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Fundamentals of Science Communication and Citizen Science


The need for researchers to communicate their science to societal stakeholders is becoming increasingly important. However, researchers are often not trained to do so. In addition, researchers are asked to engage with a wider audience in research. Mainly, they do this by the most traditional means they know: talking about their work through text in magazines or the press and contributions to television shows or radio. However, there are other (often more effective) means that not only inform, but also engage non-expert audiences. Citizen science, for example, is based on engaging with citizens in various ways and at various levels. In this course, participants will learn about the basics of science communication and citizen science. They will learn how to write effectively and tailor their communication to the needs of the audience they want to engage with in other means. They will work on a tailored strategy to communicate their research, taking their communications goals and most important stakeholders into consideration.


In this course, the changing role of researchers in the public domain is discussed. Thereupon, we introduce you to the basics of science communication and citizen science, the motivations for both and the array of communication tools and means that can be used. We will integrate the outcomes of the Nature course Effective Science Communication into the course to tailor it to the UT context. You will write a popularised article about your research for a wider – non-expert – audience. You will learn how to use storytelling techniques to engage an audience. And you will learn how to find and apply a variety of science communication formats that suit various goals and audiences. Finally, you will learn to design a strategy for a citizen science approach. After completing the course, for those interested, based on an inventory of your experiences and goals in science communication, personal approaches for future science communication strategies can be discussed in an individually tailored advisory meeting.  


The course has the following aims. After this course you are able…



Optional for individual participants at the end of the course: based on an inventory of personal experiences, it is possible to discuss personal approaches for science communication strategies in an individual advisory meeting (this part will be made available later on.

  • Programme is for

    PhD students and early career researchers

  • ECTS

    2 (56 hours)

  • Location

    2 DIFFERENT LOCATONS: October 4, 25 and Novemer 8 - Gallery building, room Reactor - November 22 - Citadel building, room T300

  • Maximum participants


  • Course

    4 interactive f2f sessions of 3 hours(14 hours), this course includes the Nature online course Effective Science Communication (estimated time 14 hours). Furthermore: preparation assignments and writing (estimated time 28 hours). Please bring your own laptop.

  • Certificate

    Certificate of Attendance after completing the course and assignments

  • Teachers

    Anne Dijkstra (Assistant Professor in Science Communication at the UT and Frank Nuijens (Team leader of Communications at ASTRON and independent sience communication trainer at https://franknu.com/)

dr. A.M. Dijkstra (Anne)
Assistant Professor
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Fundamentals of Science Communication and Citizen Science
October 2024
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