Learn to tell your research story!

A two weeks online course facilitated by:
Rashad Mohammad, Michigan State University
Daniela Gachago, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Jolanda Morkel, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Duration: 22 June 2015 – 3 July 2015 – With an unofficial start 15 June 2015!

From Monday 22 June we officially started the course with the first online event, followed by two more events on Friday 26 June and Friday 3 July. Although this course has now ended webinar recordings and slides are remain available on our resource site for inspiration!

Straight from the horse’s mouth may sound like the best way to get information, but not if you don’t understand the whinnies and neighs. Likewise, scientists and researchers may have the best understanding of their own work but struggle to explain it to people who are not experts of their field. Science communication is becoming more and more important in increasing research uptake, i.e. the dissemination of your research output beyond conferences and academic publications.

This 2-weeks online course will introduce you to ideas around science communication, focusing on one particular way of communicating your research journey: in the form of digital research stories.

This online course targets researchers, but could benefit anyone interested in engaging the public, decision makers and others members of the community with information that is technical or otherwise unfamiliar to the audience.

The first week focuses on writing and constructing an understandable narrative. It teaches you to kill jargon, focus topics, decide what not to write, use active voice, report what’s interesting rather than merely important, use word and graphic images and omit needless words. The second week will introduce you to the idea of storyboarding, helping you to find the right images for your story. Furthermore we will discuss tools you could use to create your digital story. Follow-up workshops can be organised for people needing more practical support in developing their stories.

Digital research stories have many functions: it’s the kind of thing that you can use for a Linked-In profile, an item for your CV, a way to demonstrate your communication skills to employers. It is an asset that can bolster grant applications, improve your teaching, make your research more discoverable and applicable.

These are some videos produced by a researcher who took this class.

Making healthy cereals
A scientist look into Centralia, Pennsylvania, United States