making science communication a conversation

Rackham Public Engagement Fellowships

Applications are due Feb. 26! 

From their website:

Previously funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Rackham Public Engagement Fellowships provide Rackham students exciting opportunities to intern at cultural, nonprofit, and educational organizations on campus, in Ann Arbor, and in nearby communities like Detroit.

The goals of these fellowships are to connect graduate students’ knowledge to opportunities for impact outside the classroom, to advance mutually beneficial projects with partner organizations that serve diverse public audiences, and to assist students in exploring diverse career paths.

Experience working in diverse career settings can enhance students’ research and make them more competitive for positions inside and outside academia, improving their professional adaptability for a range of positions and roles. Each position provides skills to position students for future success as junior faculty members and emerging professionals within and beyond higher education, with a commitment public engagement.


Please read the application instructions thoroughly before starting the application. The application deadline is February 26, 2018.

Call for applicants for Scientist Sentinels: Civic Engagement & Leadership Program, May 2018!

Over the past year, we have been inspired by the way scientists have used their voices to affirm the role of science in society and contribute to making the world a better place. Now, we are pleased to announce a new program designed to help scientists and researchers take their engagement to the next level.

If you are eager to harness your role as a scientist and a constituent to share the value of science, inspire your peers, and support evidence-based decision making, we invite you to apply to Scientist Sentinels: Civic Engagement & Leadership Program.

This 6-month program starting in May 2018 provides a unique opportunity for 15 scientists and researchers to move beyond the basics of science communication to new levels of effective civic engagement and leadership.  Call for applications will remain open until February 20, and we will notify those selected by April 1.

We’re looking for passionate and dedicated natural and social scientists who want to become more effective leaders in championing science, and scientists, as pillars of a thriving society; better communicate their science to decision-makers; who seek to broaden both who is doing science and who that science is for; and who are committed to making science relevant, credible, and salient to the many choices we make as a society. We welcome applications from a wide spectrum of identities, values, viewpoints, and backgrounds, for a group that will come together for a transformative experience.

Successful applicants are expected to attend the three-day retreat May 29 – June 1, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. This retreat will be delivered by experts in science communication, policy engagement, and leadership from COMPASS and the Union of Concerned Scientists Center for Science and Democracy. Following the retreat, participants will have access to post-retreat webinars and peer coaching sessions for ongoing learning and support. Additional questions? Contact

Please share widely with your networks, and apply today!

RELATE is proud to announce it's latest project: A University of Michigan Teach-Out!

RELATE is proud to announce that we are partnering with the University of Michigan's Office of Academic Innovation and edX to host an event in a new series of Teach-Outs.

A Teach-Out is:

  • an event – it takes place over a fixed, short period of time

  • an opportunity – it is open for free participation to everyone around the world

  • a community – it will be joined by a large number of diverse individuals

  • a conversation – an opportunity to give and take ideas and information from people

The University of Michigan Teach-Out Series provides just-in-time community learning events for participants around the world to come together in conversation with the U-M campus community, including faculty experts. The U-M Teach-Out Series is part of our deep commitment to engage the public in exploring and understanding the problems, events, and phenomena most important to society.

Teach-Outs are short learning experiences, each focused on a specific current issue. Attendees will come together over a few days not only to learn about a subject or event but also to gain skills. Teach-Outs are open to the world and are designed to bring together individuals with wide-ranging perspectives in respectful and deep conversation. These events are an opportunity for diverse learners and a multitude of experts to come together to ask questions of one another and explore new solutions to the pressing concerns of our global community. Come, join the conversation!

Reach Out and RELATE: Communicating and Understanding Scientific Research

Everyone - non-scientists and scientists alike - has some form of expertise, but communicating across a gap in knowledge or experience is challenging. In this Teach-Out, we address this challenge by helping participants to develop core communication skills and more effectively communicate with one another.

Participants will learn why science communication is both essential and fundamentally challenging. Experts in three broad areas of public engagement with science - Policy & Advocacy, Education & Outreach, and Science in the Media - will weigh in to share their knowledge. Anyone with a STEM story to tell will have the opportunity to develop a better understanding of their audience, craft a clear message, weave a compelling story, and practice giving and receiving feedback on science communications. And all participants will be able to engage in a series of discussions addressing key issues in science communication.

Because the practice of science encourages dialogue, requires diverse perspectives, and has no political agenda, we hope this Teach-Out is a useful step in encouraging more science conversations between individuals and their local, national, and global communities.

In this Teach-Out, you'll:

  • Understand why science communication is both important and challenging

  • Develop strategies to effectively bridge communications between public audiences and scientific researchers

  • Understand expert perspectives on different areas of public engagement with science

  • Shape a compelling, message-focused STEM narrative for a specific audience

  • Discuss important issues in science communication with others

If you'd like to participate in Reach Out and RELATE, head over to the edX website to register.