Frequently Asked Questions


What is the writing coach service?

The writing coach service is open to all students at KAUST.

If you are at an early stage of writing your thesis, then the writing coach service can help you to identify what you need to write, organize your thoughts, and plan your chapter/paper.

If you have already started to write, then the writing coach service will help you to correct basic grammatical errors and follow the “rules” of scientific writing. Andrea can provide comments and make suggestions on the quality of your writing and the clarity and structure of the text.

Students are also welcome to book an appointment to discuss anything related to scientific writing: tenses, active vs. passive; no question is too simple! Andrea can also help you “get unstuck”; she remembers how hard it was to write her PhD dissertation and the feeling of having to learn the “language” of scientific writing.

Andrea lives and works remotely from her home in Northern Ireland. She completed a PhD and post-doc in cancer research and has worked as an English scientific editor for over ten years. Andrea leverages her scientific and proofreading experience to teach students how to tell a clear story in every piece of writing.

Sorry, this is not a proofreading service. Proofreading an entire thesis does not enable students to improve their writing skills or apply their learning to subsequent sections of their thesis.

The writing coach service is designed to work with students to help them develop better writing skills over time. Students are strongly encouraged to contact Andrea at an early stage of writing so that they can benefit from a collaborative, interactive process of learning and improving over time.

Andrea would much rather give feedback “little and often”. This service is designed to help you learn and improve over time.

If you need help, send the first early drafts of your writing, rather than struggling to write 100 pages!

Students are strongly encouraged to submit early versions of their thesis proposal and initial chapters to give sufficient time for Andrea to provide input and feedback.

Andrea will provide feedback on a maximum of one proposal, one thesis chapter or one first-author paper at a time for each student; this is to encourage students to avail of the coaching service at an early stage, instead of simply seeking last-minute proofreading. She will then return the file to the student with feedback, so they can review the changes, and accept/reject the issues they can resolve themselves.

A Zoom call with Andrea is compulsory after each feedback session. This will ensure each student understands the changes made to their file and allow the student to discuss any more complicated issues and problems with Andrea.

This strategy helps students develop their skills to spot and correct repetitive minor errors and improve the quality of their work when they write subsequent chapters/papers. Instead of providing a “done-for-you” proofreading service, we want to encourage a personalized, interactive learning process that will ultimately benefit each student and help us to serve a larger number of students.

If you’d like to ask questions or require help with planning your work, then please book a one-hour Zoom call here:

You can also email to enquire about sending your files for feedback or to ask me anything about scientific writing.

We can help with your proposal, MSc or PhD dissertation, and students’ first-author journal papers and conference papers.
Andrea can provide feedback and add comments on Microsoft Word files and Overleaf projects using track changes. Please do not send .pdf files.