Deadline Extended to February 10: IARPC Science Communication Training Program for Early Career Scientists

January 29, 2019
By Jessica Rohde

The application deadline has been extended by one week to Sunday, 10 February 2019 at 23:59 EST (4:59 GMT),  and the course dates have also been shifted back one week, with the first session on Monday, February 18, 1 PM – 3 PM Eastern Time and a new session on Monday, March 25, 1 PM - 3 PM Eastern Time.  Please see below for exact course dates. All other program information remains the same.

As interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and convergent science collaborations become more common when addressing big ideas in Arctic research, scientists require the tools and skills to effectively communicate about their work with various audiences and collaborate across disciplinary boundaries. Through this program, the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPCseeks to:

  • train early career scientists (ECS) with the communication skills needed to engage with various audiences, from non-scientists to researchers from other disciplines, and to collaborate with researchers from fields and sectors other than their own,
  • engage them in the research policy process,
  • facilitate connection with Federal program managers and senior researchers, and
  • give an opportunity to present their work without the expense of traveling to a conference.

IARPC seeks eight ECS to enroll in this, the second cohort of this program. The ECSs will identify a collaboration team of interest, participate in and contribute to IARPC Collaboration’s work, and produce a “lightning talk” about their own research to be delivered as part of the IARPC Public Webinar Series and at a collaboration team meeting. Examples from the previous cohort may be viewed here.

Application deadline: Sunday, 8 February 2019 at 23:59 EST (4:59 GMT)

Course Material
The science communication training program will be conducted completely live and online via Zoom webinar software (6 sessions at 2 hours each, 12 hours total over a period of 6 weeks). Students must participate in all course sessions using a webcam and strong internet connection. Please see the commitment statement at the end of this document for more details on technical requirements. 

  1. Introduction to IARPC and the program: Monday, February 18, 1 PM – 3 PM Eastern Time
  2. Improv, storytelling, the elevator pitch: Monday, February 25, 1 PM – 3 PM Eastern Time
  3. Considering different audiences, storyboarding: Monday, March 4, 1 PM – 3 PM Eastern Time
  4. Distilling your message, analogies: Monday, March 11, 1 PM – 3 PM Eastern Time
  5. Slide design and data visualization: Monday, March 18, 1 PM – 3 PM Eastern Time
  6. Lightning talk practice: Monday, March 25, 1 PM – 3 PM Eastern Time
  7. Public Webinar (Dates TBD based on availability of trainees, but will be sometime in April or May)
  8. Collaboration Team Presentation (Dates TBD based on availability of trainees and Collaboration Team presentation schedule)

Program Deliverables
ECSs will deliver their lightning talks, a product of the training program, to a collaboration team and during a public webinar as part of the IARPC Public Webinar Series, during April or May of 2019 (exact date TBA and will depend on trainee availability). Delivery will be recorded and video available for the fellows to learn from and share.

Application & Selection Criteria 
Participants in the program will:

  • Be enrolled in a graduate student or up to 5 years post-graduation (the final lightning talk will be based on your research and you must be far enough along in your research to be able to talk about it).
  • Have an account on IARPC Collaborations with a complete profile and join the Science Communication Forum.
  • Be excited about interdisciplinary teamwork, and appreciate the need for science communication skills in cross-disciplinary collaboration.
  • Commit to all the course requirements in the commitment statement found at the end of this document.
  • Have a good command of English.
  • ECS conducting research related to Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021 will be given preference in the selection process.

Program Commitment
IARPC can only select a few applicants, and there are many potential students who, though qualified, will not have the opportunity to participate. It’s important that all accepted students understand the privilege of this opportunity and commit to fulfilling all parts of the course as outlined in the program commitment statement at the end of this document.   

About the Instructor
Jessica Rohde is the Web Manager / Communications Officer at IARPC and is passionate about helping scientists form more effective collaborations by providing science communication training and catalyzing connections across the IARPC Collaborations community. She has been teaching science communication and public speaking for early career scientists since 2012 for organizations including the University of Washington, the Polar Prediction School, the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, and now with IARPC. She recently published a paper assessing the effectiveness of the students to employ effective communication techniques before and after taking a course that this course is based on.

How to Apply
To apply, please fill out the application below and email it to Jessica Rohde at Applications are due by Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 23:59 Eastern Time (4:59 GMT). Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis and early applications are encouraged. Applicants will be contacted on or before Friday, February 15, 2019, and the first course session will take place the following Monday, February 18. Please contact Jessica Rohde at with any questions.

Application Form

Institutional Affiliation:
Degree Status (year of completion or expected completion):

Short answer questions:

  1. Why are you interested in this program? (~250 words)
  2. What is your previous experience in science communication and/or interdisciplinary communication training? (~100 words)
  3. Do you have any experience engaging in IARPC activities or with IARPCCollaborations members? If so, what and when? (~100 words)
  4. Describe your research as you would to a colleague in your discipline (3 sentences maximum):
  5. Please review the background material on IARPC as well as our 9 collaboration teams and 3 sub-teams (self-forming teams are not applicable to this program) and identify 3 that you would like to be placed with in order of preference:
  6. Please provide the link to your completed IARPC Collaborations profile: 

When submitting your application, please include a sentence in your email acknowledging that you have reviewed the following commitment statement and agree to all requirements of the course.

Commitment Statement
All accepted students must understand the course requirements and commit to fulfilling all parts of the course as listed below.  

  1. I have consulted with my advisor and/or supervisor about presenting on my research during my final lightning talk, and have their support to do so.
  2. I have progressed in my research at least through the design phase and am able to present a substantive talk on what I have done or plan to do.
  3. I have no conflicts for the class sessions listed on the course syllabus and will attend all course sessions.
  4. I have access to the systems requirements necessary to participate in class using Zoom webinar software, including webcam  (
  5. I have access to a high-speed internet connection that can support gallery view and screen sharing in Zoom (at least 2 MBPS up/down, but more than 5 MBPS is preferred, test your speed at:
  6. I will deliver my final lighting talk at one collaboration team meeting as well as one final webinar.
  7. I will attend at least 2 IARPC collaboration team meetings.
  8. I will complete a program evaluation form at the conclusion of the program.

Download a word document of the application here