Science and Medical Writing for the Public: A 4-Week Lit Lab with Christina Frangou

Transform your academic writing into unforgettable prose with a seasoned science and medical reporter

Course runs Wednesdays, April 3–24, 2024 @ 7–9pm EST (4–6pm Pacific)

Unlock the power of effective communication for scientists and health care professionals in this four-week course with a long-time journalist and editor. Christina Frangou has helped many North American science professionals to translate their expertise for a general audience. Her students’ work has been published in major newspapers and online news sites, as well as in the scientific literature. In this class, she will take scientists behind the scenes into the world of non-science publishing. Through lectures and discussions, PanU students will do a deep dive into opinion and essay writing, and learn how to pitch, write, edit and publish. These skills are important for public communications, but also for connecting with policymakers and funding agencies. The self-directed assignments will be designed so that students can aim to complete an 800-1,000-word op-ed or a 1,500-2,000-word essay.

The course is open to 30 students with capacity for 10 students to upgrade to Stream B for an additional fee of $125 CAD. Stream B students will receive written feedback on an op-ed, personal essay or proposal of up to 1,500 words and a 30-minute virtual/phone consultation. (Only 10 Stream B spots available.)

Stream A: Regular Class Lectures & Exercises ($400 🇨🇦 | ~$296 🇺🇸)

Students attend classes and participate in the lectures, class discussions and exercises, but will not receive feedback on their op-ed or personal essay.

Stream B: Classes with Story Development ($525 🇨🇦 | ~$395 🇺🇸)

For an additional $125, students can upgrade to Stream B and receive written feedback on an op-ed, personal essay or proposal of up to 1,500 words and a 30-minute virtual/phone consultation with Christina. (Only 10 Stream B spots available.)


Wednesdays, April 3–24, 7pm–9 pm EST (4pm–6pm Pacific)

A detailed syllabus with assigned readings would be provided upon registration.

  • Class 1, April 3: Intros and Rethinking Science Comms
  • Class 2, April 10: The Art of Public Writing: Getting your message across
  • Class 3, April 17: Op-Eds: Your Voice Heard
  • Class 4, April 24: Writing Personal Essays


After checkout, you’ll receive a receipt with a link to download your syllabus, which will include Zoom passcodes and additional course information. You will also receive an emailed reminder a few days before your first class.


This class is for science and medical writers of all experience levels. Stream B students should have one idea for their op-eds OR personal essay and be ready to discuss their ideas. Before the course starts, Christina will schedule a 15-minute phone call with each student to learn about your projects and your writing background.


The course is designed for live participation, however, if you can’t be present for a class, or must leave early, a recording will be provided in the student folder the morning after. Students are expected to be present and intellectually curious during class time. Please be ready to participate with working cameras and audio. If you’re ever stuck or may need accommodation, please reach out to your instructor or TA.


Pandemic University is committed to offering a fulfilling and inclusive education. Classes are held via Zoom with Closed Captioning features enabled through auto-transcription technology. A teaching assistant will be present to correct transcription mistakes and assist in other ways. The course includes workshops and class discussions, thus students are required to participate through audio; accommodations can be made for people with speaking or other disabilities if they inform us ahead of schedule. Video is encouraged of all students in order to optimize everyone’s virtual classroom experience.


Stream B is limited to 10 students. Anyone wishing to cancel their registration has until March 24, 2024 to receive a guaranteed refund. If you cancel between March 24 and April 2, 2024 we will only offer a refund if and after the vacated spot is filled. No refunds whatsoever will be offered after the course begins on April 3, 2024. Violations of the Code of Conduct may result in your removal from the course without compensation.

In the case that the course is cancelled due to low enrollment or other circumstances, all students will receive a full refund.


Although PanU is technically a fake university, we’re committed to high standards of artistic integrity, quality education, and maintaining a safe virtual environment for students. Abusive behaviour toward classmates or instructors will not be tolerated at any point during the course, including in private messages, and will result in expulsion without refund.

Other violations that could have you expelled from this course include: refusing to participate in group workshops; plagiarism and misrepresentation of others’ ideas as your own; sharing recordings of classes; sharing classmates’ work without their consent; and racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia either in your notes feedback to classmates or in your written work.

The final say on whether or not you continue in class belongs to the instructor alone. If you have any questions, email

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