A toolbox for spreading science
Research Support Office recently launched three new Canvas courses to further train KTH's researchers, one of these with the theme of communication. Hi, Louise Gustafsson, Research Communications Manager at KTH, why do researchers need to learn the noble art of telling about their jobs?
“KTH has exciting research, and it deserves to get as much attention as possible. Yes, KTH has research communicators, but the real expert is the researcher. Expert knowledge is increasingly in demand in today's media landscape, and you want to get information directly from the source, for example about how energy technology works or how you develop vaccines.”
“More and more people, not least the research funders, ask for a plan for how to communicate and how researchers intend to disseminate their results, both within and outside the academic world. With this course, researchers get advice on how to take greater responsibility for disseminating their knowledge and understand what is expected of them.”
Who benefits most from the course?
“I believe that all researchers at KTH benefit from it, from doctoral students to professors. Naturally, it is most useful for those without any experience of communicating at all but still want to learn more and scale up their efforts. But even those who are good at communicating can learn new things. Here you’ll get the research communicators' best tips.”
What do you wish that participants have obtained after the Canvas course?
“Tools! For example, to plan and measure your communication, write better texts and map out when it is best to communicate and in what way. But above all, I hope that the course will inspire the participants, tickle their creativity and get them to start communicating more. Communication doesn’t have to be difficult at all - it's easy and fun when you know how to do it efficiently and accurately.”
What do you say to those who think they have little time to take a course like this?
”Researchers are often busy, and it can, naturally, be a threshold to squeeze an exercise like this in your daily work. The course is available in Canvas, and there is no time limit to do it. Why not do one chapter and continue another day. It doesn’t take that long. The different parts of the course are connected and do them in a row. Parts one to five are about the basics of communication. We go through things like finding your target group, turning your research into an exciting story, creating your communication archive, and making a simple communication plan. Part six is about center communication, and part seven is about communication and impact in EU projects. You can easily choose the parts that feel most relevant!”