Student Professional Development Workshops

The Knight Campus is dedicated to developing a robust menu of professional development opportunities for faculty and students in the sciences. We will launch this initiative with a program for graduate students in STEM fields starting in fall 2017. Two of the workshops are well into the planning stages and we encourage interested students to send an email to to be placed on an email list that will provide updates and information about the offerings.

The Science Story: Basic skills and techniques for communicating your research

Lead Faculty: Mark Blaine, Senior Instructor, School of Journalism and Communication
Date: TBD

This workshop explores the basics of effectively communicating science to a wide range of audiences, and it is intended to benefit students in the sciences and established researchers. Key skills that we will address are basics of visual communication, simple narrative structures, and application of narrative to a variety of media platforms — from in-person presentation to social media. Particular emphasis will be on integrating storytelling into presentations and how those can be a platform for further communication.

The goals for this workshop include:

  • Increased proficiency in presenting ideas
  • Greater connection within and across disciplines, including with campus communicators
  • Understanding different audiences and how to connect with them
  • Basic proficiency in managing a public message

The core skills and techniques that will be covered include:

  • Basic story forms
  • Strategies for seeing the story in the information and data
  • Visual storytelling techniques with simple tools like the smartphone
  • Multimedia and multi-platform strategies with an emphasis on the role of social media for researchers
  • Identifying audiences by exploring how science communication appears across media platforms
  • How to build networks with other researchers and communicators who can help you spread your story

The times and dates of this workshop are TBD. Further workshops are under development to more deeply focus on some of these topics, including social media, framing stories, simple story production and integrating storytelling into innovation and invention.

An Introduction to Innovation

Lead Faculty: Andrew Nelson, Professor, Lundquist College of Business and Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Date: TBD

This all-day workshop explores how promising ideas can be transformed into widespread innovations. Through a series of engaging mini-lectures and hands-on exercises geared especially towards science PhD students, participants will learn:

  • Key innovation and business concepts and vocabulary
  • The difference between “technology push” and “market pull” ideas
  • How to define a “value proposition”
  • The key steps to building a product and a company

Participants will develop approaches and learn about additional resources they can use to: (i) assess and communicate the commercial value of their research, (ii) evaluate ideas through an applied lens, (iii) enhance the impact of their research. Future Knight Campus innovation/entrepreneurship workshops and seminars will cover topics including intellectual property, raising money, and building a team.