From Research to Reach 

On September 14th, 4POINT0’s early-career researchers participated in a one-day hybrid workshop on career development organized at the technological university Polytechnique Montréal

One of the key highlights of the day was a hands-on session by Elicia Maine on Popularizing Your Research. Elicia holds several positions, including the W.J. VanDusen Professor in Innovation & Entrepreneurship at SFU’s Beedie School of Business, and is the founder of the i2I program at SFU. 

by Nicolas Sacchetti

Elicia Maine introduced an exercise for participants to consider different ways of presenting their research to various audiences. This included adapting their work for social media, as well as more public-oriented formats like Op-Eds or blog posts.

« My strong belief is that credibility and relevance are two things you want to signal. What enhances credibility, along with what type of relevance you are stressing is going to differ from audience to audience. You always want to give them a few key takeaways, as well as ways to try to hook them in and engage them. »

— Elicia Maine, J.W. VanDusen Professor in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

She proposed a series of questions designed to prompt consideration of how to frame research for diverse audiences. This approach was intended to support the next phase of their careers and the impact they aspire to make in the world. 

What is your Area of Expertise? 

Elicia Maine initiated the workshop by asking participants to identify 3 to 5 keywords that best describe their expertise in their current field for an academic audience. She emphasized that these areas are where they should signal their credibility. Linked to this expertise, the students were asked to define keywords they would like to be knows for in the non-academic environment.  

This approach would not only define their role as experts in this space but also guide their future publications. Elicia Maine advised including these keywords in the titles of their talks and other communications. Additionally, she highlighted the importance of these terms in the early stages of a presentation to signal credibility, even if they need to be slightly reworded for different audiences. 

Who are your non-academic audiences? 

She then invited the students to think about which expert groups outside of academia might find their research relevant. She encouraged them to choose 3 to 5 keywords that would resonate with these audiences. She stressed the importance of tailoring these keywords to suit not only academic peers but also industry professionals, government officials, and other expert groups, especially when engaging in social media platforms like LinkedIn or writing Op-Eds.  

She advised on the necessity of careful message crafting around the defined keywords and reinforced the importance of maintaining credibility. Elicia Maine also highlighted the need to delineate their expertise clearly while remaining open to input and collaboration in areas beyond their immediate expertise, ensuring their work resonates well with the intended audiences. 

Social Media Engagement 

Regarding social media engagement, she posed several reflective questions:  

  • Do you tweet about your research or industry interests?  
  • Do you have a LinkedIn profile, and if so, how actively do you use it for posting?  
  • Are your posts linked to your research?  
  • Do you maintain a blog?  
  • Have you written an Op-Ed, and for which audience?  
  • What outlet did you use, and what were your objectives in doing so?  
  • Have you contributed to platforms like The Conversation Canada [a web media outlet publishing articles for the public by researchers and academics] or other intermediaries that help disseminate your work to broader journal outlets? 

Commitment in Academia 

She concluded with a message for those committed to a long-term career in academia, emphasizing the importance of seeing the impact of their research. She underlined the value of allowing curiosity and passion for a topic to be integral parts of what drives and fulfills them in their academic pursuits. 

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 2023-12-07 à 22 h 38 min.