Production of Science Communication Activities

  • Lecturer(s) or Responsible(s): Cristina Luís (CIUHCT-FCUL/MUHNAC-ULisboa/CIES-ISCTE-IUL), Filipa Vala (cE3c-FCUL), Patrícia Garcia Pereira (cE3c-FCUL)
  • Department Responsible: Departamento de Biologia Animal and Departamento de História e Filosofia das Ciências (FCUL)
  • Data: November 13th, 2017 to November 17th, 2017
  • Deadline for Applications: October 13th, 2017
  • Duration: 36 hours
  • Schedule: 10h00-13h00 and 14h30-17h30 Monday and Friday; 9h00-13h00 and 14h30-18h30 Tuesday to Thursday
  • Nº (min, max) Students: 10 – 24
  • Location: Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande 1749-016 Lisboa


To introduce participants to the details of communicating science to non-specialized audiences, including, but not exclusive to, public and private stakeholders, students and teachers, and media professionals. The course will particularly address the design, organisation, implementation and impact assessment of public engagement activities such as exhibitions, science festivals or games. At the end of the course, students should be able to develop and produce small-budget events or products to communicate scientific results and ideas.

Learning outcomes and competences:

At the end of the course, participants should be able to:

- Judge and decide about the appropriate form to communicate a scientific result or idea, defining its objective and target audience;

- Develop the project: define its content, production steps, and budget;

- Fundraise;

- Produce the event/product;

- Analyse the impact of the activity/product produced.

This course can have recognition of 6 ECTs for FCUL PhD students enrolling in it as part of their first doctoral year. For FCUL PhD students only requiring 5 ECTs recognized in their specific PhD programs the last 6 hours of the course are not mandatory and the certificate will be on ‘Topics in  Production of Science Communication Activities’. For FCUL PhD students requiring credits, in addition to the exercises done during the week the delivery of a written report is mandatory. The report must be delivered two weeks after the course.

Minimum formation

We require only curiosity about science communication, and interest in learning about producing science communication activities.


Directed to: For (but not limited to) PhD or Master students and Postdocs in any scientific area, as well as other professionals interested in this topic.

General Plan

Course contents:

1. Project development:

Define the project development stages in order to implement a science communication activity. This includes: defining what is to be communicated and to whom, finding the most appropriate media to communicate these ideas to the target audience, and drafting a work plan for the project, including the project requirements in terms of space, a list of potential partners, a preliminary budget and possible funding sources, a schematic production timeline, and outline of a marketing strategy, the definition of outputs and a strategy for impact assessment.

2. Production:

Production is the transformation of the project into the event/product. It includes contacting partners and fundraisers, deciding a location/manufacturer, but also managing teams, collaborating with partners, liaising with suppliers and venues, logistics management etc.

3. Impact assessment:

Learning to use quantitative and qualitative methodologies to analyse public and stakeholder impact, as well as to evaluate output indicators.

4. Visit to Pavilhão do Conhecimento / MUHNAC / Science4you etc.

5. Individual Project Presentation

Students are asked to prepare a low-budget science communication project for an event or product to be discussed and presented in class.

6. Role playing

Training for situations that arise during event/product project development, production or assessment. These include meetings and interviews but also other unexpected or unpredictable circumstances.

7. Written assignments to be sent after the course (mandatory for FCUL PhD students requiring credits):

- A dossier presentation of the project is prepared (which must include input received during presentations in class) as if applying for funding (project + cover letter, etc.)


- Critical analysis and/or proposal for impact assessment study of one of the venues visited during the course


Students fees


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Free for 1st year PhD students in the Doctoral program in Biology (FCUL), Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution (BIODIV UL; UP) and Biology and Ecology of Global Changes (BEAG UL, UA) when the course counts credits for their formation, in which case the delivery of a final report done after the course is mandatory; 25 € for PhD students from institutions of the PEERS network (cE3c, CFE); 125 € for FCUL Master students and unemployed; 180 € for BTI, BI and other PhD students; 250 € for Professional and postdocs.

When the maximum number of students is reached 10 vacancies will be available for non-paying 1st year PhD students mentioned above, being, by order of preference: 1) cE3c students; 2) BIODIV students (not from cE3c); 3) FCUL students (not from cE3c); 4) BEAG students (not from FCUL).

Contacts for Inscription

Contacts for enrolment

To apply send an e-mail to Cristina Luís at with a CV, motivation letter explaining why you are interested in the course, and the following information:

Full Name:



Professional activity: Professional/Postdoc, BTI, BI (or other non-post-doc research grant), PhD student (with/ without scholarship), Lic. (Bachelor)/Master student

Academic formation:

PhD student of the 1st year of Doctoral programme BIODIV (FCUL/FCUP), Biologia (FCUL) or BEAG (FCUL or UA)?:

If yes to the above question, PhD student doing the Course to count credits for 1st year?:

PhD student of cE3c or CEF (Centro de Ecologia Funcional)?:

If PhD student from another programme/centre, which: