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Researcher Development

Researcher Development

Engaging with the media

This resource is intended to give PGR students an overview of media and science communication. In this resource, you will find three podcast episodes. The first two episodes are based on a Science Communication workshop run by the Society for the Study of Addiction with four panellists from different backgrounds, including academia, media and communication.

The topics discussed include how academics/early career researchers can get involved with writing for the media, the benefits of media engagement, how to communicate research findings to lay audiences clearly and effectively, considerations for researchers who want to engage with the media, and the different ways in which researchers can engage with the media including round ups, rapid reactions, and media briefings.

The second part of the Science Communication episode includes a question-and-answer session, whereby a number of questions were collected from PhD students relating to working with the media and posed to the panellists. The questions cover important topics such as how to prepare for a media interview, dealing with instances where a journalist misrepresents what you have told them, how to communicate complex research findings without oversimplifying them, opportunities to get involved with media as a PhD student/early career researcher and more.

The third audio resource is an interview with Luke McGuire who is Lecturer at the University of Exeter who researches social and moral development between childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. In this interview, I spoke to Luke about his recent experience of communicating his research findings to the media. Luke explains the steps involved in this process, including informing the University Press Office when your article is accepted, liaising with the Press Office to produce a press release and answering any questions from the journalists as well as doing interviews. Luke also suggests ways that PhD students can engage with the media and start to communicate their research with a broader audience. There is also a transcript of the interview with Luke attached.

I hope you find this resource useful!

Merve Mollaahmetoglu is a PhD student within the Psychopharmacology and Addiction Research Centre at the University of Exeter. Her PhD research focused on the role of ruminative thinking in initiating and maintaining alcohol use disorders and exploring rumination as a target of pharmacological treatment approaches, namely with ketamine. She has recently completed her viva and is now working on her corrections.

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