations to the participants for them to print out beforehand.

Dates (9:00 - 16:45)
1 and 15 December 2016                                Advanced PhD Candidates - FULL (waiting list)
18 January and 1 February 2017                      Postdoc
23 February and 9 March 2017                         Advanced PhD Candidates


Mandatory by filling this form
Maximum 12 participants
To be accepted into this workshop, participants must submit a short text (described in the Preparation section) 1 month before the workshop. If you don't submit your text on time , your place will be given to the next person on the waiting list.

William Doehler is a native English speaker with 19 years of experience proofreading scientific English documents, and translating texts from French into English. Trained and practicing previously as an architect, after moving to Switzerland in 1999 he has been sought-after for his broad interest in, and knowledge of the sciences, both “hard” and “soft”, specifically as proofreader of scientific submissions. These have included many formats in the spectrum from posters to articles, proposals, books and dissertations. Currently holding a post at the Université de Neuchâtel, he has previously taught workshops in Scientific English at UniNE and at UniLU in Luxembourg, as well as presenting a seminar on Scientific Reports at UniGE. While proofreading is largely an analytical activity, he has discovered that his own design background is applicable to the creative process of scientific writing, and he will share some insights.

Figure, graphics and illustration design for scientists


  • Learn the basics of graphics (colours, fonts, size, etc.) adapted to scientific contents and with a focus on the research field of the participants
  • Be able to design from scratch figures for specific cases [publications, reviews, talks, etc.]
  • Understand the concept of graphical storytelling and visual communication
  • Improve existing figures [the participants bring their own figures as examples]
  • Be able to turn complex concepts into simple figures
  • Grasp the general concepts of efficient graphical visualization 

During the workshop, demos of various pieces of software, such as Illustrator, will be done but the workshop is not designed as a tutorial for those tools. These demos aim at showing new possibilities offered by such programs.

The seminar is organized by types of graphics and figures a researcher has to prepare during his/her career: from research article figures to posters, figures for talks, graphical abstracts and review or grant illustration.


Morning session 1 (9h > 10h40)


  • What is (visual) communication?
  • What is the message you want to transmit?
  • What is the target audience?
  • How the “content” and the “aspect” can complement each other

Different types of figures in research paper

  • How to plan and compose the figures
  • How to choose the colors
  • Find the best way to show your data

Morning session 2 (11h > 12h30)

Poster figures

  • Rethinking the poster design
  • Adapting figures for posters

Figures for talks

  • What is your audience?
  • How to adapt your figures for slides
  • Tricks to make your talk visually more memorable.

Afternoon session 1 (14h > 15h40)

Concept figures or graphical abstract

  • How to tell a story graphically
  • How to transform a textual abstract into a graphical abstract
  • Paper & pencil. Yes, it still exists!
  • Choosing the colors

Afternoon session 2 (16h > 18h00)

Review or grant figures

  • How to simply and easily create illustrations
  • Literature: References on review figures
  • General checklist and workflow for creating figures


Dr Laura Symul (www.illustratedscience.net) received her education in engineering before getting her PhD in computational biology at EPFL. Besides her scientific background she kept drawing and started to combine her graphical and scientific skills by designing review figures for scientific journals such as Cellular Microbiology or EMBO Press and doing scientific illustrations for professors or for exhibitions. Currently she is working in a consultancy company as data visualization expert.


  • 8 March 2017 (9h-18h)
  • 3 October 20177 (9h - 18h)


Maximum 15















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