Communications Training
Strategies for reaching all of your audiences:
Effective research writing and speaking

Scientists around the world are under growing pressure to publish their research in reputable international journals. At the same time, scientific research is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, requiring that scientists communicate their work in language that is accurate, yet accessible to diverse audiences.  Despite these developments, most young researchers do not receive formal training in how to create compelling research papers or oral presentations, or in how to communicate their results clearly and effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

This workshop seeks to provide participants with guidelines and strategies for how to write clear and effective research articles for academic journals, as well as how to deliver clear and compelling oral research presentations. The workshop also spends a significant amount of time on aspects of scientific English. To maximize learning, there is a minimum of lecturing, with frequent breaks for individual and group work. Examples used in the workshop are drawn from the research journals used by the participants.

This course is different from most in that its primary focus is to present the fundamentals of communicating clearly and effectively, regardless of the language. At the same time, it deals with several issues specific to scientific English, and most participants aim to publish articles and give research presentations in English. Thus, the course is conducted in English, and the in-class exercises and at-home writing assignments must be completed in that language. (The workshop can be organized in Spanish, French, Croatian or Mandarin upon request.)

Contents include:

Writing research manuscripts
• Attracting and communicating to audiences within and outside your immediate discipline
• Convincing the audience of the importance and usefulness of your study
• Organizing ideas effectively in the different parts of an article or talk
• Scientific English: verb tenses, connecting phrases, active voice and simple language, making comparisons, common errors
• Understanding and answering referee comments diplomatically and effectively

Giving research talks
• Using the body and voice effectively in a talk
• Designing slides that are easy to read and to understand

• Performing an effective "walk through" of complex slides
• Designing a talk so that your voice and your slides collaborate, rather than compete
• During this part of the workshop, participants give oral presentations that are videotaped so that they can observe themselves and identify areas for improvement

First Things First:
Effective Research Design and Methodology

As scientific research becomes more competitive, investigators must dig deeper than ever before to uncover novel insights. At the same time, as science becomes increasingly multidisciplinary, they must borrow perspectives, techniques, and tools from other disciplines. This course seeks to help participants

take an interdisciplinary approach to research design
think through the scientific, financial, and ethical dimensions of research design
design and carry out research likely to be accepted by English-language journals indexed in Current Contents and SCI

By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to

independently search the scientific literature in order to generate a critical review on a specific topic
critically assess the procedures, data, and conclusions in published studies
develop a research question, plan a rigorous research project using appropriate research methods, and work collaboratively with others