Communication

Improve your written communication, presentation skills, and develop public engagement skills

Booking: these courses generally open for booking one month in advance of the shown date. If you do not see a live booking link please check back nearer the course date.

Cancelling: If you need to cancel your booking, please do so at your earliest opportunity and at least 3 days before the event. Someone else may be able to take your place, but we need time to contact them. Also, although you are not charged for an event, there are costs we incur (e.g. photocopying) which relate directly to places reserved.

How to cancel: you can cancel your booking via the MyEd Event Booking Channel. Go to the “My Stuff” tab within MyEd and then Event Booking. Click on “My Bookings” - here you will have the option to cancel your place.

We maintain attendance registers; unexpected absences will be noted. If you consistently fail to attend, or repeatedly cancel with very short notice, you may be prevented from booking future IAD events.

Bitesize: Measuring and Boosting Your Research Impact: Strategy, Tools and Communicating

Description

Particpants are encouraged to bring their own latop/ipad/tablet to this course.

Academic publishing is evolving rapidly and researchers can now take advantage of new technologies to enhance their research profiles. A range of new tools are emerging that compliment traditional publishing and communication methods. These allow researchers to track their research impact digitally, gain citations for their work, interact with their peers and engage with a non-academic audience.

Using tools such as these can be a beneficial for your research career and can be used to demonstrate public engagement in reports for the Research Excellence Framework. Researchers post opinions, negative results, figures, posters, data, old student projects (and more) and receive acknowledgement from their peers.

 The course will introduce you to a set of online tools (including Figshare, Researchgate, Academia.edu, Impact Story and F1000) designed specifically for academics that can be used to discuss, share and promote your research. In addition, the course will touch on how popular social media platforms can be used to your advantage. Examples of how other researchers use the tools successfully will also be included.

This course is for PhD students and research staff who are interested in building their digital research profile and using new online tools to interact with other researchers, potential collaborators and the public.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Effective Presentations for College of Science and Engineering and College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Description

The course is aimed at people who may be anxious about speaking in public and who would like to increase their confidence in developing structured presentations in order to present their material with flair and style. One of the main aims is to offer a supportive environment, giving positive and constructive feedback to help participants gain confidence and develop their skills through practice. The tutors aim to make it informal, interactive and fun by encouraging participation throughout the day.

The content of the course is tailored to meet the needs of the group (identified through completed pre-course questionnaires). In essence, it covers the knowledge and skills you need to prepare and deliver a well structured, engaging presentation with confidence to a variety of different audiences.

This course relates to domains A1, D1 and D2 of the RDF

Pre-Course task

You will need to prepare one short presentation (maximum of 5 minutes) in advance, preferably with visual aids, on a subject of your choice.

For example, you might choose to give an overview of your subject (which would be ideal for a 5 minute talk) or you might choose to do a presentation on a subject of interest to you such as a hobby.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Effective Writing: Grammar

Description

This course is for PhD students.

 The course covers:

  • Modern grammatical terminology
  • Constituents of a sentence, the structure of phrases
  • Plurality and agreement
  • Tenses, auxiliary verbs, modal verbs, aspect and voice
  • The dangers of the verb phrase
  • Using grammar for effective communication
  • Grammar and punctuation
  • Common errors, how to identify them and avoid them

 This is an intensive one day course with lecture time interspersed with exercises and discussion.

The aim of the course is to give participants confidence in their knowledge of English grammar. At the end of the day, they should have the vocabulary and understanding necessary to discuss practical everyday aspects of grammar in academic and general writing; have a deeper understanding of the role grammar plays in clear, unambiguous writing; have the necessary grounding for further self-directed study.

It is a requirement for the proof-reading course.

This course relates to domains A1, A2, A3, and D2 of the RDF.

