About Fresh Eyes Editing
“I had finally done it…I had submitted my first grant application…”
The many nights that followed, I found myself staring at the ceiling, wondering what the results would be. Surely, I would do great…right? After all, I was an expert in my research. I knew what I was talking about, and my work was important. I had to get funding.
Finally, the day had arrived. My grant application had come back from review. My eyes scanned the application nervously, only to leave me confused: It was unscored.
What does this mean? I asked, bewildered, and already disappointed.
Someone explained to me that this meant my application was not even good enough to consider a score.
I was devastated, to say the least.
Not only did all of my hard work put into researching and writing the grant application go to waste, but now my important project wasn’t going to be funded. I felt like years of my life had slipped away with nothing for me to show. Surely, I thought, my peers all received their grant funding.
Let’s rewind a bit…When I was a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University working towards my PhD in Genetics, I had two amazing advisors. They were a husband and wife team, each with their own labs, and I was fortunate enough to be able to work with both of them.
The thing that inspired me the most while working with them was their emphasis on developmental communication skills for everybody who came to their labs. Everyone had to present very frequently at lab meetings, and we were all encouraged to give presentations at conferences and meetings outside of our departments.
Every week, we were to bring something we were working on, such as a dissertation chapter or manuscript, and we were critiqued right then and there in the group.
This served as the basis for what would become a life-long journey towards helping other scientists communicate their research more clearly and effectively, just as my advisors helped me and my classmates do.
When I went to Johns Hopkins as a post-doc, I was able to help develop a course to teach other post-graduates about scientific communication. I started to notice that I really enjoyed thinking about how to write and help edit these scientific documents.
But as an academic scientist, I also had to apply for my own independent funding. I put in many hours of work to submit my first grant application.
When my grant application came back unscored, I felt as though I had been punched in the gut.
I was supposed to be helping others communicate more effectively, yet I couldn’t even do it for myself.
But, being as resilient and persistent for answers as any other scientist I know, I took to doing research. I found out why it went unscored. I consulted colleagues, mentors, and anyone else who would listen and answer questions.
I used the feedback I had gotten to rewrite my application just in time for the submission deadline. I must have held my breath throughout the entire review process.
This time…not only did my application get scored…but my project was funded!
I was hooked on this feeling. Nothing is more exciting to a young scientist than getting funded, and I had finally done it. The fun didn’t stop there, though. I submitted applications to two other grant agencies and both got funded on the very first try.
I realized at this point that despite my rocky start, I really enjoyed the process of writing and submitting. I also noticed during this time when funding cuts were more common, a lot of my colleagues were overly stressed out about writing and resubmitting applications.
Colleagues started asking me to proof-read and review their proposals and manuscripts to help them improve and get funding. I loved working in collaboration with other researchers to help improve their science, and I thought: maybe I can help them advance their science and careers by helping them to communicate their research more clearly and effectively.
In 2009, I founded Fresh Eyes Editing with that goal in mind.
I have never forgotten that feeling of having my first grant application receive funding, and since starting in 2009 I have almost single-handedly helped scientists in the US alone get more than $25,000,000 in federal funding, and publish over 500 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals.
— Sheila M. Cherry, PhD, ELS, Founder, President, Senior Editor
Lisa Nicholson, PhD, Biostatistician
Dr. Nicholson graduated from Ohio State University in 2007 with a PhD in Sociology. As a graduate student in Sociology at The Ohio State University she gained valuable training in using large national datasets, research methods, and statistical analysis. Research methods training included sampling design, multiple regression, single equation techniques (logistic regression, poisson, negative binomial), simultaneous equations (structural equation modeling), hierarchal modeling and a course in demographic analysis. In addition, Dr. Nicholson spent two years in clinical trial research and statistical consulting and later completed coursework in Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease and Infectious Disease as well as mediation and moderation analyses. Also in her fellowship, to advance her combined interests in neighborhood effects and health, Dr. Nicholson completed a course in spatial mapping using Arc-GIS software. She has published manuscripts in the area of self-assessed health, congenital heart disease, and cardiovascular health outcomes among children and youth.
Statistical Software Packages used regularly: STATA 13, SPSS 19, HLM, AMOS, Stat Transfer (SAS, MPLUS, and R on occasion)
Katie Moore, PhD, Editor
Dr. Moore received her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2011. The focus of her research was the interplay between metabolism and reproductive endocrinology, which led her to pursue a career in science policy at The Endocrine Society after graduate school. While at The Endocrine Society, Dr. Moore honed her scientific writing and editing skills by contributing to a variety of Society documents, including those meant for journal publication, online content, public consumption, as well as government and policy-related documents. Katie now resides in the Denver area of Colorado and enjoys hiking and exploring in addition to science writing and editing.
April Gocha, PhD, ELS
Dr. Gocha is a science writer and editor from Columbus, Ohio. She earned a PhD in integrated biomedical science from The Ohio State University. After studying the various alternative mechanisms by which human cancer cells elongate their chromosomal telomeres for her doctoral work, Dr. Gocha decided to focus on science communications. She enjoys editing and writing about a variety of scientific topics, helping to translate discovery into excitement and interest in science. In her spare time, April enjoys running, cooking, traveling, and good food—especially ice cream.
Federica Rinaldi, PhD
Dr. Rinaldi earned a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Bristol (UK). Having recently moved to the US, she is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. Dr. Rinaldi is an expert in the fields of stem cells and neurodegenerative diseases, but is fascinated by every aspect of human biology—especially how little we know about how we function and how we live! At Fresh Eyes Editing, she uses her creative eye to transform complicated data and concepts into simple tables and professional illustrations. In her spare time, Fede is a sport fanatic and a yoga instructor—you should not be surprised to spot her standing on her hands in Columbus parks!
Kathleen Molyneaux, PhD
Dr. Molyneaux is a freelance technical writer and editor living in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. She graduated in 1999 with a PhD in cell biology from The Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Science. She has over ten years of experience in academic research, including six years as an Assistant Professor of Genetics at Case Western University. During her research career, she published over twenty papers and was awarded grants and fellowships from the NIH and March of Dimes. She’s currently using her writing skills to help other scientists communicate and gain much deserved funding for their work. Kathy loves good stories, both real and imagined, and she reads, writes and publishes science fiction in her spare time.
Sheila Cherry, PhD, ELS
Dr. Cherry completed a PhD in Genetics from Case Western Reserve University in 2006, where she studied chromosome segregation in mammalian germ cells. She pursued postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in genetic contributions to congenital heart defects in Down syndrome. During that time, she also helped create and teach a course on Effective Scientific Communication. Dr. Cherry launched Fresh Eyes in 2009, and now focuses primarily on grant proposals–not only editing them, but also presenting workshops on grant writing and running online writing intensives. Sheila also grows and preserves food on her family’s Ohio homestead.