Experts will propose communication in education
How can research communication become a natural part of postgraduate education? Now a group of researchers and communicators will develop a joint proposal to sharpen the researchers' communication skills - we talked to KTH's representative.
Today, communication training is not a compulsory part of postgraduate education, even though several universities offer courses and coaching.
In a joint initiative the Swedish Research Council and Örebro University have put together a group of researchers and communicators from various universities and research fields to discuss a proposal for a course on communication. The proposal will initially be tested at Örebro University in 2021.
One of the experts in the group is Robert Lagerström, researcher at KTH who has a great interest in communication. He thinks the initiative is much needed.
” Studies show that many researchers understand that communicating with society is important, and that it is expected of them. At the same time, many people do not know how to get started. We can also see that more and more research funders want you to include comprehensive communication plans today, so it is in the researcher's interest to become a skilled communicator.”
He can’t remember getting any training in this during his time as a doctoral student, - at the same time he was expected to communicate on several occasions.
” It was a lot of learning by doing. There will always be people who learn to communicate well and effectively on their own, the ones I hope we can reach are those who might avoid communication activities because they think they don’t know how - or do not dare to try.”
Some improvements have been made in recent years, Robert exemplifies with an initiative from the EECS school where he works – a doctoral level course called "Research to impact", which partly sheds light on communication
“Many other universities don’t have similar possibilities, so here we may be able to serve as a successful example.”
How do you change a culture of not prioritizing communication?
” I think it can be difficult to get our old professors to change their way of thinking, but if we start now with the doctoral program, I hope that in the future we will maintain a higher minimum level of communication.”
Text: Anna Gullers