EligibilityPhD HSS All Years MScR SCE All Years MScR MVM All Years MScR HSS All Years PhD SCE and MVM All years
Date Monday 02-Jun-2014, 09:30 - 16:30
Venue Conference Room, David Hume Tower Central Area

Effective Writing: The Writing Process - College of Science and Engineering and Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Description

This course provides a comprehensive overview of different aspects of the writing process, from planning to drafting and editing. We will start by looking at common writing habits and writing problems. What makes writing so daunting or frustrating that most of us postpone it to the very last minute? Is there a way of making writing less stressful, or even enjoyable? What is the most effective way of articulating ideas or research results on paper? Working with putting together a draft and editing it, we will identify ways in which core academic objectives for high-quality writing can be achieved.

This course relates to domains A1, A2, A3, and D2 of the RDF.

Pre-Course Work

Students need to bring:

(a)   printed copy of a piece of (their own) academic writing (a recent draft – work in process rather than a published article)

(b)   an article (by someone else) that they consider high-quality academic writing, and that they enjoyed reading

(c) Own laptop if possible

EligibilityMScR MVM All Years PhD SCE All Years PhD MVM All Years MScR SCE All Years
Date Tuesday 29-Apr-2014, 09:30 - 16:30
Venue Teaching Studio 3212, James Clerk Maxwell Building (Kings Buildings) Kings Buildings
Bookings If you are eligible, you can Book a place on this course.

Is My Writing 'Academic' Enough? - College of Science and Engineering and Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Description

Does academic writing have to be dull or obscure, or can it be engaging and direct? This workshop explores the standards and expectations associated with academic writing. We will look at relevant linguistic and stylistic choices (active or passive? first or third person? plain English or jargon?) and consider academic conventions in terms of organisation and writing style. This is very much a 'hands-on' workshop with plenty of room for discussion.

This course relates to domains A1 and D2 of the RDF.

Prerequisites

If possible, students should have attended 'Effective Writing: The Writing Process'

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Mapping Your Mind - All Colleges

Description

This course will provide you with a small toolkit of techniques that you can apply to help you to manage the piles of information, papers, letters and articles that clutter your desk and mind. It will help you to make notes quickly and in a way that your mind may process more readily. After the course, if you practice and use the techniques, you may improve your recall of information, improve your note-m/taking and enhance your creativity.

During the workshop you will:

  • Understand how using tools such as mindmaps relate to the way your mind deals with information . Examine how note-taking can restrict your ability to process information . Learn how to use graphical and mapping techniques that can aid your creativity and research

This course relates to domain A1 of the RDF.

EligibilityMScR HSS All Years PhD SCE All Years PhD MVM All Years PhD HSS All Years MScR SCE All Years MScR MVM All Years
Date Thursday 08-May-2014, 14:00 - 17:00
Venue Room 1.09, Main Library Central Area
Bookings If you are eligible, you can Book a place on this course.

Maximising Your Influence At Meetings

Description

This is a highly participative 2-hour session to explore how you can become more effective and influential at meetings, thus developing a key everyday work skill.

The session includes:-

  • Defining effective meetings
  • Active listening
  • Encouraging good participation
  • Identifying and practising the important verbal behaviours of meetings
  • Dealing with difficult behaviour

This course relates to domains D1, D2, and D3 of the RDF.

RDF Subdomains

 Pre-Course Work

Please give some thought, before attending the session, to the following questions:-

  1. Why are meetings one of the most important methods of communicating in organisations?
  2. Reflect on one or more meetings in which you have been involved and assess the success of these meetings in terms of outcomes.
BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Preparing For Conferences: Presenting Your Poster. School of Biological Sciences.

Description

A follow up to the previous poster design workshops.

In this workshop we will focus on how you pitch your poster using new 'elevator' and 'pecha kucha' techniques in verbal/visual communication.

We'll explore your capacity to listen and influence others and give you some personal advice/tips to improve your overall pitch at conference. 

With increasing numbers of posters being displayed and presented in these new ways. This is an ideal opportunity to be ready for any eventuality in the conference hall!

N.B. Please bring your poster with you to the workshop so that you can practice presenting with it.

This course relates to domains A1 and D2 of the RDF.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Preparing For Conferences: Presenting Your Poster - School of Geosciences

Description

A follow up to the previous poster design workshops.

In this workshop we will focus on how you pitch your poster using new 'elevator' and 'pecha kucha' techniques in verbal/visual communication.

