Training for Researchers and DPhil Students
Training available to all in MPLS and MSD to help you find out more about public engagement and develop your skills. Due to continuing challenges and uncertainties with covid-19, much of our training will be taking place online unless otherwise stated.
We have a number of free training courses available to help you learn about and develop your public engagement skills. Unless otherwise stated these courses are available to all (DPhil students, researchers at all levels, and professional services/support staff) in MPLS and Medical Sciences Divisions.
Booking opens at the start of each term.
We are continuing to deliver many sessions online. Please see individuals courses for venue details.
Public engagement with research 101
Engagement describes the many ways that we can share our research and its value by interacting with wider public audiences, generating mutual benefit. We look at what public engagement is and some of the reasons why you might want to do it. We'll highlight the multitude of different approaches you can take, including real examples from the University and further afield. We'll provide tips on getting started and where to get support. Our face to face sessions typically include researchers will present their experiences and answer your questions.
- 09.30-12.30 | 28 Oct 2021 - Online - CLOSED
- 13.00-16.00 | 30 Nov 2021 - Online - CLOSED
- 09.30-12.30 | 3 Feb 2022 - Online - CLOSED
- 10.00-13.00 | 12 May 2022 - Online - CLOSED
Discover what elements of storytelling and narrative can be used to enhance a profession in the sciences. Craft compelling and moving stories from your experiences as a scientist using these key story elements: character, conflict, structure, metaphor and description. Apply these storytelling and narrative skills to working in the sciences: communicating research to a range of audiences (including publics, media and funding bodies); enhancing presentation skills; telling scientific stories across a range of media. Robert Holtom is a professional storyteller and consultant who has worked with a range of organisations to help them refine and hone their stories for a variety of audiences.
- 10.00-13.00 | 4 Nov 2021 - Online - CLOSED
- 10.00-13.00 | 10 Feb 2022 - Online - CLOSED
- 10.00-13.00 | 19 May 2022 - Online - CLOSED
Putting stories to work
This builds on the introductory workshop (Telling Stories that Matter) and introduces new elements of great storytelling including metaphor, clarity and message. This highly interactive workshop will be based around an example of writing a explainer or news article for the wider, non-specialist public website (though the lessons can be applied to any communication context).
It is highly recommended that you will have already attended the introductory workshop (Telling Stories That Matter), or equivalent introductory workshops on storytelling. Brief reading material will be provided to ensure you are up to date with the fundamentals of storytelling that are the basis of this workshop.
- 10.00-13.00 | 2 Dec 2021 - Online - CLOSED
- 10.00-13.00 | 3 March 2022 - Online - CLOSED
- 10.00-13.00 | 6 June 2022 - Online - CLOSED
From inception to publication; this practical session delivered by Emily Elias, journalist and producer of the Oxford Sparks podcast series, is a whirlwind tour through the basics of how to share your research in an engaging manner through podcasting. The session will introduce approaches to podcasting, present inspiration from a range of different podcast styles, and take you step-by-step through the basic technical skills of recording, editing and publishing audio files; you’ll have the chance to develop an idea and have a go recording it with support and feedback during the day.
- 09.30-16.30 | 14 Oct 2021 - in person - CLOSED
- 09.30-12.30 | 24 March 2022 - Online - CLOSED
- 09.30-12.30 | 09 Jun 2022 - Online - CLOSED
Interviewing for Podcasts
You are behind the mic, ready to record your first podcast ... but wait! What do you ask? This hands-on training session helps you navigate the world of podcast interviews. The session will cover preparing for interviews, creating a question line, finding your authentic voice and active listening.
Participants will be paired up and asked to conduct short interviews with a fellow participant which will be recorded over Zoom. As a group we'll listen back to them and workshop the interviews for constructive feedback.
This course is aimed at anyone looking at working on interviewing skills as a presenter but is also useful to those asked to be a guest on a podcast.
Attendance on the 'Podcast Your Science' session might be useful but is not a requirement to attend this session.
- 09.30-12.30 | 25 Nov 2021 - Online - CLOSED
- 09.30-12.30 | 07 April 2022 - Online - CLOSED
- 09.30-12.30 | 23 June 2022 - Online - CLOSED
Podcasting one-to-one coaching sessions
Book a half hour online session of individual coaching and feedback on your podcasting work, from technical tips to journalistic insight in to editing and identifying stories.
The next session will be on the afternoon of 29 June. Those attending the above training sessions will have priority. If there are spaces available closer to the time, a registration link will be shared.
Methods for two-way, interactive public engagement
In this introductory session you will explore how to introduce opportunities to transform your public engagement in to a rich, two-way, interactive experience. Dialogue and debate are valuable approaches to move beyond communication. It can provide the means to make any informative activity more engaging for those taking park. The session will highlight examples, practical tips and provide the opportunity for you to start to develop your own ideas and plans.
- 09.30-12.30 | 11 Nov 2021 - Online - CLOSED
- 09.30-12.30 | 2 March 2022 - Online - CLOSED
- 09.30-12.30 | 26 May 2022 - CLOSED
Three Minute Thesis Competition 2022 - closed
An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present; how about in just 3 minutes with the aid of a single slide?
We are inviting DPhil students to do just that. The 3 Minute Thesis competition challenges doctoral candidates to present a compelling spoken presentation on their research topic and its significance in just three minutes to a non-specialist audience.
Training will take place online on Thurs 28 April and Oxford's final will be held online on Tues 17 May. Deadline to register was Friday 25 March.
Oxford Sparks Science Communication Masterclass and Sparks Ambassadors - closed
This course, new for 2021, will take you through the essential elements of high quality science communication through an online masterclass. Participants will then have the opportunity to become Oxford Sparks Ambassadors, receiving in-depth training and support to create their own quality science communication videos. This programme is open to DPhil students and early career researchers (note: not suitable for professional services staff). More information will be available soon.
- 09.30-13.30 | 18 Nov 2021 - Online
- 09.30-13.30 | 24 Nov 2021 - Online
No more sessions in 2021-22. Check back for updates about future courses.
To browse all sessions and book, visit the MPLS training and development pages.
Training from around the University
There's a range of training opportunities and resources available across the University, visit the University support pages to find out more.
- Media interviews: Preparation and performance
- Online presence: Start to finish
- Online presence: Taking control
- Create an online presence with WordPress
- Writing for the web: Essentials – via LinkedIn Learning (available through your SSO)
- Twitter: Essentials – via LinkedIn Learning (available through your SSO)
- Pinterest: Essentials – via LinkedIn Learning (available through your SSO)
- Instagram: Essentials – via LinkedIn Learning (available through your SSO)
- Google Analytics: Essentials – via LinkedIn Learning (available through your SSO)
- Audio: Recording the spoken word
- Explain anything using video
- Video: How to shoot great movies with your mobile
- Video: Planning, producing and shooting
- Video: Producing a mini documentary
- Virtual Reality (VR): A practical introduction