Communication skills for public engagement

This course is designed for holders of University Research Fellowships, Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowships, Sir Henry Dale Fellowships, Newton International Fellowships, and Industry Fellowships. If you would like to attend a workshop in the future, please register your interest.

Good communication is key for effective public engagement. During this half-day workshop you will receive practical guidance and advice from experienced professional science communicators.

The workshop will focus on the communication skills needed for engaging a variety of audiences face-to-face, and will help you prepare effectively for your next public engagement opportunity.

Before attending you should have an upcoming opportunity to put your communications skills into practice with a non-scientific, public audience. Contact us if you would like to attend and require help identifying suitable opportunities. 

Who is it for?

This course is exclusively for Royal Society grant recipients with some public engagement experience who want to improve their communication skills when engaging with public audiences face-to-face.

Attendees should attempt to secure a face-to-face public engagement opportunity taking place within six months of the course.  

What will you learn?

Through this course, attendees will:

  • develop the communication skills to deliver inspiring "face-to-face" public engagement activities for their research, by using an effective combination of appropriate structure, content, and physical delivery
  • form and maintain networks of like-minded peers to share experiences and resources that support public engagement with their research
  • become aware of established Royal Society programmes and other opportunities for face-to-face public engagement with their research.

As part of the training, each attendee will work on developing a specific "face-to-face" public engagement activity for their research, from a variety of opportunities and formats available, receiving individual advice and feedback from the course trainer.

Attendees will be expected to participate in the course preparatory work, including reviewing online training content. 

You will also be offered the opportunity to stay in touch with the trainers and other attendees via an online portal after the course to stay up to date with one another’s activities and share ideas. 

Who is the tutor?

The trainer for this course is Dr Jon Copley of SciConnect Ltd. As Associate Professor of Ocean Exploration and Public Engagement at the University of Southampton, Jon routinely shares his research in deep-sea ecology with large audiences at face-to-face events such as New Scientist Live and Bluedot Festival, as well as engaging more intimate audiences through cafés scientifiques and networks such as U3A. Jon also has experience of presenting onscreen as a contributor to TV documentaries including BBC Blue Planet II, and he is a recipient of the Royal Society of Biology Science Communication Award for Established Researchers and the British Science Association Charles Lyell Lecture Award.

Jon co-founded SciConnect Ltd in 2006 to provide training for scientists to share with work with wider audiences, and more than 12,000 people have since taken part in SciConnect courses. Evaluation comments from participants on previous SciConnect courses developed for the Royal Society include:

“This is clearly by far the best course I have ever attended and will surely recommend it." 

"This is one of the most interesting and constructive courses I've been on with great advice for moving forward."

How much does it cost?

You must be a Royal Society grant recipient to be eligible to attend this course.

The course fee and travel expenses are covered for Royal Society grant recipients, including the University Research Fellowship, Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, Sir Henry Dale Fellowship, Newton International Fellowship and Industry Fellowship.

Further training

If you’re looking for an introductory public engagement course, we recommend attending our Public Engagement for Independent Researchers course before attending this one. We also run public engagement courses on engaging with schools and evaluating public engagement.

You can see a full list of training opportunities offered by the Royal Society. 

Please contact us with any questions.