Certification and Payment

Last updated
August 25, 2021

We believe that it's important to fairly compensate authors for their work. We also believe it's important to be able to provide storytelling training to scientists at a low financial cost.

In order to provide writing training to scientists at a reasonable cost, we pay authors based on their experience writing for Massive. 

Upon completing training, you'll become a Certified Member. Learn more about the benefits of certification below.

Earning Certification (Training)

We know the best way to learn is by doing, which is why our training involves a mixture of drafting articles, submitting lab notes, and contributing peer commentary. Our Storytelling 101 course is an optional part of this training process that will help you complete the requirements below.  By the time you've finished the required writing, we're confident that you'll have gained significant science storytelling skills. You'll earn certification after you do all of the following:

✔️ Publish 2 Articles 

✔️ Publish 2 Lab Notes 

  • Learn more about what makes a good Lab Note and get inspiration for your next submission in our resource.
  • Submit a Lab Note using this form. You can also find the link to the submission form on any Lab Notes page.

✔️ Contribute 2 Peer Comments 

  • You can learn more about why we do Peer Commentary and what makes a good comment in our resource.
  • Add your comments to Massive stories shared in the discussion forum
  • By following along with new stories Massive publishes and exploring our story archives, you'll find plenty of stories to comment on!

If you're ever confused about the certification requirements and what you've completed, get in touch with us at

Lab Notes

We offer all members a flat fee for any accepted Lab Notes. For each Lab Note that gets published, we'll pay you $20. (This is an update to our previous policy on payments for Lab Notes. Updated June 2020.)

Certification Benefits

After you become certified, you'll earn several benefits in terms of both compensation and contribution opportunities:

Get paid more for articles you publish with us

You can pitch us ideas and work with our editors to ensure your pitch aligns with our areas of coverage and angles. We'll also send story call-outs and commissions to our Certified members, meaning you can skip the pitching process and just get started writing. You'll earn the same for commissioned and call-out pieces as you would a piece you pitch yourself. The more you publish with us, the more you'll earn! 

  • 1st and 2nd published articles = $20/article.
  • 3rd and 4th published articles = $65/article.
  • 5th through 9th published articles = $90/article.
  • 10th + articles = $115/article

Participate in special projects and other opportunities

We occasionally recruit Certified members to work closely with us on special projects, such as in-depth reports or zines. You'll often be paid for your contributions at a higher rate than for publishing articles, given the specialized nature of your contributions.

The Photon Fellows program supported several writers with small grants from Two Photon. We hope to expand the program in the future and/or create new sponsorships. If you're a company interested in sponsoring training, reach out to us at