The DAAD and EURAXESS China recently co-organized a series of five online workshops focused on science communication for young researchers, entrepreneurs and bright minds.

Science Communication at the DAAD

Science and research shape our working and living environments. They help us to understand societal, political and cultural changes and problems and to develop solutions. The results of scientific experiments and the understanding of how research works are therefore part of an informed, decision-making society.

Communication with a non-scientific audience is already an integral part of scientific work. In order to understand results and developments in science, good science communication is essential to the general public and researchers alike.

As the world’s largest funding organization for academic exchange, the DAAD is therefore committed to the further development of science communication together with the Alliance of Science Organizations in Germany. Among various other projects, the DAAD participated in the #FactoryWisskomm of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and has developed a “10-Point Plan” on science communication. In addition, the DAAD offers trainings on science communication for DAAD grantees, such as the recent co-organized sessions with EURAXESS China.

 

The Workshop Series

The workshop series offered insights to key topics in science communication from ten different expert speakers within both academia and industry.

One webinar took a deep dive into the artform of developing an elevator pitch. For scientists, presenting technical information at conferences, interviews, seminars, in grant proposals, outreach events, and in conversations with scientists and non-scientists alike, requires both thought and preparation. The audience is looking for answers to two main questions: “What do you research, and why does it matter?”

Most (upcoming) scientists have devoted years to their research need opportunities to hone their presentation skills. Speakers only have a few seconds to make a first impression and get their audience engaged. Therefore it’s so important to give a clear, concise, and interesting introduction to research topics.

How do make a pitch?

An “elevator pitch” is a summarization and, in a sense, promotion of a scientist’s work. As the name indicates, the presentation is meant to be brief enough to deliver in the same time it takes to ride an elevator. These pitches are short and to the point, but also grab your attention and make you want to learn more.

The Trick is to choose the most captivating and impactful parts about your research to tell the audience.

Tips for crafting your pitch summary:

Melanie Späthe, Vice Director, DAAD Office Beijing

Overview of the entire workshop series:

Training n. 1: Basics of Science Communication

We started from the Basics of Science Communication with Dr. Alvaro Castells, the winner of Science Slam China in 2021, who shared tips on how to communicate your science in a fun and entertaining way. We also provided an overview of the main takeaways of last year’s edition of the Training.

 Training n. 2: How to Prepare a Job Interview

With career coach and trainer Dean Hogan, we went through the different formats of interview and provided tips for each of them. We talked the types of questions you can expect, what to do on the day and during your interview, touching also on non-verbal communication & cues.

Training n. 3: How to Publish in Academic Journals

With the collaboration of Taylor & Francis and their Hennie Thomson, we provided a basic overview of the current state of academic publishing to enable a better understanding of the process, as well as offer guidance to help researchers succeed.

Training n. 4: Communicate your Core Idea

Joining this session were Bill Xu, SAP BusinessObjects, Corinna Luther, Falling Walls Lab Foundation, and the Science Communicator Emmie Chiyindiko, who shared strategies and tips to make your pitch stand out and catch the audience attention quickly.

Training n. 5: Business of Science

The session focused on the transferable skills that can help academic scientists in the business world, and how businessmen engage with entrepreneurs and innovative academics with Dr. Ulf Richter and Christian Jensen from Audi China.

Application Call

One stage, one great idea and 3 minutes to present

If you participated in this event and would like to showcase your 3-minute project solutions that address some of the most pressing challenges of our time to peers, a high-calibre jury of experts from academia and business.

We are looking for:

  • Falling Walls Lab welcomes projects of all sizes, from grassroots to institutional scale – what matters most is the impact your initiative has.
  • Exemplary initiatives from all over the world with a transferable and/or scalable approaches to generate mutual learning and offer benefit for both science and the public.
  • Initiatives with measurable outcomes and long-term impact on their target group.

For More Information:

APPLICATION CALL: Falling Walls Lab Beijing 2022 | DAAD China

Further information (in German):

Grundsatzpapier des ¬Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung zur Wissenschaftskommunikation (bmbf.de)

#FactoryWisskomm: Handlungsperpektiven für die Wissenschaftskommunikation (bmbf.de)