Advanced Science Communication Seminar

“How can I translate the importance of my research to the people who need to know?”

This is a common question that is frequently voiced by many coastal and marine science graduate students each year.  Students know their research is valuable outside of academia, but many researchers are not confident in their abilities to communicate science effectively. Virginia Sea Grant is excited to offer innovative programs specifically designed to effectively communicate the importance of coastal and marine research to resource managers, watermen, community planners, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

George Mason University and Virginia Sea Grant’s Communication Center have partnered to offer a semester-long Advanced Science Communication Seminar where participating students learn the “science of science communication,” evidence-based social science that can guide help them analyze their stakeholders’ concerns and addressing them respectfully, clearly, and effectively. Throughout the seminar participants receive one-on-one guidance and support from communication specialists who help them develop and refine an audience-tailored communication product featuring their own research.

To find out more information about Advanced Science Communication Seminar or to see examples of past communication products, please visit http://sciencecomm.edublogs.org/


Sample Timeline

  • 1 Develop a draft, sketch, or outline of the product

  • 2 Get feedback from stakeholders.

  • 3 Consider feedback from your instructors and representative audience members.


List of past project examples

  • One-page briefs for legislators or regulators
  • Short presentations (e.g. 3-Minute Thesis, elevator pitch)
  • Games for high school students
  • Photo exhibits
  • Illustrations, infographics
  • Animations, video
  • … with this seminar I developed and thought about strategies on how to communicate with broader publics. That was very enriching, and I’ll use the learned concepts for my entire career.
  • Prior to this seminar most of my communication experience had been in oral or poster presentations, and I really appreciated this opportunity to explore other forms of communication and develop a whole new technical skill which I hope to use in the future!
  • It gave me the motivation to create something that hopefully I will use… I’m glad I took it.
  • I think this seminar should be offered every year for VA grad students.
  • Overall I really enjoyed it! I learned a lot and developed a whole different way of thinking when dealing with science communication.
  • (This course) involved thinking about my science in a whole different way.
  • Not all communication is the same. You have to think seriously about your specific project needs and use the appropriate strategies/techniques.
  • …with this seminar I developed and thought about strategies on how to communicate with broader publics. That was very enriching, and I’ll use the learned concepts for my entire career.”
  • I thought it would be a matter of choosing simpler and ‘easier’ words, but throughout this project, I learned that it was much more than that and involved thinking about my science in a whole different way. I learned new strategies and approaches to doing this that I will definitely use in my future.

End Users

Educators

Proposal Reviewers

Principal Investigators

Advisors

Students