We'll explore your capacity to listen and influence others and give you some personal advice/tips to improve your overall pitch at conferences. 

With increasing numbers of posters being displayed and presented in these new ways, this is an ideal opportunity to be ready for any eventuality in the conference hall!

N.B. Please bring your poster with you to the workshop so that you can practice presenting with it.

This course relates to domains A1 and D2 of the RDF.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Preparing for Conferences: Your PhD on a Page - School of Biology

Description

This course is for postgraduates who are preparing an academic poster for presentation at a conference in the School of Biological Sciences.

In this initial course we follow key communication skill guidelines to focus on layout and writing (text). Posters require us to change our academic writing habits and style. We need to write with clarity, conviction and PUNCH (all will be revealed).

The second half of this course also runs as a seperate course called Poster Production.

This course relates to domains D1, D2, and D3 of the RDF.

EligibilityPhD SCE Biology 1st Years PhD SCE Biology 3rd Year PhD SCE Biology 2nd Years
Date Thursday 05-Jun-2014, 09:30 - 12:30
Venue Room 1206c, James Clerk Maxwell Building, King's Buildings Kings Buildings

Preparing for Conferences: Your PhD on a Page - School of GeoSciences

Description

This course is for postgraduates who are preparing an academic poster for presentation at conference.

In this initial course we follow key communication skill guidelines to focus on layout and writing (text). Posters require us to change our academic writing habits and style. We need to write with clarity, conviction and PUNCH (all will be revealed).

This course relates to domains D1, D2, and D3 of the RDF.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Presentations Skills: School of GeoSciences

Description

This course is for you if you are new to speaking in front of an audience and want to gain advice and skills practice in a safe environment. It is geared towards anyone who has to present at an upcoming event and you wish some support with your preparation.

The course addresses the issues and choices involved in delivering effective presentations and talks. You will have an opportunity to explore your own current style of presentation and identify practical ways of enhancing it.

It is for research staff at all career stages.

The course will explore:

  • The purpose of presentations
  • What internal resources do you have at your disposal?
  • What external resources can you use?
  • Creating and enhancing your relationship with an audience
  • Impact, engagement, presence, passion

The session will use a range of learning activities including presented content, group discussion and practical exercises. You will also have the opportunity to request a companion document after the course,

By attending this session, you will be able to:

  • increase your confidence in developing your professional presence and know how you might present more persuasively
  • understand the origin and purpose of nerves, and how you might address them prior to giving a presentation
  • be better able to have an impact on your audience such that the learning you offer is embedded.

This course relates to domains B1 and D2 of the RDF

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Proof Reading

Description

This course is for PhD students.

The course will include the following topics:

  • Practical Advice on spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Language myths and your audience
  • House styles
  • Learning to be your own best critic
  • How to identify your own writing habits (good and bad)
  • How to proof-read your own work effectively
  • Proof-correction marks (and how to devise your own)
  • Practical proof-reading exercise (your text, or a text provided)
  • Revising texts and presenting them to different audiences
  • Bibliographic & Reference Styles

The course will be delivered in an intensive half-day workshop.

The skills learned on this course will help participants in the preparation of their thesis and in their future careers as professional academic writers.

This course relates to domains A1 and D2 of the RDF.

 

Pre-course Work

In preparation for the course, each participant should bring a sample of their academic writing, which they would be willing to discuss with the tutor, and (optionally) with other participants (approx.600 words). Please bring 3 copies of your sample work along on the day.

EligibilityMScR HSS All Years PhD SCE and MVM All years PhD HSS All Years MScR SCE All Years MScR MVM All Years
Date Monday 09-Jun-2014, 09:30 - 13:00
Venue Room 1.07, Main Library Central Area

Speed Reading

Description

In order for academic reading to be effective, it needs to be a combination of efficient (in terms of speed and retention), strategic (in terms of appropriately targeted) and critical.  This short workshop will give you a number of tools to help you to read more quickly, more strategically and more critically.

 

The workshop will cover:

Initial exercises to identify personal needs for rapid reading.  Reading and assimilating written material.  Techniques to increase speed of reading, comprehension and retention including dealing with complex and difficult material. A short introduction on how to maintain improved information selection, absorption, retention and recall.

