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K-State Today

February 26, 2015

National Science Foundation workshop free to K-State faculty

Submitted by Pat Melgares

Professionals with the National Science Foundation will be at Kansas State University April 13-14 to offer training that will help faculty, students and staff communicate complex research information to nonscience audiences.

The nationally-recognized workshop, Science: Becoming the Messenger, is free to K-State faculty, but registration through K-State Global Campus is required. The first day is open to the first 200 registrants.

Online registration opens on Friday, Feb. 27.

"We are pleased to provide this outstanding opportunity to the campus," said Karen Burg, vice president for research. "Effective communication of complex research, scholarly and creative activities, and discovery, or RSCAD, topics can be very difficult but is crucial to underscoring — both internal and external to the university — the importance of RSCAD to the state, nation and world."

The workshop, Burg added, "will help us craft messages easily digested by individuals who do not share a common technical background and who may not share an understanding of the value of university RSCAD activities."

On April 13, National Science Foundation presenters will provide practical tips on developing science messages that help to influence thinking; how to succeed in interviews; using PowerPoint presentations effectively; using social media for a wider audience; and the basics of developing a great science video.

Due to time constraints, the workshop's second day, April 14, is invitation-only and limited to 30 Kansas State faculty and students. The focus of this day is one-on-one coaching and mock press conferences.

The presentations will begin at 8 a.m. each day in the main ballroom of the K-State Alumni Center.

This workshop has been offered at several U.S. universities by Ninja Communications, which is commissioned by the National Science Foundation for this training. The company specializes in science communications, specifically in helping researchers develop the skills and self-assurance needed to succeed in public communication.

"As a past participant in this workshop, I can promise an exciting and information-rich event for new and seasoned researchers as well as those already involved in media communication," Burg said.

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