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

As a writer and editor, I have concentrated wholly on clean energy for well over a decade. I have written extensively for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, including several chapters each year for its Global Trends in Energy Investment report, and New Scientist. I have 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

I also take 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 I 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


I also run 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 find out more about any of these services, please get in touch through the contact page of this website.

“Without a doubt one of the most successful workshops I’ve ever attended…Can’t recommend it highly enough!”

“The session was great.”

“I can’t think of anything that would make it better.”

“The course was clearly delivered, at a good pace, with plenty of hands-on exercises to drive home the material.”

“One on one time with David to focus on our own writing was very valuable.”

“Doesn’t take up a lot of your time but will dramatically improve your writing with simple guidelines.”

“Speaker was interesting and fun to listen to.”

“The fact that we each got a half-hour one-to-one session was also excellent, as the teaching could be delivered on a very personal level.”

 “I’ve written at least a little every day in the week since it finished. I hope this continues!”