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Scholarly Writing Accountability Group (SWAG) Program

A SWAG is an active peer-led writing group for UMB junior faculty that meets for 1-hour, once a week over a 10-week period. Groups follow a structured agenda including 15 minutes of updates and goal-setting followed by 30 minutes of individual writing and then 15 minutes of reporting and wrap-up. Each group is limited to 4-8 members who MUST commit to attending at least 8 out of the 10 weekly sessions. In a SWAG, there is no peer review of writing; SWAGs focus on the process of writing, not the content. The goal for SWAG members is to write with increased frequency and for shorter durations; i.e., to develop a sustainable writing habit.

The SWAG program is being used at multiple major medical schools. The data which have been reported on the results of this program are very favorable, reflecting marked increases in the quantity and quality of writing by junior faculty participants. Thus, RCD initiated the first group in 2014 and continue to form new groups.


Virtual SWAG

Since SWAGs are not able to meet in person due to the pandemic shutdown, we are now organizing virtual SWAGs. A virtual SWAG will function the same as our traditional "face-to-face" format mentioned above; however, groups will meet via Microsoft Teams using its video conference capability. Groups will meet virtually for one hour a week for 10 consecutive weeks.

Stacie Mendoza, Program Director, provides each new member with an orientation to the SWAG program and program materials.

For more information, or to participate in a SWAG, please contact:

Stacie Mendoza
Program Director
Phone 410-706-5434


Please note: Due to the current pandemic situation, we are only offering SWAG sessions virtually. Once UMB reopens, we will resume organizing in-person SWAG sessions.

SWAG Interest Form

If you would like to join a SWAG, please complete the following form:

Request to Join SWAG


 “The encouragement and camaraderie from my peers has helped me be a more productive researcher.“ Wendy Lane

 “SWAG is an amazing program that keeps you motivated and helps you become a more self-disciplined writer!” Yan Wang

 “SWAG has been an amazing motivator. Thank you to everyone for being so supportive.   I just can’t say enough good things about this program . . .” Samer El-Kamary

 “My group has been very supportive, especially in the weeks when it’s just not going well with the writing, and the weekly meetings have helped me regain focus on what needs to be written.” Katharina Richards

Helpful Scholarly Writing Resources

Campus Resources:



  • How to Write A Lot by Paul J. Silvia, PhD available at Amazon
  • WAG Your Work by Kimberly A. Skarupski, PhD, MPH available at Amazon



Group of faculty in boardroom

Group of students in board room