Journeys of discovery

Enlightened insights into the mysteries of the Universe, inspired academic skills enhancements

Inspirational, insightful, unexpected, fun!

Professor Richard de Grijs is an acclaimed academic and journal editor with more than 20 years of experience in the field of Astrophysics. Richard has been recognised internationally, through numerous invited talks at major conferences, as scientific editor of The Astrophysical Journal and as Deputy Editor of The Astrophysical Journal Letters – the pre-eminent journals in astrophysics. Richard’s research focuses on cutting-edge questions related to star formation and galaxy evolution and he has successfully engaged and enthused a wide range of audiences, including school children of all ages, on topics related to astronomy. In addition, Richard has been actively conducting workshops on academic skills development in China, Korea, Mongolia, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and the USA.

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Mysteries of the Universe

1. There and back again
The vastness of the Universe is mindboggling. Join astronomer Richard de Grijs on a playful journey to the edge of the Universe and discover where it all came from!
2. Forensic science on cosmic scales
When galaxies collide, all hell breaks loose. But now astronomers can actually work out who was to blame... Astronomer Richard de Grijs will take you on a guided tour of the violent Universe.
3. Is bigger always better?
Astronomy is in a golden age, with ever more exciting prospects on the horizon. Join astronomer Richard de Grijs and marvel about the next-generation of extremely large telescopes and the ground-breaking discoveries they promise to deliver!
4. Hubble: The man and the machine
A century since Edwin Hubble first showed that the Universe is expanding, the telescope that bears his name has turned into the most productive and eye-catching scientific instrument ever built. Be inspired and awestruck by the wonders of the Universe unveiled in the last few years!
5. How did they do it?
Galileo Galilei and Christiaan Huygens got stuck, but a simple English clockmaker worked out the secret to navigation at sea long before we had GPS and satellite navigation. How did they do it? Join Professor Richard de Grijs on an exciting journey of discovery through 17th and 18th century letters.
6. The sound of silence: Listening to the Universe
Let go of your visual impressions and listen with astronomer Richard de Grijs to the amazing array of sounds produced in the Universe – if we could only hear them...

Essential academic skills

1. Publication ethics, covering
- Avoiding the plagiarism trap
- Ethical considerations
- Credit, authorship criteria
- Duplicate publication
- Salami slicing
- Data fabrication and falsification
- Ethical conduct in competitive circumstances
- Dealing with scientific misconduct
- Ethics in peer review
2. How to give effective presentations, covering
- Think audience! Consider your level
- How to pitch your story
- Structure
- Ethics of revealing some research information
- Working the room
- Voice projection
- Slide lay-out advice
- Type of learners (consider your materials)
3. Writing grant proposals, covering
- Planning
- Application instructions
- Writing a compelling grant application: structure
- Emphasis, highlights
- The importance of your abstract
- Standing out from “the crowd”
- Use of carefully chosen figures
- Impress but don’t overwhelm
- Establishing your credentials
4. Academic Writing in English/Dealing with Rejection, covering
- What is academic writing?
- Writing a good paper: planning
- Instructions for authors
- General structure: IMRAD (detailed discussion of each aspect)
- Writing abstracts
- Challenges when writing for academic audiences in English
- Targeting journals
- Ethical considerations for authors
- Cover letters
- The review process
- Getting help, feedback: where next?
5. International collaboration, covering
- The need for international collaboration
- Characteristics of collaborative research
- Best practices
- Trends and considerations
- Resource/capacity sharing
- Support of early-career researchers
- Forms and stages of collaboration
- Ethics, problems and cultural differences
- Conflicts of interest
- Funding resources
6. Journal editing, covering
- Considerations for new journal editors
- Instructions for authors
- Submission tracking
- Peer review
- Ethics
- Handling reviewers
- The decision process: acceptance or rejection?
- Manuscript editing (English language editing)
- Copy editing

Academic Writing: discussion videos (AuthorAID, November 2016)

How many papers should I read for my literature review?: How can I ensure that I don't plagiarise others?: What can I do if the research I want to read is hidden behind a paywall?: What are the most important things to think about when choosing a target journal?:
How can I make sure I avoid 'predatory' journals?: Can I publish a paper with old data I collected? How recent should the citations be in my paper?: Can I publish a journal article from my PhD thesis?: Discussion summary: