Connecting Researchers with Communications Professionals

Communicating Science

The demand for researchers to communicate science has increased in the last decade, a demand that comes from their funding institutions, their affiliated institutions, and the public. In response, research has investigated how researchers can better communicate their work, what kinds of education could help them in this task, and what advantages the institution of science will accumulate from these practices. An important factor is often ignored in this research, the fact that researchers often rely on communications professionals to complete their communications goals. Research funding allows for expenditures on professionals, but often the rules or guidelines are vague and difficult for researchers and their business officers to interpret.

Researchers rely both on professionals hired by their institutions and professionals they hire themselves, but rarely know what to expect from them in either case, how the work should be outlined in the beginning and assessed at the end, or, in the case of freelancers, what to pay. This project has a rather simple aim, and that's to open up the conversation about researchers working with communications professionals. A particularly important phenomenon to look at is the proliferation of academic researchers who themselves would like to offer their practiced and specialized communications services. A better and better-understood global system for connecting researchers and communications professionals would not only help researchers, but enrich the careers of those who want to work as communications professionals as well.

Weekend Goals

The goals of this project is to host dialogues between researchers and communications professionals about the establishment of communications contracts with freelancers, or establishing work plans with institutions that provide their researchers with communications services, and what difficulties are experienced at this stage in terms of accomplishing communications goals. For a while I have hosted a LinkedIn group for researchers and communications professionals. An aim for this project is to continue the weekend conversations under a new platform, perhaps somewhere less proprietary than LinkedIn. I would also like to find some enthusiastic researchers and professionals to work with me on this project, or even take it on themselves if someone or some group has a way of hosting an ongoing conversation that would be better than what I or anyone else can offer.

Skills being sought
  • Research-communications
  • Research and research-group management
  • Contract negotiating
  • Research-economics
  • On-going-dialogue-hosting
References and background material

The link below lists articles I've written on this topic and published on LinkedIn, which references research-communications-research relevant to the various topics.  [1]