Getting Started in Science Communication Workshop


EUniWell Online EUniWell-Event

The introductory workshop of EUniWell's Research Communications Programme for Doctoral Candidates.

The picture shows a group of four young people sitting together at a table in a bright library room. Three of them are looking at a laptop screen and smiling. A blonde woman stands behind them and exchanges a high-five with one of them, who turns to her.

About the workshop

The workshop is designed for PhD candidates who are new and open to science communication.

This online workshop focuses on practical, interactive sessions to get started in engaging different audiences with the PhD candidates’ own scientific research.

As EUniWell values interdisciplinarity and the learning that can come from mixing different interests, expertise and perspectives, this workshop is open to PhD candidates from all Graduate Schools of the seven EUniWell partner universities (Birmingham, Cologne, Florence, Leiden, Linnaeus, Nantes and Semmelweis).

The workshop consists of introductory sessions, aimed strictly at providing insight into the related science communication topic and some personal advice for participants.

Why this workshop?

Engaging different audiences (general public, local communities, scientific public, business people, science journalists) can strengthen young researchers’ academic profiles.

During this workshop, the participants will be able to:

  • Gain an awareness of audience types and their needs
  • Identify the most engaging part of their research
  • Experience developing messages for their research
  • Explain why and how they should engage the public with their research
  • Network with other engaged researchers and supportive public engagement professionals from the seven partner universities

This workshop is an opportunity for enjoying new learning experiences through getting to know the importance and practices of effective science communication techniques!

How it works

In this online, interactive workshop, the trainers will switch between short presentations, group discussions and exercises in which the participants practice their presentation / storytelling / networking / pitching / interviewing skills.

After a keynote presentation on the “Importance of science communication and personal stories in research” presented by Dr. Imre Varjú, Health Communication & Behavior Strategist, Medical Scientist & Consultant at Semmelweis University, the following topic will be addressed in different Zoom Rooms.

Participants can choose one room from the following Rooms:

► Story room: “Develop your own story to help build relationships”

Speaker/trainer: Derren Cresswell, Public Engagement Officer, University of Birmingham
The focus of this room is on how your personal story can act as an important tool when working in public and community engagement. The session will provide a simple tool with which to build our own story and also listen to others’. It will then allow us to practice using the technique in a way that will provide useful and positive feedback.

Layman’s room: “Explain your PhD to your grandparents”

Speaker/trainer: Gabriele Hess-Fernandez, science journalist and lecturer, Nantes Université
Have you experienced this frustration of struggling to find the words to explain to your family what you are doing in your job as a PhD? This session offers clues on how to improve your odds of communicating your research successfully to your «grandparents». You will learn how to put your audience at the centre of your thought process. This session is designed to get you started in science communication and audience awareness. We will argue or take sides on an issue, connect, collaborate, share stories - and have fun!

► Conference room: “Exchange thoughts and tips relating to attending a scientific conference”

Speaker/trainer: Dr. Maria Scherwood Smith, Academic English Lecturer, Leiden University
The focus of this room is on discussing your own experiences of scientific conferences. In an informal setting, we will discuss various aspects of attending a conference, from applying for grants to conference behaviour (chairing a session, networking, etc.). The session is not about how to present a paper. Rather it offers you an effective platform for exchanging tips to help you get the most out of the conferences you attend.

►  Business room:“Communicate your science to business people: Dos and Don’ts”

Speaker/trainer: Dr. Bernadett Simon, Head of Transfer Dept., University of Cologne
Know the value of your intellectual property! Talking about your scientific hypothesis and results with company partners is exciting – it might bring you closer to developing your science into a real-life product or business concept. But be aware of your ideas’ and results’ potential: don’t let them be snatched up by clever businessmen and make sure you communicate YOUR Unique Selling Point (USP)! 

►  Interview room:“Interviews on research topics for the general public”

Speaker/trainer: Giovanna Pacini, Research Grant in Science Communication and Francesca Nerattini, Research Grant in Science Education, University of Florence
This science communication laboratory is a hands-on activity for the realisation of a 3-minutes interview to illustrate the research topics of the participants. It consists of two stages: 1. A brief presentation of storytelling techniques, providing scientific storytelling podcast case studies. 2. A practical session, where the participants will take part in a 3-minute interview on their research topics and experiences themselves.The main goal of the activity is to provide the tools for the realisation of true, personal stories about science that the participants can use in their daily research life.

Key facts

Planned dates 
7 April (Thursday), 10:00-13:00 CEST / 9:00-12:00 BST
27 April (Wednesday), 10:00-13:00 CEST / 9:00-12:00 BST

Location          Online Zoom meeting

Language        English

Participants   Registered PhD candidates from EUniWell partner universities

10:00 - 10:15    Welcome and introduction
10:15 - 10:45    Keynote presentation
10:45 - 10:50    Split in groups, break-out rooms (6-12 participants / room)
10:50 - 12:20    Interactive workshops

  • in Story Room (both on 7 and 27 April)
  • in Layman’s Room (both on 7 and 27 April)
  • in Business Room (both on 7 and 27 April)
  • in Interview Room (both on 7 and 27 April)
  • in Conference Room (only on 7 April)

12:20 - 13:00    Shared discussion & closing remarks


The workshop is open free of charge to regular PhD candidates of the 7 EUniWell partner universities.

In the interest of an optimal learning experience, the workshop organiser reserves the right to adjust the composition of groups to include representatives of the different universities as much as possible – so first come, first served may not always be possible.

Please note that the registration for these workshop dates is now closed.

Contact: Eszter Turopoli

Follow up

Further workshops and trainings based on learnings from the pilot introductory workshop will be developed and provided for PhD candidates and young researchers as a part of EUniWell E+ Research Communications Programme and H2020 Science to public programme in the academic year 2022/23.