Free public engagement online course

Engaging the public in discussions of controversial issue is more important than ever for researchers. The Collaborative Futures Academy Team is offering early career researchers a free, online, week-long course to develop your skills and ideas.

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The Collaborative Futures Academy Team is offering early career researchers the opportunity to learn and practice their public engagement skills and increase their confidence when engaging the public with complex and controversial topics. The course is free, international, interdisciplinary and will be delivered online on 22-26 November 2021.

The deadline for applications is Thursday, 21 October 2021, 23.59 CEST.

Visit their website for more information and to apply, but to get you interested, look at the themes the course will address each day:

  1. Equity, diversity and inclusion – where technology, thinking and language is evolving rapidly, how do we have constructive debates around subjects such as access to knowledge, gender, equality, race, ethnicity, culture and religion? What are the ethical and moral considerations we should be addressing? How do we address historic inequities in research where some voices have been excluded?

  2. Personal skills and understanding – how do we manage our own reactions and emotions to protect our mental health and prevent conflict, offense and hurt? How do we manage the responses of others? We look at key communication and psychological strategies to support a culture of positive engagement and resilience.

  3. Challenging content – we combine the expertise within the group with facilitation and training from subject specialists to learn the most effective ways of discussing the complexities and challenges of our research.

  4. Digital identity – from branding ourselves, cyber identity, data protection and privacy to risk assessments, how do we navigate and communicate in the online world?

  5. Collaboration – who are our key audiences and the professional stakeholders for our research? How do we work effectively with each group, ensuring people’s voices are heard and their perspectives, ideas and concerns understood so our work is improved and better received?

The Collaborative Futures Academy Team is run in collaboration between the University of Cambridge Public Engagement team, the Wellcome Connecting Science(External link) and the Berlin School of Public Engagement and Open Science (Museum für Naturkunde BerlinHumboldt-Universität zu Berlin(External link)).

If you attend the course, let us know on the comments of this post how it went, to inform other early career researchers!


Fiona Veira-McTiernan

Communications and Digital Platforms Associate , FEBS

I am the Communications and Digital Platforms Associate at FEBS, and I help manage content and use of online platforms and sites such as the FEBS Network, FEBS website and FEBS Congress website, but particularly on the FEBS Network. Previously I have managed the funding programmes of a number of UK research charities, mainly in the field of cancer. I have supported the income generation teams at those organisations with science communication, as well as developed e-learning resources for staff and students at the Institute of Cancer Research. I have a BSc in Biochemistry, an MSc in Nutrition and a Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics. After years in London I have now moved back to Spain, where I continue to work as a science communicator.