REF consultancy service

University scientists – are you in REF hell? Deadlines for Research Excellence Framework submissions are looming. Millions of pounds in funding hang on the outcome. Your impact case will probably be judged by somebody outside your discipline. And you have only a few hundred words to convince them. How can you possibly convey the value of years of research in so little space?

If this sounds familiar, relax. When I work with scientists to improve their impact cases, I usually find they have a great story to tell – but just don’t know how. No shame in that; it’s not their core skill. But it is mine:

  • “Many thanks again for your time and hard work on our impact case. This has made a huge improvement, which we are extremely happy with!”
  • “The difference between my rather dry text and the more punchy and exciting text you have produced is astounding.”

So if you want to make your impact case strong, clear and persuasive, please get in touch using the contact page of this website.


Journalism in clean energy

David Strahan is a writer and editor specialising in clean energy. He has written extensively for New Scientist and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, including several chapters each year for its annual Global Trends in Energy Investment report. He has also written for the Telegraph, Guardian, Independent on Sunday, Evening Standard, and magazines including Prospect, Utility Week, Windpower Monthly, Petroleum Review, Energy World, NewsBase, Geoscientist, Sustainable Business and the Ecologist.


Commercial writing and editing

David also takes on commercial report writing and editing work for selected projects in the clean energy sector, such as Powering West Midlands Growth: A Regional Approach to Clean Energy Innovation, which he wrote for the Energy Capital Policy Commission.

“David Strahan did invaluable work for our inquiry into clean energy innovation in the West Midlands. He helped the Commission produce an 80 page report to make its case, which was powerfully argued and beautifully written.”
Sir David King, chairman, Energy Capital Policy Commission



David also runs seminars for companies, universities and public sector bodies to help their employees develop their writing skills and produce first drafts that are clear, concise and compelling. Organisations that invest in these skills will save time and money; reduce the risk of their message being misunderstood or ignored; and maximise their chances of success. Please see write first draft for details. To enquire about any of these services, please use the contact page of this website.

“Without a doubt one of the most successful workshops I’ve ever attended courtesy of @writefirstdraft and @eps_unibham Can’t recommend it highly enough!”
Dr Meurig Gallagher, Research Fellow in Applied Mathematics, University of Birmingham