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Great interest in discussing including communication as part of research education

The Swedish Research Council’s dialogue meeting on 29 April, concerning the place of communication in Swedish third cycle higher education attracted participants from several HEIs and organisations – from course managers to doctoral students in various research fields. During the meeting, ideas were presented for a new range of courses being developed by a team of experts.

Today, communication training is not a natural part of third cycle higher education, although several higher education institutions (HEIs) offer courses and coaching in writing and media training. A team of experts with communicators and researchers from different HEIs and research fields are therefore working on developing a proposal for Swedish HEIs on how doctoral students can be given time during their education to reflect on and train how to communicate their research. The goal is a national range of courses on science communication.

During the dialogue meeting, the participants had a chance to give their opinions on the expert team’s ideas about a three-stage range of courses:

  • Research and researchers in society
  • Science communication in theory
  • Communicative skills

New range of courses to be tested in a pilot during autumn 2021

As a first step, the proposal will be tested in a pilot course at Örebro University during autumn 2021. Sara Arvidson and Magnus Boström informed about the pilot course, worth 7.5 higher education credits, which a team at Örebro University are currently developing. The doctoral students will be using their own, ongoing research, and the course will include visiting researchers from both Örebro University and other HEIs. The pilot course will be open for doctoral students in all scientific fields, and will be targeted at doctoral students towards the end of their education.

The participants at the dialogue meeting discussed, among other things, what the situation is like at HEIs today in terms of communication training for doctoral students, and what is required to turn the proposals into reality.

The result of the discussions were passed to Örebro University and the team of experts, as documentation for the continuing work. A proposal with recommendations for a new course range is expected to be completed during spring 2022.

Watch a recording of the dialogue meeting (in Swedish):

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