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 2021-2022 this course will take place online.


Edition 1 (online)

Session 1
November 25 (Thursday) 2021
09.30-12.30 hrs

Session 2
November 26 (Friday) 2021
09.00-13.00 hrs

Edition 2 (online)

Session 1
March 24 (Thursday) 2022
09.30-12.30 hrs

Session 2
March 25 (Friday) 2022
09.00-13.00 hrs


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.

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.

Entry level and relevance

This workshop is designed to be useful for PhD students in any phase of their PhD trajectory. All disciplines and types of research are welcome.

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 misinformation.

Session descriptions and preparations

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

Jason and Anouk are part of the SPATIAL project, a project wherein academics work together with technical stakeholders to make AI-applications for cybersecurity more trustworthy, reliable and explainable. Moreover, Jason is currently coordinating the EU-funded project Trustworthy, Reliable and Engaging Scientific Communication Approaches (TRESCA). As part of the TRESCA project, a 7-week Massive Open Online Course on communicating trustworthy knowledge in times of misinformation will be released on February 28th, 2022. More information about the TRESCA project and the MOOC can be found here: