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Objective:

Undergraduate and Graduate curricula train students to communicate using academic genres such as papers, and journal articles but rarely do they provide training on how to communicate to the public to build awareness about scientific issues and to inform policy. 

The Communicating Your Research Program for graduate students provides training on how to communicate your research to the public making academic research more relevant to people. With so much misinformation available, the need to communicate research findings to a non academic audience is more essential than ever before. Findings can build a better understanding of the challenges we face, inform policy and management decision-making and dispel fake news. 

How does it work? Attend writing workshops and submit a story idea. Once it is approved, you will be asked to submit a written draft or video clip of your research story.

Criteria:

FENV graduate students who have recently published or have been accepted to publish their findings in a journal, book chapter, etc. are invited to submit to the communications team a story pitch for a FENV feature. We will also consider ideas for compelling stories based on preliminary findings or earlier findings that have implications for topical issues. 

Process:

The communications team has some tips to help guide your story and writing workshops will be available. Students are invited to attend and use these resources.

The pitch for a print or video feature can be submitted to the communications team (lauriew@sfu.ca) in point form, using plain language and includes what you did, what it means and why it is important in a bigger context. Once the pitch has been approved and assigned a date for publication, the graduate student will submit a full story draft of 300 words or less with an image or video clip of 90 seconds or less and work with the editorial team to finalize.

The Faculty of Environment will feature on our website, on social media and possibly in faculty newsletters. If the story fits with SFU priorities, we will also pitch it to SFU News and look for other mechanisms to raise the profile of your findings (e.g. The Conversation).

Graduate Students will receive a $75 honoraria for each publication.

To help kickstart the program we will host a zoom writing workshop in on Wednesday, January 13, 10:00 - 11:30am and we hope you join us to get key points for good story telling and how to pitch your academic findings for public audiences. For more information and to register, visit http://www.sfu.ca/fenv/programs/graduate/writing-workshop--tell-your-research-story.html

Watch the recorded Writing Workshop with Diane Luckow to  learn how to tell the story of your graduate research in just 300 choice words.