Competences in science communication


This discipline aims at developing the students' skills and knowledge in science communication, in particular:

- The theoretical basis of communication and its application in life sciences research

- Training the classical formats of communication among researchers

- Developing functional understanding about the peer review of scientific publications

- Developing scientific writing skills in English

- Understanding the key aspects of collaborative and networking skills for scientific, multidisciplinary research

- Developing a strategic approach to career development in research-related careers

- Understanding and contextualizing the key aspects of communication between researchers and other social or professional groups.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Gabriela Araújo Silva


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





• Divan A (2009) Communicating skills for the biosciences - A graduate guide. Oxford University Press Inc., New York.

• Doumont J (2010) ed. English Communication for Scientists. Cambridge, MA: NPG Education.

• Fraser J, Fuller, L and Hutber, G (2009) Creating effective conference abstracts and posters in Biomedicine. Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, UK.

• Fraser J and R. Cave R (2004) Presenting in Biomedicine. Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, UK.

• Hess GR, Tosney K and Liegel L (2010). Creating Effective Poster Presentations. In

• Johnson AM. (2011) Charting a course for a successful research career. A Guide for Early Career Researchers, 2nd Edition, Elsevier, USA.

• Sutcliffe H. (2012) A report on Responsible Research & Innovation. Prepared for DG Research and Innovation, Europe.

Teaching method

 Explanatory lectures will focus on the conceptual basis of communication in the context of life sciences research. The lecturers have a strong expertise on the syllabus and will, additionally, provide practical training on the different aspects of communicating science. The practical approaches will explore each student's potential and needs in scientific communication. For example, we will analyse the students' communications performances in previous disciplines as a starting point; and will base the writing exercises on each student’s PhD projects; Brainstorming (Which skills should I develop during my PhD? What should I improve in my communication performances?), as well as role-plays (e.g., to help analyse interpersonal professional relationships in a research environment) will motivate students to have an active role in the learning process.

Evaluation method

Students' evaluation will be performed through practical exercises (75%); and student’s participation in the discussions (25%).

Subject matter

The syllabus includes the following topics:

What is communication? Theoretical tools

Having something to communicate: From the lab book to your thesis (Data and project management)

The peer review process

Preparing scientific posters, podium presentations and scientific papers in the life sciences

Interpersonal relationships (relation with supervisor, the tutor role)

Effective networking and collaborations

Effective and persuasive science writing

Preparing and manipulating scientific images

Communicating yourself: building CVs and online reputation

Communicating impact and investment in scientific research

Strategic communication in science - individual and institutional perspectives

Science in the public and political agendas

What can you get out of a PhD? Managing your research career


Programs where the course is taught: