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Academic Writing Center


The Academic Writing Center (AWC) provides the scientific communtiy of both CentraleSupélec and Université Paris-Saclay with an in-house proofreading and coaching service for academic publications.


Student and proofreader working at a table

Our goal at the Academic Writing Center is to guide scientists at all stages in their careers toward a global improvement in writing skills rather than simply producing better papers. In working with PhD students in the earliest stages of their PhDs, we hope to demystify the ubiquitous ‘native English speaker’ in the teaching and publishing process and cultivate the ‘Writerly Ear’ within, a skill that will continue to serve students as they advance in their scientific careers. Not just students, but also faculty are taught how to prepare to deliver their courses in English, through specific training in pedagogy & communications skills adapted to international learning environments. Researchers are coached on public speaking skills in preparation for conferences. Whether through one of our training courses or our one-to-one sessions, all these activities take place through personalised exchanges that focus on skill-building towards full autonomy.

Individual consultations are available for:

  • Article Reviews
  • Teacher Development Consultations (Course Design & Delivery in English)
  • Professional Portfolios (CVs, LinkedIn Profiles)
  • Entrepreneurial Packages in English (Pitches, Website Proofing)

Our language coaches usually proofread between 4 and 6 pages per hour with each participant. This steady pace implies that your article is already formatted and pre-corrected with Grammarly, an online grammar check tool. If you don't have a Grammarly account yet, please request one here:

This Premiun account is offered freely to all PhD students, researchers, and staff affilated with Université Paris-Saclay, so please make sure to provide your institutional email account.

Any proofreading session for a text that has not been previously processed by Grammarly will be cancelled.

For more information for dates and to register for any of the courses below, contact our administrative assistant
Renaud Balleyguier
office e.257

Writing Skills in Science - Introductory Course
Offered by Divya Madhavan and Melissa Thomas

Writing Skills in Science is an introductory course for Ph.D students who want to familiarize themselves with formal academic writing norms. Through examening practical examples and hands-on exercises, students work on becoming more effective writers in academic English.

Topics include:

  • how readers read,
  • writing with clarity and confidence,
  • establishing academic authority in writing,
  • and writing to widen your audience.

Writing Skills in Science - Advanced Course
Offered by Divya Madhavan and Melissa Ann Thomas

This advanced course is for Ph.D students who have taken our introductory course. We dive further into the techniques needed to take your academic writing to the next level.

Advance topics include:

  • Syntax,
  • Tenses,
  • Verbs and vocabulary,
  • Capitalization and punctuation,
  • Psychology of writing,
  • Formal writing in specific contexts

Science Talks for Students
Offered by Daniella Luca and Melissa Ann Thomas

Learn to build the English speaking skills needed to promote your research. Students practice these skills through talking about a variety of science topics, current themes and innovations in the research landscape.

Science Talks for Faculty
Offered by Daniella Luca and Melissa Ann Thomas

Learn to build the English speaking skills needed to promote your research. Faculty practice these skills through talking about a variety of science topics, current themes and innovations in the research landscape.

Skill Up with SciComm

Offered by Aurélie Thomann, Divya Madhavan
Skill Up with SciComm is a course level aimed at getting Ph.D. students workplace-ready through a series of pragmatic activities that build their scientific popularization skills portfolio. Participants work on becoming more effective communicators, within and beyond the expert niche, with the goal of maximizing their impact.

Topics include:

  • introduction to scientific communication,
  • the basics of print,
  • audio & visual competence,
  • websites and social networks,
  • as well as a SciComm project.

Offered by Daniella Luca, Divya Madhavan

Captivate! is a workshop designed for academic faculty members, part or full-time teaching staff and PhD teaching assistants.

The objective of this series is to teach effectively in an international learning environment, with minimal concessions on academic expertise and content, while cultivating pedagogical tools that can be fine-tuned autonomously.

Participants will focus on meaning-making and relationship building as they learn about storytelling, public speaking techniques and effective use of visuals.

