spring 2021
HEL-8045-EN Innovation and public science communication - 3 ECTS

Last changed 11.08.2021

Application deadline

Application deadline for UiT students will be announced.

Other applicants must apply through Søknadsweb with application deadline 1 December for spring semester and 1 June for autumn semester.

Type of course

The course is incorporated in the essential part of the PhD education at the Faculty of Health Sciences, and is compulsory for PhD students at the Faculty of Health Sciences enrolled after 9th September 2010.

The course can be undertaken as a single course.

Admission requirements

Recommended prerequisites

Experience shows that the course is more useful the more research/professional knowledge one has to communicate. It is recommended to take the course halfway through the PhD programme.


Entry requirements

PhD students, postgraduate students or other students who are part of a research program, and applicants with a Norwegian postgraduate degree of 5 years or 3+2 years (or equivalent), are qualified to apply. PhD students and research program students do not pay term fees.

This course has a maximum capacity of 22 students. If there are more applicants than available seats in the course, students will be given priority from category 1 to 4:


1. PhD students, research fellows and students participating in the Student research Programme at UiT The Arctic University of Norway

2. Participants in the Associate Professor Programme

3. PhD students and students at a Student Research Programme at other universities

4. Applicants who have minimum a master’s degree or equivalent, but have not been admitted to a PhD programme


Should we have to make priorities within category 1, students who have gotten the furthest in their course of study and have this course as a compulsory part of their training, will be given priority.

Course overlap

HEL-8045-NO Innovation and public science communication 3 stp
SVF-8048 Popular Research Communication 2 stp
HEL-8004-EN General and Scientific Research Communication (English) 2 stp
HEL-8004-NO General and Scientific Research Communication (Norwegian) 2 stp
BIO-8007 Communicating Science Module 2 – Coping with media 1 stp
BIO-8010 Communicating Science Module 3 – Visualizing your science 1 stp
SVH-8001 Research dissemination 2 stp
SVH-8002 Research dissemination 2 stp
BED-8004 Academic entrepreneurship - preparing PhD students for an entrepreneurial career 1 stp

Course content

The university wishes to strengthen research-based innovation and facilitate the innovation of services and products. Innovation is dependent on the ability to communicate cutting-edge ideas.

Public science communication and innovation is important to society. Dissemination is one of the three pillars of the university, the others being research and teaching.

The act relating to universities and university colleges imposes us «to disseminate and communicate results from research, and to facilitate participation in the public debate by the institution's staff and students». Researchers have valuable knowledge they should bring in.

Science communication is also an increasingly important tool for the researcher themselves, among other things to develop as a lecturer, form alliances with new partners in research, innovation and society, to obtain external funding, and for a career in and outside academia.

The course provides an introduction to audience-driven communication and shows the importance of tailoring your messages according to the receiver. The course also provides an introduction to innovation in and outside academia, and the process from idea to product and service innovation.

Participants will gain an overview of different public communication channels and an insight into how they can be utilized together and individually in an effective way. Through examples and practical exercises, participants will practice message design and communication in various channels, with the goal of becoming more confident and more active in the role as communicator of their own field.

Science communication is to be understood as an integral part of being a scientist and perceived as a rewarding task, for which the participants possess good tools for mastering.

Objectives of the course


  • Be able to identify relevant target groups and appropriate channels to successfully deliver a specific message
  • Be able to discuss possibilities and limitations of traditional and social media, and be aware of how they interact
  • Have a critical understanding of the mission, work methods and needs of the media
  • Be able to reflect on ethical aspects related to science communication and innovation
  • Be familiar with the obligations and rights in the process from innovative idea to specific innovation
  • Be familiar with what a Disclosure of Invention (DOFI) is and what UiT’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO) is.
  • Be familiar with The Research Council of Norway's national competition arena, STUD-ENT, other key financial support schemes, and UiT's mentoring program
  • Know that innovation encompasses service and product innovation and user involvement, and be able to provide examples of this



  • Be able to transfer and apply journalistic methods to own dissemination
  • Be able to adapt a message to different target groups and channels using text, images and other tools
  • Be able to use the media to bring attention to your own research, innovation or research policy issues, and to bring professional knowledge into the public debate
  • Be able to prepare and conduct an interview on TV, on the radio, for a newspaper or on other channels


General competencies

  • See the importance of actively disseminating knowledge and research to stakeholders in and outside academia and master this in a systematic and effective manner
  • Gain insight into, and be able to build on, your individual strengths as a communicator
  • See the importance of research in a societal perspective and know how it can contribute to service and product innovation

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

The teaching is given in the form of a 3-day course (25 hours of teaching) containing lectures, practical exercises and group work. The course also includes individual interview training with a journalist in front of a camcorder.


Coursework requirements

  • One week prior to the course, participants have to submit a press release based on their research projects. A brief reflection on the assumed social benefits and potential for innovation must also be included. The press releases are reviewed during the course and are the starting point for the interview training.
  • Compulsory participation in interview training
  • Compulsory participation in at least 70% of the teaching


Exam and assessment

The course’s home exam consists of two parts.

A) The student is to write a commentary article or a blog entry related to their research topic. The blog can touch upon the topic of innovation, but it is not a requirement. The student is free to choose which publication channel is the most relevant in relation to message and target group. The publication channel will govern the scope and design of the text. The student is to provide suggestions for illustrations.

B) The student is also to write a short note on service and product innovation in light of their research or field of research.

You can choose whether to hand in your exam in English or Norwegian.

Everyone receives individual feedback with comments from an external sensor.

Exams are assessed as passed/failed

No continuation exam


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 3
  • Course code: HEL-8045-EN