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SC-SWIFT: Science Writing Initiative For Trainees 

SC-SWIFT is an internship program that pairs students and postdoctoral fellows with a professional science writer, who mentors them as they write real-world EurekAlert! news releases and MUSC Catalyst News stories about recent high-impact MUSC research. A postdoctoral fellow and former intern with extensive writing experience also serves as a mentor and heads up the CGS Speaks blog, another writing opportunity for interns.

In essence, SC-SWIFT interns serve as a press corps covering MUSC’s latest scientific breakthroughs. Interns discuss science with leading researchers on campus and learn to translate their findings into lay-friendly language. In doing so, they become better communicators of science both across disciplinary boundaries and to the general public. They also provide a service to the university, raising the profile of the research they cover by helping it find a broader audience. Because assignments are made on a project-by-project basis, interns can accept when they have time or pass when their schedules are busy. The internship coordinates closely with the MUSC Office of Communications and Marketing to avoid duplication of stories and ensure adherence with all policies and are grateful to be able to post most of the interns’ stories to MUSC Catalyst News. 

Since its inception in 2016, more than 25 graduate students, M.D., Ph.D. students,  and postdoctoral fellows have participated in the internship. Collectively, they have published more than 100 releases, which have received more than a half million views on EurekAlert! and been picked up by multiple news sources. These releases have been repurposed widely on campus through a number of communications avenues, including MUSC Catalyst News, the medical magazine Progressnotes, and websites for the research enterprise, SCTR, Hollings Cancer Center and the Office of Innovation, providing the interns with professional bylines. A number of interns have transitioned into science writing careers. 

For more information, contact Dr. Kimberly McGhee, Director of Science Communications Initiatives, or Dr. Matthew Greseth, Assistant Director of Science Communication Initiatives.