Effective communication is essential for biomedical scientists. To publish your research you have to demonstrate your work is valid, convince your audience, and engage with colleagues via peer review. The goal of the three-year Communication in Science (CIS) program is to train you to become proficient academic communicators. By following the CIS line you will learn the principles of effective communication and how to apply them within a scientific genre to inform, convince and inspire your audience.
CIS is organized as a line, a kind of red thread, that weaves through each of the modules of the year. Throughout the year, you will be trained and supported in performing a series of communication activities that cover the full breadth of skills needed by present-day researchers.
CIS uses a task-based design, which means you will learn by doing. Over time, tasks will grow in complexity. To foster active learning you will spend considerable time carrying out peer review. By learning to identify strengths and areas for improvement in your peers' work, you will also develop your own writing, presenting and critical thinking skills.
Learning to be a science communicator means becoming aware of scientific conventions and applying communication techniques to various media, from writing and presenting to designing posters. This year we will focus on three fundamental communication principles:
1) Audience awareness: Each audience your work with has different needs, requirements and levels of knowledge. The first step in communicating effectively is to develop an awareness of your audience’s expectations. This principle seems simple, but that does not make it easy. As your scientific knowledge and experience grow, meeting the needs of different audiences becomes increasingly challenging.
2) Purpose-driven communication: Activities in the CIS programme will help you to identify your purpose and make sure that this purpose is not only clear, but is used to move your research story forward.
3) Message focus: CIS training will help you identify your main message and make sure that this message is clear, relevant and resonant with your audience.
A number of techniques can be learned to help you achieve your communication goals. You will learn interactive techniques to capture and hold the attention of a live audience. You will also learn how to structure text so that it coherent, cohesive and compelling.Moreover, we will focus on how to develop a persuasive line of reasoning, and you will learn how to enthuse and inspire your audience.
Our focus in this first year will be on the fundamentals of science communication; we will begin with how to structure a scientific text, and we will explore the conventions of scientific discourse. You will learn the conventions of the scientific genre: how should a research story be composed and presented; what expectations researchers have for scientific texts, and how you can adhere to them. We will focus on key characteristics of science writing: relevance, readability and concision. Your first writing tasks will be in Dutch, though the majority of this year will focus on English language communication. This will best prepare you for your research career.
This year you will:
Become familiar with the formal register and conventions of biomedical science communication
Transform an experiment protocol into a Material and Methods section
Write a scientific report using a formal register in Dutch
Become familiar with presentation techniques for formal presentations in Dutch
Become familiar with the scientific register of English
Become familiar with guidelines for citing and paraphrasing sources
Write a journalistic article and a formal abstract in English
Write a scientific report using a formal register in English
Write a scientific report collaboratively as a team
Write a symposium report based on the Biomedical Sciences Symposium
The time schedule can be found on the LUMC scheduling website and in the LUMC scheduling app.
Mode of instruction
The line course Communication in Science (CIS) is a form of education that is integrated with the modules. CIS is taught via lectures, work groups, self-study, video training and individual tutorials. Students build up a portfolio containing all assessments and feedback.
CIS applies continuous assessment; the final mark for the year is a weighted average of all individual marks for the written assignments and a formal oral presentation.
First year students are automatically enrolled for working groups.