RI C-AIM Career Development Program Science Communication Summer Intensive

July 11 – 12, 2019
URI Kingston Campus
Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road

The ability to effectively engage a variety of audiences, from scientific colleagues and potential funders to journalists and investors, is an essential skill for researchers.

As part of the RI Consortium for Coastal Ecology Assessment Innovation & modeling (RI C-AIM) Career Development Program, Metcalf Institute held a two-day intensive science communication workshop for RI C-AIM participants, July 11 – 12, at the URI Kingston Campus.

Participants had the option of choosing to attend one or more of the workshops offered during the Summer Intensive. Space is limited and registration is required. Graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and advanced undergraduates involved with RI C-AIM will receive priority, but others who are interested in attending will be added to a wait list and contacted if space is available.

Directions and parking information. Note that participants coming from off campus must register their cars before arriving.


Thursday, July 11 – Foundational Communication
9:00-9:50   Who Are You Communicating With, and Why?
Memorial Union Ballroom
Sunshine Menezes, URI Metcalf Institute

This session will provide an essential introduction to identifying science communication goals and audiences. All participants are encouraged to attend this session.

10:00-12:00   Concurrent Session 1: Framing Your Message for Engagement and Collaboration
Memorial Union Atrium 1
Sunshine Menezes, URI Metcalf Institute
Following a presentation about the fundamentals of framing and crafting clear messages, participants will use this information to develop clear messages about their research for specific audiences and then work in small groups to refine the framing. Participants will report out to the full group with a 1-minute description of their research and its relevance for assigned public audiences. This workshop will inform the workshop on Pitching Stories and Preparing for Interviews with Journalists.

10:30-11:45   Concurrent Session 2: Primer on Technology Commercialization and Intellectual Property
Memorial Union Atrium 2
Brian Nath, URI Office of Intellectual Property; Jeffrey Morgan, Brown University Biomedical Engineering

To help C-AIM participants understand the process of commercializing technology created as part of the research endeavor, this session will provide an introduction to intellectual property and technology transfer. Participants will learn about the basics of intellectual property law, contractual issues, how to decide whether to proceed with a patent, and discuss a case study outlining the process from university research to commercial product. This primer is required before participants may attend the Day Two session on Presenting and Pitching Your Expertise and Patent Ideas.

12:00-1:00   Networking Lunch
Memorial Union Ballroom

1:00-4:00   Writing as a Fundamental Skill
Memorial Union Atrium 1
Jenna Morton-Aiken, Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Strong writing skills are essential for career success, whether writing a grant proposal, a scientific paper, a technical report, or a letter to the editor. This workshop will outline methods for improving your writing practice, including an interactive session with peer review, and will help participants identify and establish habits to become more confident and competent writers.

Friday, July 12 – Situational Communication
9:30-12:00   Developing and Delivering Effective Presentations
Memorial Union Atrium 1
Barbara Tannenbaum, Brown University Theater Arts and Performance Studies

Even the best researchers may struggle to effectively communicate their work to broad audiences. Yet success in terms of securing funding, describing the implications of your research, and engaging public audiences depends, in large part, on your presentation skills. This workshop will help participants build audience-centered presentations and practice the art of persuasive communication.

12:00-1:00    Networking Lunch
Memorial Union Ballroom

1:00-4:00     Concurrent Session 1: Pitching Stories and Preparing for Interviews with Journalists
Memorial Union Atrium 1
Kendall Moore, URI Journalism and Film Media; Alex Kuffner, The Providence Journal; Karen Southern, Metcalf Institute

Professional journalists will offer tips and best practices on what reporters are looking for when they conduct interviews, how to handle media calls, and how and when to pitch a reporter about a story on your research. Participants will practice their new skills during mock interviews about their research. This workshop builds on the skills developed during the Framing Your Message for Collaboration and Engagement workshop.

1:00-4:00    Concurrent Session 2: Presenting and Pitching Your Expertise and Patent Ideas
Memorial Union Atrium 2
Jason Dwyer, URI Chemistry; Kumal Mankodiya, URI Electrical Computer and Biomedical Engineering
As with all communication, knowing your audience is critical for a successful pitch. Speakers in this session will discuss their experiences with pitching new technology and expertise to industry and the important aspects of the presentation for this audience. Participants will have the opportunity to develop brief presentations and pitch a hypothetical product, gaining feedback from experts. Attendees must attend the Day One Primer on Technology Commercialization and Intellectual Property to participate in this session.      

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement #OIA-1655221. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.