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SCOPE (Science Communication Online Programme) is an introduction to effective science communication designed for STEM graduate students. This NSF-funded resource is free and created for those who don’t have access to live, in-person science communication training.

Sign up to participate in the next offering of SCOPE on the registration page.

SCOPE was created by a team of expert science communicators and educators, who each designed one of the modules within the course. The overall course was envisioned and developed by Michelle Paulsen and is hosted by Byron Stewart from Northwestern’s Research Communication Training Program (RCTP).

Curriculum Developers:

Sadie Witkowski – Introductory Materials and Project Coordinator
Kevin Grazier – Audience Awareness and Analysis
Mónica Feliú-Mójer – Speaking and Writing Without Jargon
Jenny Cutraro – From the Lab to the Layperson
Barbara Shwom – Taking a Rhetorical Approach
Paula Croxson – Scientific Storytelling
Janet Iwasa, Shraddha Nayak, and Grace Hsu – Communicating Visually
Carolyn Hall – Skillful Presentations and Stage Presence

The course is asynchronous with recorded videos, discussion boards, peer-feedback, and reading assignments. Each week of the program a new module opens, requiring approximately 2 hours to complete.

Participants in this course will:
  • Practice creating data visualization based on graphic design principles
  • Discuss the importance of forming a clear rhetorical argument and persuasive story in writing or speech
  • Learn to identify their audience and adapt their research story to suit that group
  • Discover how science journalism, university press office, and researchers fit different roles in science communication
  • Develop their speaking and presentation skills
  • View the complete course syllabus
  • View the course evaluation report from our external evaluators.
Upon completion of all program activities, students receive a LinkedIn badge to recognize their training and hard work.

Please send any questions to

We’d like to recognize and thank the science communication professionals who provided feedback on the course:

Kimberly McCoy (NPR Scicommers – Freelance Writer & NPR Scicommers Coordinator)
Thomas Hayden (Standford University – Journalist and Professor)
Geoff Hunt (National Academy of Sciences – Director, LabX)
JoAnna Klein (Independent – Freelance Science Journalist)
Nicole Lee (NC State University – Assisstant Professor)
Joe Palca (National Public Radio – Science Correspondent)
Daniel Serrano (University of Maryland – Faculty Specialist)
Jesse Shanahan (University of California, San Diego – Graduate Student and Science Communicator)
Matt Shipman (North Carolina State University – Research Communications Lead)

Congratulations to everyone who has completed SCOPE:

Summer 2020

Alexandra Ciminera (City of Hope)
Carla Golden (New York University)
Cindy Cohen (University of Cincinnati College of Medicine)
Eliza Hurst (Syracuse University)
Heather Caslin (Vanderbilt University)
Keeley Mui (Columbia University)
Lauren Gandy (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Martina Bodner (Free University of Bolzano)
Steffanie Munguia (Florida International University)
Alberto Benito-Martin (Weill Cornell Medicine)


Spring 2020

Emily Costa (Cornell)
Kristen Davenport (University of Utah)
Judah Evangelista (University of Utah)
Anastasia Madsen (University of Nebraska)
Shaimar González Morales (UT Health San Antonio)
Chloé Pasin (Columbia University)
Attabey Rodrígues Benítez (University of Michigan)
Karen Tang (Dalhousie University, Canada)
Vanessa Vieites (Florida International University)
Lauren Williams (University of Utah)
Sydney James (University of Nebraska)
Claudia Lopez-Lloreda (University of Pennsylvania)
Rubi Quiñones (University of Nebraska)
Priscila Guzman (Kansas State University)
Andrew Lee (Northwestern University)
Yangdongling Liu (Northwestern University)
Crystal Mendoza (Mayo Clinic)
Kyle Miller (Northwestern University)
Greisha Ortiz-Hernandez (Loma Linda University School of Medicine)
Neha Rana (University of Bergen)
Ally Reith (Northwestern University)
Danielle Duggins (Northwestern University)
Ali Ehlen (Northwestern University)
Stephanie Jara (Northwestern University)
Stacy Montgomery (Northwestern University)


Nick Young (Michigan State University)
Jimmy Kim (Northwestern University)
Lydia Horne (University of Maine)
Christina Marvin (University of Wisconsin)