Communicating Scientific Research 2020

Communicating Scientific Research is an intensive two weeks course taught by internationally leading experts, offered by the Simula School of Research and Innovation (SSRI). The course is mainly open for PhD students at Simula. However, we have a total of 25 available openings for the course. This entails that we can also accept external applicants from graduate students in science, engineering, and mathematics at Norwegian universities, so feel free to submit your application.

The course consists of two intensive weeks of training—the first week occurring virtually in the fall and the second week occurring in-person in the spring. In between these weeks, the students work on their individual projects.

For 2020/2021 the course is full. 

Credits

The completed course is pre-approved as a 5 ECTS special syllabus for the PhD program at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Oslo. Participants associated with other PhD programs will be required to apply for their home institution's approval if they want to include it in their own PhD syllabus. Upon successful completion of the course (fulfilling the course requirements and expectations), SSRI will provide the necessary documentation of participation and a description of the course contents.

Content

The course teaches you how to effectively communicate your research in scientific presentations, papers, posters and films. It will help you address a wide range of audiences, from peers to decision-makers and the general public. Students selected for participation must attend the two compulsory course weeks. In addition, there will be a preparation assignment before each course week and a small project to be conducted between the two weeks. The preparation assignments and the project will be worked on remotely, based on electronic communication with the instructors. The two-course weeks require your physical presence for all course days.

Designed for graduate students who have begun their research, the course combines lecture, discussion, critiquing workshops, and out-of-class assignments to give the students multiple opportunities to not only speak and write about their research but also to receive feedback on those efforts.

Based on a graduate course taught by Professor Michael Alley at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Virginia Tech, and Pennsylvania State University, the course is designed to help graduate students make their research communications more understandable, memorable, and persuasive. The course uses two textbooks, The Craft of Scientific Presentations and The Craft of Scientific Writing, both of which are authored by Michael Alley, one of the course instructors. These books will be provided for you at the beginning of class. The presentation portion of the course also draws heavily on example scientific presentations given at TED.com.

Instructors

Requirements and Expectations

  1. When you sign up for the course, you are agreeing to participate for week 1 and week 2 of the course and to complete the summer project assignment.
  2. You are expected to attend each of the lectures.
  3. You are expected to complete and turn-in each of the preparation assignments for the course.
  4. You are expected to give the assigned presentations, as well as participate in the writing critique sessions.

In particular, PhD students who want to include the course in their degree syllabus (preapproved at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Oslo, and possibly by individual application for approval at other institutions) must fulfil the above requirements.

Syllabus and Schedule

For the 2020 syllabus and schedule click here. 

About the instructors

Michael Alley

Michael Alley holds a Master of Science in electrical engineering and a Master of Fine Arts in writing and is a teaching professor of engineering communication at Penn State. He is the author of three textbooks: The Craft of Scientific Presentations (2003), The Craft of Editing (2000), and The Craft of Scientific Writing (2018). Both The Craft of Scientific Presentations and The Craft of Scientific Writing have been translated to Japanese. Over the past twenty years, he has taught scientific writing and presentations to science and engineering students at Penn State, the University of Texas, the University of Wisconsin, and Virginia Tech. His professional communication workshops have been held around the world. Sites include Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, United Technologies, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, Simula Research Laboratory (Norway), the Institute for Energy Technology (Norway), Kaust (Saudi Arabia), the European Space Agency (Chile), the University of Barcelona, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Seoul National University, the University of Oslo, and Punjab University (India). Alley is the founder and lead editor for the popular website “Writing as an Engineer or Scientist” (www.craftofscientificwriting.com).

Christine Haas

Christine Haas has over 10-years of experience working at the intersection of science and communication. Before launching Christine Haas Consulting, LLC in 2012, Christine held positions as director of marketing at Drexel College of Engineering and director of operations at Worcester Polytechnic Institute Engineering. Since founding Christine Haas Consulting, Christine has traveled around the world teaching courses to scientists and engineers on presentations, slide design, writing, and storytelling. She teaches clients across higher education, industry, and government including Stanford, Netflix, The North Face, Texas Instruments, Medtronic, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Sandia National Laboratory, and the European Southern Observatory (Chile). Christine received her M.B.A. in marketing and international business from Drexel University and her B.A. in English and film from Dickinson College (www.christinehaasconsulting.com).

Contact person(s)