Communicating Scientific Research 2023/24
The course is now open for applications.
Communicating Scientific Research (CSR) is an intensive, in-person course taught by internationally leading experts. CSR is hosted by Simula Academy, and takes place over one full week in the autumn semester and one full week in the spring semester.
While the course is mainly open for PhD candidates at Simula, any open spots for the course will be made available for external applicants studying at Norwegian universities; we welcome your application.
The timing for the 2023/2024 course is:
1st week: 23-27 October, 2023
Between the course weeks (i.e., over the winter), the students work on individual projects.
2nd week: 15-19 April, 2024
Please note: the course requires individual preparations and an online sessions before the start of each course week.
Apply for the course here.
The deadline for applications is 25 August, 2023.
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 all of the course requirements and expectations), the Simula Academy will provide the necessary documentation of participation and a description of the course contents.
Overview and syllabus
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 course require your in-person participation on all days of the course, for both weeks.
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.
The course syllabus for 2023/24 will be published soon. For an example of the course content and schedule, please consult last year's syllabus and schedule.
CSR 2023/24 is now accepting applications. The deadline for applications is 25 August, 2023.
The following attachments are required, in pdf form, with your application:
- Letter of intent (max 1 page) outlining your motivation for completing CSR
- Letter of support from your academic supervisor (max 1 page)
Applications will be reviewed following the deadline for applications on 25 August, 2023.
All applicants will be contacted by early September with the final decision on their application.
Successful candidates will be asked to confirm their attendance to the entire course by 8 September, 2023.
Successful candidates that confirm their attendance are required to participate in all lectures and complete all assignments for the course. In addition to the in-person instruction during 1st and 2nd intensive weeks (23-27.10.23 & 15-19.04.24), this includes the online preparatory sessions ahead of each intensive week, as well as the writing and presentation assignments.
About the instructors
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 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 travelled 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).
Lauren Murphy is a professional in the film and television industry, an engineer through schooling, and an advocate of sharing amazing ideas through better communication. For over five years, Lauren has used this unique combination of skills to travel the world and teach engineers and scientists to communicate their ideas through the creation of their own videos. Lauren has a B.A. in film/video and B.S. mechanical engineering from Penn State University and works as a cinematographer in New York City. Her portfolio spans commercials, documentaries, narratives, and television, including the number one show on Discovery+, Ghost Adventures. She believes creative videos can tell stories to help communicate technical ideas in an educational and enjoyable way. (https://www.whitepaper-video.com/)
For inquiries about the course or application process, please contact Simula Academy (email@example.com).
To contact or learn more about the instructors:
- Michael Alley, Associate Professor, College of Engineering, Pennsylvania State University (email; website)
- Christine Haas, Principal, Christine Haas Consulting, LLC (email; website)
- Lauren Murphy, Professional Film Maker (email; website)