This course relates to domain A1 of the RDF.

EligibilityMScR HSS All Years PhD SCE All Years PhD MVM All Years PhD HSS All Years MScR SCE All Years MScR MVM All Years
Date Thursday 08-May-2014, 09:30 - 12:30
Venue Central Area
Bookings This event is full. If you are eligible, you can Book a place on a waiting list for this course.

Writing a Literature Review - College of Science and Engineering and Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Description

Your literature review will be one of your first writing milestones, and it will play a central role in motivating, contextualising and refining your research issue. Developing the review is a complex task, which involves selecting, organising and evaluating source material; reading actively while taking effective notes; and shaping relevant information into a coherent piece of writing. This workshop offers practical ways of making this process manageable and beginning to develop a review.

 

This course relates to domains A1, A2, and D2 of the RDF.

 

Prerequisite

If possible, students should have already attended 'Effective Writing: The Writing Process'

Pre-Course Work

Participants need to bring an article (by another author) that they plan to refer to in their literature review.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Writing a Research Paper - School of Biology

Description

This course is for Biology, 2nd and 3rd Years.

During a full afternoon, this lecture discussion will cover the basics of what you need to know to write a scientific paper and get it accepted at the journal of your choice. We will start by discussing a strategy for reading scientific papers, then carry on with the analysis of an example paper published in the journal Science.

 

Following this, we will discuss the different types of scientific papers and the different types of journals available for biological publications. Some attention will be given to explaining what an impact factor is and how to choose the best journal for your work.

 

We will then discuss the process of producing a paper from beginning to end. This will start with the importance of working with your lab head to decide when you are ready to write, why it is important to choose a title very early on in the process. We will end with how to respond to comments from journal editors and scientific referees.  In between, we will discuss what goes where in the manuscript, what data manipulations are acceptable (and some that are not!), how to explain your main points clearly, how to ensure that referees are not confused when they read your paper, and how your lab-mates and colleagues can help you to prepare a better manuscript. Significant attention will also be given to explaining how the editorial process works at common biological journals, and how to effectively interpret and then deal with comments from referees.

This course relates to domains A1, A2, A3 and D2 of the RDF.

Precourse Work

Students should be familiar with common concepts in biological research, have experience in reading the primary literature, and have a minimum of 6 months laboratory experience.

Prerequisites

Course is open to all Ph.D. students working in Biological research.  Experience with Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or Genetics is desirable, though not essential.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

Writing Clinic

Description

Sign up for a writing clinic if you would like individual feedback on your writing or if you struggle with particular writing issues. You will be assigned a half-hour slot for a one-to-one session. Places are limited, so it’s important that you let IAD know if you can’t make it. If you submit a piece of writing in advance, you will get constructive comments and suggestions for improvement. If you decide not to submit work in advance, you can use your slot to discuss problems you are encountering in writing a thesis, report or article.

This course relates to domains B1 and D2 of the RDF.

Time Slot

Each student will be allocated a 30 minute slot.

Although you will be given a dedicated 30 minute time slot students who sign up to this course MUST ensure they keep the entire course duration free (3 hours) as we wil be unable to confirm your dedicated slot until 3 days before the course commences.

Prerequisite

If possible, students should have attended 'Effective Writing: The Writing Process

Pre-Course Work

If you sign up to this course, you will be assigned a 25-minute slot for writing feedback/support during the writing clinic. It's up to you how you decide to use that time; you can tailor it to your needs and priorities. The format that works best for most people is to submit a piece of writing in advance; this allows me to check through it beforehand and make the most of the time available. Work in progress is fine! I won't mark your writing or show it to anyone, so don't stress about it. What I will do is reflect back what I see as the strengths and weaknesses of your writing. I will focus on recurrent patterns rather than one-off instances. If you want me to look at your writing in advance, you need to send it to me (mimo.caenepeel@gmail.com) two days before the clinic. Please send your text in .doc, .docx or .pdf format. I will focus on the first two or three pages for feedback.

BookingsThere are currently no events scheduled for this course. Please check back later.

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