Doctoral Office
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

RIDS  |  Tygerberg Doctoral Office

Research & Writing

Scientific writing is not merely a byproduct of scientific inquiry, but an essential skill in its own right, deserving attention and cultivation just as the scientific method. It serves as the medium through which hypotheses are tested, discoveries are communicated, and knowledge is disseminated. Like any craft, mastering scientific writing requires deliberate practice, honing the ability to convey complex ideas with clarity, accuracy, and accessibility. Through meticulous attention to structure, style, and disciplinary conventions, scientists can bridge the gap between their research and its wider audience, ensuring that the fruits of their labour are impactful. Thus, writing is a conduit and cornerstone of the scientific endeavor.

Writing is a dynamic and iterative process, evolving through successive stages of brainstorming, drafting, revision, and editing. It begins with generating and organising ideas to craft an initial draft that captures the essence of the message. Subsequent revisions refine the content, clarifying concepts, enhancing coherence, and strengthening the story line. Editing polishes the text, addressing issues of grammar, punctuation, and style to ensure clarity and consistency. Throughout this cyclical process, writers continually revisit their work, responding to feedback and striving for excellence. Writing is an integral part of the journey of exploration and discovery.

All doctoral students in the FMHS are invited to join the CHPE monthly doctoral discussion group at any stage. Participation in this group will assist with your writing process. Email Ms Edwardene Marais ( for dates.

With the exception of the presentation of new findings, all research writing, including every chapter of a doctoral dissertation, should integrate and engage with the seminal and recent literature in the relevant field. The SU Medicine & Health Sciences Library on Tygerberg Campus offers guidance to postgraduate students on integrating information from the literature effectively. These and other services are available via this link. The SU Postgraduate Office also offers a range of workshops relevant to academic or scientific writing.

Once your dissertation is close to ready for submission, please secure the services of a professional proofreader or editor to help ensure you submit a polished document. It may be necessary to allow a month or more for the editing process. The Tygerberg Doctoral Office has reached out to supervisors within the FMHS to compile a list of editing professionals, and some translation and transcription professionals, who are recommended by individual academic colleagues affiliated to the FMHS based on previous experience of their work. Click here to download the list.

*Because the list contains personal details, it is password protected. The simple password can be obtained from our office via email address or telephone number 021 938 9813.

*Note that this list is updated continuously based on our most recent feedback. Please return to this page rather than to retain an offline copy. Should you want to recommend and editor, translator, or transcription professional, simply email their details to