WIAS course Societal Impact of your Research

Course schedule

Dates Start time End time Coordinator registrations
12 & 19 March 2025 13:30 17:30 WIAS 6 / 15 Apply

Course description

How do I write an appealing news article? How do I get my research in the spotlights? How do I tell a broader audience than my own peer group about my work? And how do I deal with possible discussions that may arise from my research?

These, and other important questions about animal science and society will be addressed during the training course ‘Societal Impact of your research’. The course is meant for PhD candidates and postdocs who want to get tips and tricks for communicating their research to non-colleagues including journalists, companies, farmers, policymakers, politicians, NGOs or students.

The course consists of three half-day workshops, led by two experienced science journalists, Astrid Smit and Rob Buiter. In the workshops the journalists will be giving you theory, practical exercises and tools to trigger the audience you want to reach. What are the basic rules for attractive writing and presenting? What is jargon and how can I avoid using it? What are the do’s and don’ts?

You will get two assignments:

  1. Prepare a pitch of three minutes
  2. Write a news release about your research

General Information

Target Group PhDs, postdocs and other researchers
Group size Maximum 15 participants
Credit points 1 ECTS
Course duration 2 afternoon sessions
Self-study hours  About 2 days
Trainers Astrid Smit and Rob Buiter
Venue Wageningen Campus (building and Room to be announced)


Workshop 1, Day 1

Before the workshop, the participants will be provided with information on a few basic techniques on how to effectively present their work in a pitch. During the workshop, the participants will present their research in a very short pitch, of a maximum of three minutes, in two groups. The other group members will comment on the pitches.

13:30 – 13:50         Introduction Training Course

13:50 – 14:15         Why/how sharing research? (Rob Buiter)

14:15 – 14:30         Pause

14:30 – 15:15         Presentation Pitches

15:15 – 15:30         Pause

15.30 – 15:50         Some good and bad examples of press releases.

15:50 – 16:15         Discussing the press releases

16:15 – 16:30         Pause

16:30 – 17:00         How to write an effective press release/short news article?(Astrid Smit)

17:00 – 17:30         The workshop will be closed with questions/discussion and the explanation of the ‘homework’ for workshop 2 and 3.

Workshop 2, Day 2

13:30 – 13:45         Welcome and short evaluation of the homework

13:45 – 14:15         Break out session 1. Discuss the first set of homework

14:15 – 14:30         Pause

14:30 – 15:15         Break out session 2: Discuss the second set of homework

15:15 – 15:30         Pause

15:30 – 16:15         Guest lecture by e.g. Arnold van Vliet (WUR): his experiences in presenting research to a broader audience.

16:15 – 16:30         Pause

16:30 – 17:15         The pitfalls: what’s the risk when you bring your research in the open? What can you expect from a journalist? What’s the cost, and what’s the benefit?

17:00 – 17:30         Questions & discussion, explanation of the assignment for next week: prepare a debate!


Reduced fee: WGS PhD candidates with an approved TSP

 € 150

University fee: Other PhDs and postdocs and WIAS staff 

 € 300

External fee: All other participants

 € 450


Cancellation conditions

1. You may cancel free of charge up to 1 month before the start of the course.

2. Cancellation fee of 100% will be applied for persons cancelling less than one month prion to the start of the course or not showing up for the course.

3. The organisers have the right to cancel the course no later than one month before the planned course start date in the case that the number of registrations does not reach the minimum.

More information

Contact: wias@wur.nl or paddy.haripersaud@wur.nl . Please note that all email correspondence will go to the email address you provided in the registration.