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Writing to Win Grant Awards and Gain Publication: The Office of Scientific Writing


In order to better serve the UTHSC research community, the Office of Research announced in January 2017 the opening of the Office of Scientific Writing (OSW). Dr. Richard Redfearn was appointed as Director of this office. The OSW is designed to assist research faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students in the writing of successful research grant proposals and scientific manuscripts. The office will support investigators on UTHSC’s Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville campuses.

Following the creation of OSW, in February the Center for Health System Improvement (CHSI) and the Office of Research jointly announced additional editorial support for T3 (Translation to Practice) and T4 (Translation to Population Health) proposals and scientific manuscripts for UTHSC investigators. Patti Smith, MPH, joined CHSI as a scientific writer and is working closely with Rich assisting faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students in the areas of population health and healthy systems research.

Rich has a PhD in Chemistry from Duke University, with a background in organic and polymer chemistry and a knowledge of biochemistry. He served as a faculty member at Rhodes College before refocusing his career on assisting faculty with crafting winning grant proposals. Most recently, he was the Grant Training Manager at the University of Arkansas. Rich has written a number of scientific articles and successful grant applications, and is a member of the Grant Professionals Association and the American Chemical Society. His education and experience as a bio-organic and materials science investigator is suited to T0-T1 projects, closer to fundamental research.

Patti earned an MPH from the University of Memphis after working as a journalist and nonprofit executive. She was a reporter for The Commercial Appeal and Vice President of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis. Her most recent role was interim director for Healthy Shelby, a community health improvement initiative led by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, health system executives, and other community leaders.

The Office of Scientific Writing will provide investigators with: basic editorial services; specific aims development; project description and research strategy development; and educational resources and expertise for improving the clarity and cogency of manuscripts and grant proposals. The investigator must provide a first draft of a manuscript or the project description portion of a grant application and fill out a request form found on the Office of Scientific Writing’s website to initiate the consultation process.

Additionally, in an effort to get to know our investigators better, Rich has made himself available for discussion about your favorite topic – your research – every Thursday at noon in the Madison Plaza lobby (920 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38163) outside the Einstein Bros. Bagels shop. No advance notice is needed! Visiting investigators from other UTHSC campuses are especially invited.

Rich and Patti can be reached via email, telephone, or Outlook meeting invitation. Full contact information for both Scientific Writers can be found below.

Richard Redfearn, PhD
Director, Office of Scientific Writing 910 Madison Avenue, Suite 608
Phone: (901) 448-2862
Fax: (901) 448-7133 rredfear@uthsc.edu

Patti Smith, MPH
Scientific Writer
Coleman College of Medicine Building, D222
Phone: 901-448-2477
Fax: 901-448-3937