Free Science Communications Training Opportunity through SOT

By Myrtle Davis posted 02-24-2022 14:15


Do you want to gain more expertise in presenting your research to broad audiences and be more effective when discussing your science in casual conversations? Let SOT and the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science help!

On Wednesday, May 18, SOT will host a virtual training session conducted by expert instructors with the Alda Center, who will instruct participants on how to:

  • Develop strategies to connect and understand an audience
  • Learn to set meaningful, realistic communication goals
  • Practice approaches to designing a message that will help others connect to you, your work, and why it matters

Rather than focusing on tactics and tips (i.e., dos and don’ts lists), the Alda Method centers around learning through experience, guided reflection, and peer feedback. This training is about transforming how participants think about communication, which gives them skills that can apply to all forms of communication and all topics, including science.

To participate in this training, you must apply for an SOT Science Communications Training Award. All SOT members are eligible, with a minimum number of awards going to graduate and postdoc members. Applications are due by 11:59 pm (US EDT, UTC -4) on Sunday, April 10.

If selected, you must attend a live, three-hour virtual training session on Wednesday, May 18, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm (US EDT, UTC -4).

Tips for a Successful Science Communications Training Award Application

  • Tell us who you are—not just the scientist you. The first question of the application asks for a personal narrative. You do not need to limit your narrative to your professional life. Tell us a story.
  • Be passionate. When asked about your research in the second question, don’t copy and paste a list of accomplishments, but instead, convey a high-level look at your research and why it engages you.
  • Think bigger. While your career goals, as requested in the third question, may be very specific to you, your position, or your research, how science communication can assist you should be looked at from not just your career perspective, but also from an SOT and societal level.
  • Make it personal. For example, there are many examples in the news of poor science communication, but when the application asks for an example of where better communication could make a difference, think about your own experiences and sphere—when did you witness or contribute to a situation that could have used better communication?