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;
- Understand the process of fundraise;
- Envisage how an event/product is produced;
- Analyse the impact of the activity/product produced.
Type of teaching methods:
Lectures, exercises, group discussions
Participants have to be present 80% of the time, and actively participate in the group discussions and exercises. Additionally, each participant will present a complete science communication project at the end of the course.
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 3.5 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 additionally to the exercises done during the week the delivery of a written report done after the course is mandatory. Students getting 6 ECTs have also to deliver a summary report. The reports must be delivered two weeks after the course. Such report(s) are also advised for other students requesting creditation of the course in their institutions.
Minimum formation: We require only curiosity about science communication, and interest in learning about producing science communication activities.
For (but not limited to) PhD or Master students and Postdocs in any scientific area, as well as other professionals interested in this topic.
Note: This course is intended to be presential, but if needed (e.g. due to COVID-19 security measures by the time of the course) it may be adapted to be given remotely
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.
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. Visits to museums or science centres
5. 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 PhD students requiring credits):
- An individual 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.)
- An individual critical analysis and/or proposal for impact assessment study of one of the venues visited during the course
Free for 1st year PhD students in Doctoral programmes at FCUL (e.g. Biologia), Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution (BIODIV UL; UP), Biology and Ecology of Global Changes (BEAG UL, UA) and Sustainability Science (UL, several institutions), when the course counts credits for their formation, in which case the delivery of a final report done after the course is mandatory; the course is also free for more advanced PhD students of the BIODIV programme (ULisboa or UPorto); 50 € for more advanced PhD students of cE3c of other programmes; 80 € for PhD students of the PEERS network (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 students from: 1) cE3c; 2) BIODIV (not from cE3c); 3) FCUL (not from cE3c); 4) Sustainability Science (not from cE3c or FCUL); 5) BEAG (not from cE3c or FCUL).
Contacts for enrolment
To apply send an e-mail to Cristina Luís at email@example.com with a CVand a motivation letter explaining why you are interested in the course. The cv and letter should be named as 1st-lastNAME-CV.pdf and 1st-lastNAME-ML.pdf (that is personalize the name of each file with your first and last name).
In the email please add the following information:
Professional activity: Professional/Postdoc, BTI, BI (or other non-post-doc research grant), PhD student (with/ without scholarship), Lic. (Bachelor)/Master student
PhD student of the 1st year of a Doctoral programme at FCUL, BIODIV (FCUL/FCUP), 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)?:
Name of the PhD programme: