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.

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).

The course is hosted by Byron Stewart, of 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

Upon completion of all program activities, students receive a LinkedIn badge to recognize their training and hard work.

Click here to view the complete course syllabus

Click here to view the course evaluation report from our external evaluators

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

Send any questions to