Workshops on Communicating Science with the Media

Communication of science and research is increasingly more relevant to society, researchers and institutions. Funding bodies (including the European Union and FCT) are aware of the importance of communicating the outcomes of the public investment in science and technology. Equally relevant is the discussion around the implications that advances in science and technology have in citizen’s day-to-day life.

As one of the main actors in scientific research and in communication, scientists should engage in public discussion of their work, both through the media and through direct interactions with different audiences.

To contribute for a more effective communication of the researchers work near the media, the international partnership programs Carnegie Mellon Portugal, Harvard Medical School - Portugal Program, MIT Portugal, UT Austin-Portugal, and the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) are organizing a series of three one-day training workshops on media skills for researchers and Ph.D. students.

These workshops on communicating with the media aim to:

  • Raise awareness amongst participating scientists of the importance of communicating their research with non-specialized audience, via the media;
  • Enthuse and equip scientists with the basic skills and techniques for fruitful media interactions;
  • Raise awareness of how the media works, via interactions and discussion with working Portuguese science reporters.

  • Porto - October, 11th
  • Coimbra - November, 25 (new date)
  • Lisbon – December, 6th

    Topics to be addressed
  • What should you do when a journalist calls?
  • How to identify a news story
  • How to write a press release
  • Practical guidance on interacting with the media
  • How to prepare for an interview (radio/press/ broadcast)

    Target audience 

  • The workshops are targeted at 3rd and 4th year PhD Students (closer to potential interactions with the media) and faculty members of the international partnerships. Each workshop shall take a maximum of 20 participants (5 per international partnership).

    Application and selection process
    Please apply via our Google form.
    Applications are open for Porto until September 20th ; for Coimbra until October 18th; and for Lisbon until November 22nd. The registration should be complemented by an up-to-date C.V. This should be sent to the following e-mail: The heads of communication of the international partnerships and FCT will select five applications per partnership based on the motivation statement and CV.

    Preliminary Program
    Morning: Communicating Scientific Research - Why does it matter? (Ana Godinho); What Journalists are Looking For? / What makes it into the news? - Priorities, news values, deadlines, headlines (Sílvia Castro & Invited Reporter); Writing For the Media: The Press Release Aims, audience, structure, form (Ana Godinho)
    Afternoon: Practical Activity – Writing a Press Release Group work activity with facilitated feedback (Ana Godinho & Sílvia Castro); Media Interviewing Different Types of Interviewers, Interview Tactics (Invited Reporter & Alexandra Carvalho Vieira); Practical Activity - ‘live’ Television/Radio Interviews (Group work with facilitated feedback) (Invited Reporter & Ana Godinho/Alexandra Carvalho Vieira/ Sílvia Castro)

    Trainers’ biographies
    Alexandra Carvalho Vieira is the Head of Communications and Events of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program (CMU Portugal), an international partnership in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), between Portuguese universities and research laboratories, Carnegie Mellon University, and companies. Before joining the Carnegie Mellon Portugal, Alexandra Carvalho Vieira was a journalist for more than ten years in different Portuguese newspapers and magazines, and was editor of a publication for two years. Alexandra holds an Executive Master in Marketing by the Católica Porto Business School, and a higher degree in Communication Sciences and Journalism from the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa. Alexandra also has training in Multimedia Production and Photography. Contacts: Mail, LinkedIN

    Ana Godinho is currently Head of Communications at Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), the Portuguese national funding agency for science and research. In this role she coordinates, external affairs, government affairs, media and internal communication. Before joining FCT, Ana was head of Science Communication and Outreach at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC), a leading life-science research institute in Portugal, a position she took up after moving from the Institute for Stem Cell Research (ISCR), in Edinburgh, where she was Scientific Communication Officer. Ana has a PhD in Developmental Neurobiology from the University of London, and was a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King’s College London. She has an MSc in Science Communication from the Open University, UK, was a trainer on the FP7-funded ESCOnet trainers network, and coordinated the FP7 Researchers’ Night 2009 project in Portugal. Ana has presented her work at international science communication conferences, co-authored papers and a children’s book of science experiments and collaborated in outreach projects in Europe, Africa and Brazil. Contacts: Mail, LinkedIn

    Sílvia Castro is the Communications Director at MIT Portugal Program (MPP) - an international collaboration involving MIT and government, academia, and industry in Portugal. Sílvia Castro graduated in Biochemistry at University of Porto (2001). She was accepted at the Graduate Program in Areas of Basic and Applied Biology (GABBA) in the same year and pursued a PhD in Developmental Neurosciences at University College London. It was at UCL that she developed a particular interest for Science Communication. She returned to Portugal in 2008 as post-doc fellow in Science Communication at the biomedical research institute, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). She is mostly interested in studying how science is portrayed in the media and on the use of web-based platforms for communication and citizen participation in the fields of science and innovation. She also organizes and lectures training workshops that aim to provide scientists with tools for better to communicate with the media and the general public. Contacts: Mail, LinkedIN; Twitter

    Invited Speakers
    Andréia Azevedo Soares - Invited Speaker for the Workshop in Porto. Andréia Azevedo Soares began her career as a journalist in 1996 back in Brazil working as a trainee for the daily newspaper Jornal do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, and then as a health correspondent for the national magazine Boa Forma, in Sao Paulo. She moved in 1999 to Portugal, where she has been working for the PÚBLICO news organization. Her interest in science communication comes also from presenting "4XCiência", which was a weekly TV programme aired on the RTPN channel (part of the national Portuguese broadcasting company RTP), and was the first one dedicated exclusively to scientific topics in Portugal. Andréia has a BA (Hons) in Journalism (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, 1997), a MA in Brazilian and Portuguese Studies (University of Porto, 2002) and a PhD in Science Communication (Imperial College London, 2013).

    (to be updated soon with invited Speakers bios for the Workshops in Coimbra and Lisbon)