Making your research count: impact in times of information overload

Professional skills courses

Course information

ECTS: 1.5 
Number of sessions: 2
Hours per session: first session 3 and second session 4
Course fee:

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • €400,- for non-members
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information



Telephone: +31 10 4082607 (Graduate School).

In the academic year 2022-2023 this course will take place offline. Location: T19-01.

Edition 1

Session 1
November 23 2022

Session 2
November 24 2022

Edition 2

Session 1
March 22 2023

Session 2
March 23 2023


Most researchers in the social sciences and humanities want their work to make a broader societal impact. However, as researchers we might not always be aware of the needs and concerns of different societal stakeholders. In addition, the digital ecosystem has brought about significant changes in the ways we communicate scientific knowledge and how this is perceived by societal stakeholders. In an era in which there is seemingly an overabundance of information, how can you make your work stand out particularly to journalists, policymakers, and/or members of the general public? What needs and concerns of these stakeholders does your research speak to?

This course will help you make your research count by understanding and addressing the needs and perspectives of journalists, policymakers, and the general public. We will practice taking on the roles of journalists, policymakers and the general public to understand how they perceive and engage with social science and humanities research. We will work with examples from your own research to try to extract which needs of these stakeholders your research is able to address. Finally, you will prepare and present a 3-minute pitch of your own research that specifically targets one of the stakeholder groups.

The skills learned in this course can be applied to communication with journalists, policymakers, and interested members of the public and will help you make your research count.

Aims and working method

There are four sessions consisting of workshops with mini-lectures, homework assignments and in-class reflection and exercises. In this course, you will use your own research proposal to work on the topics outlined below, and the classes will feature group discussions and reflection on the work of your classmates.

In order to participate, you must hand in a brief description of your research topic or (if available) a draft of your proposal in advance of the first session. The instructor can then confirm whether this course will cater to your specific needs.

Relation to other courses

This course can be taken as a follow-up or pre-cursor of the EGSH course “Communicating your research: Lessons from BiteScience”. The courses are complimentary such that the course on “Communicating your research: Lessons from BiteScience” focuses on how to formulate your message and communicate the most important take-aways in a variety of communication outlets, while this course focuses on how to make an impact by understanding the needs of science communication stakeholders in the digital context of information overload and misinformat

Learning objectives

After this workshop you will:

  • understand the needs and concerns of journalists, policymakers and the general public;
  • understand the potential impact of your research for each of these stakeholders;
  • be able to communicate your research to each of these stakeholders in a way that addresses their needs.

Session descriptions

Session 1:
(duration: 3 hours)

The first session will focus on understanding the needs and concerns of journalists, policymakers and the general public. We will work with relevant case studies from your own research to understand how these stakeholders perceive and engage with social science and humanities research. At the end of this session, you will have a roadmap for how to adjust your science communication to make your research count among each of these stakeholder groups. No preparation is required for this session.

Session 2:
(duration: 4 hours)

In preparation for the second session, we ask each of you to prepare a 3-minute pitch of your research to be targeted at one of the societal stakeholder groups (journalist, policymaker or general public). During the session, you will deliver this pitch and receive feedback from classmates and instructors to help make your pitch more effective for the specific target group.


About the instructors

This course will be taught by dr. Jason Pridmore and dr. Simone Driessen. Currently, Jason and Simone are involved in the EU-funded project Inspiring and Anchoring Trust in Science, Research, and Innovation. This project aims to research trust in science and aspires to strengthen trust in science by making it more open to society, inclusive and sensitive to societal values, concerns and needs. Furthermore, they wrapped up the EU-funded project Trustworthy, Reliable and Engaging Scientific Communication Approaches (TRESCA) in 2022. For this project, a MOOC on science communication, misinformation and trustworthy communication was developed, which can be found here:

Jason is the Vice Dean of Education for the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam.


Simone is a researcher and senior lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The instructors are academic experts in communication and media.