From leaving academia to finding my way back

And how this shaped my approach

Hi, I'm David.

I’m a French researcher and professional trainer. I’ve had a highly unusual career, shuttling in and out of academia. Over the years, I learned techniques from marketing, journalism and design, which I adapted for research to enable fast, clear and compelling writing. Here’s how it came about.

After my PhD, I left academia – forever, I thought – and set up an educational charity. I had to continuously write grant applications for non-academic funders to keep it afloat. This experience taught me to write in plain language with a focus on convincing, rather than on technical details.

Meanwhile, a finding I had made during my PhD nagged me. Over the next years, I did bioinformatics research in my spare time and managed to author one paper. I didn’t know it then, but this paper would be my way back to academia...

Learning what happens on funding panels

My first stroke of luck was to land a job at a UK research charity: the Wellcome Trust. Being on the other side of the fence, I learned what went on in funding panels. One day I heard of a ‘career re-entry’ fellowship. I had never thought I’d go back to research, but seized the opportunity.

I wrote my application applying the techniques learned in the charity – and it worked! The panel was enthusiastic, and considered the paper I had published in my spare time the equivalent of a postdoc. I found myself a research fellow... 8 years after having left academia.

My goal: help you write & present effectively, so you have time for research!

I continued to develop efficient methods for designing proposals, papers, talks… and enjoyed passing them on so much that I decided to become a trainer. After 10 years, these methods are condensed into short, practical books and shared through a blog.

These books will help you design compelling proposals, articles, talks, CVs…. At last, you'll have less admin and more time for research... :-)

Want to fast-track your grant applications and get funded?

Find out how 'Writing Speed-Readable Grant Applications' can help you achieve your goal, get more time for research.