From: Cassie Speakman at Deakin University:



“As part one of the Deakin PhD representatives, I’m looking into science communication workshops and science communicators who may be available to build up some skills within my PhD cohort.

We are happy to do a series of workshops or multiple ‘parts’ within a day or two (more like a short course structure) and would be interested in topics such as:

We would be looking for a few presenters to cover the following four areas of science communication:

1)    Social media – particularly Twitter

a.     Building a following

i.    Most have small followings, yet most of the advice seems to be directed at those who already have a moderate-large audience

ii.    Questions include: How important are hashtags? Do you need to engage with people to get them to follow? How much time commitment is required? How do you draw attention to posts?

b.     Engaging with followers

i.    What methods are useful (e.g. asking questions, replying to comments, following others, etc)?

c.     Promoting research (e.g. publications, talks)

i.    What are the best ways of promoting new publications, recent/upcoming talks, etc?

ii.    Creating collaborations through social media


2)    Blogs and The Conversation pieces

a.     Where is the best place to start?

b.     Gaining an audience and keeping them engaged

c.     Writing strategies and styles that work


3)    Science outreach presentations

a.     Talking & engaging with the public through public forums

b.     Where and how to organise science outreach events

c.     Telling an engaging story from your research or experiences


4)    Working with journalists and media

a.     Getting media attention – media releases, storytelling, etc

b.     Creating your ‘elevator’ pitch


This is not an exhaustive list, and we are open to suggestions!

Ideally, we hope to have a series of virtual workshops (until in-person meetings are appropriate and safe) that cover these broad categories, but want to delve deeper into these areas to build up skills that we can use.

We are happy for multiple presenters to cover a topic, like a panel, so they can each focus on an area they are strongest in, or for a single person to take a workshop.

Unfortunately we are running on a tight budget but we can negotiate what honorarium is feasible for us and worthwhile for you.

Our cohort is ~130 active students, though you would expect only a portion of those to attend each workshop due to time constraints.”