3MT® Training Course
Offered by Melissa Ann Thomas

The three-minute thesis, or 3MT®, competition challenges students to effectively explain the research of a doctoral thesis, in English, to a non-specialist audience in three minutes. This 10-week course is open to all PhD students who are curious about the competition and are interested in becoming familiar with the process in a low-stakes environment.

Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to record multiple drafts with instructor feedback, resulting in a refined three-minute narrative that is accessible to a general audience. The final draft of each student's video will be part of a mini 3MT competition that will be held at the end of the course.​​​​


Divya MADHAVAN, Founder & Director 
I am the Director of the Department of Languages and Cultures at CentraleSupélec, where I also founded the Academic Writing Center, which caters to the doctoral and research communities. I’m a graduate of the universities of Warwick, London, and Exeter and am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. My teaching portfolio is specialized around storytelling, Sci-Comm and public speaking; public speaking is especially close to my heart as I am CentraleSupélec’s debating coach for intervarsity debating tournaments. I’ve trained teachers and worked with scientific writers across the world for over 20 years and what I love about being at the AWC is having the freedom to create professional development that is truly meaningful and useful in academia today. I have so much fun bringing good science and good communication closer together in my job every day.   
Daniella LUCA, Language Coach 
I am an educator and language coach with over 20 years of experience. As a language coach at CentraleSupélec, I help staff improve their working application of English. I am also a Language Teacher at the Academic Writing Centre, where I design and deliver workshops for faculty members and PhD students. I have a Master’s degree in Educational Sciences and Modern Languages from the University of Messina, Italy. After graduating in 2001, I worked in various professional and academic settings, teaching English to corporate clients and senior professionals in France, high school and university students in Spain and Chinese government officials in the UK. Passionate about the science of education and the growing potential of digital technologies to enhance learning, in 2018 I obtained a Master’s in Digital Learning from the University of Nanterre, France. I love creating customized educational resources, designing courses for a wide range of learners, and delivering them in a variety of formats, from blended to entirely online. 
Melissa Ann THOMAS, Language Coach 
I have been an English teacher in France since 2008, joining the Academic Writing Center in 2021. I’ve taught at Lycée Chevolier (Angers), Université Blaise-Pascal (Clermont-Ferrand), and various associations around Paris, as well as schools outside of France, in Guatemala and Taiwan. Before my life in France, I attended the University of Washington, where I studied both Astronomy (peculiar RR Lyrae, supernovae type 1a, and extrasolar planet search) and Speech and Hearing Sciences. As a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, I continued my studies in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department. Throughout my academic experience, my research projects have focused on language learning, using techniques such as point-light displays, event-related brain potential, eye tracking, virtual worlds, and fMRI. My ultimate goal as an AWC language coach is to give authors not only the tools to become better writers, but to also have them take joy in shaping their words for more efficient scientific communication.  

Calvin PECK, Consultant 
I hold a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Indiana-Bloomington. During my doctorate, I earned several grants that funded archival research for my thesis as well as for international conferences. I have over a decade of experience as a university instructor, in which I have trained students from all countries of the world on the nuances of academic and professional English conventions. Although my knowledge of 11th-century acoustic theory and molecular gastronomy may seem important, I hope to instead use my more significant experiences in academic settings to the benefit of the community of Université Paris-Saclay. 



  Renaud Balleyguier, Adminsitrative Assistant
I graduated in International Relations at Sciences-Po Bordeaux in 2010 and have worked in the field of education ever since. I have managed international student exchanges in several higher education institutions, including at Université Paris-Saclay that I joined in 2018. I have lived in the US and in the UK (as well as in Spain) and always enjoy practicing foreign languages, especially English. At the crossroads of intercultural action and academic training, the AWC constitutes a new and inovative structure and I am thrilled to help it run !

Come and meet us!

Academic Writing Center
CentraleSupélec, Université Paris-Saclay
9 rue Joliot-Curie
Bâtiment Bouygues
91190 Gif-sur-Yvette

To find us:
Second floor, e2,
Direction de la recherche
Offices sa201 and sa204.

For more information, contact our administrative assistant
Renaud Balleyguier
Office e.257

Hope to see you soon!


2.1670532226563  48.70999407173