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Postdoctoral Development Centre

Research dissemination

As a researcher, you need to "get your research out there", so that it can impact and influence other researchers and the public. Those who fund research, especially public funders, are adamant about it. After all, what would be the value of your research if nobody knew about it?

There are many ways and different audiences interested in your research, and you need to communicate with them all, academic or not.

This section includes:

You may also be interested in:

Publishing

Writing for academic audiences

Publishing your work in specialist journals is one of the main ways for your research to be accessible to other researchers around the world. It also demonstrates your ability to carry out a project to completion and organise thoughts and data in a coherent manner.

Relevant training and resources:

 

Open Access and ORCID

In the past few years, the research sector has made a lot of progress towards ensuring international access to research, especially publicly-funded work. To comply, your research needs to be freely accessible online, either by publishing it in Open Access journals or by depositing it on Queen's Research Portal, Pure (your PI would do this).

The Open Access team in the Library provides advice, resources as well as information sessions and events (usually advertised in the Round-up and PDC communications) on that topic.

As a publishing researcher, you should also have an ORCID. It is a unique identifier used to attribute your research to you, without ambiguity around your name.

 

Presenting at conferences

Talking about your work to colleagues in your field

Going to conferences is part of a postdoc's job and is essential to showcase your research and expand your network. Whatever you are giving a talk, presenting a poster, attending online from your sofa or travelling to the other side of the world, a conference is not just about disseminating your research, but also making a good impression and advancing your career.

Relevant training and resources:

 

 

 

Financial considerations of attending conferences

Branding for presentations and posters

When presenting a talk or poster at a conference, you are representing Queen's University Belfast.

As such, you need to comply with the University branding, using logos, colours and fonts that make Queen's easily recognisable nationally and internationally. All details and logos can be downloaded from the branding page.

Queen's branding guidelines and tools 

Engaging with the public

Making your research accessible to all is a way to positively influence communities, inspire young people and build trust in research and science.

The general public is indirectly funding research (through tax, donations and by purchasing company's products and services). It is important that they understand, appreciate and benefit from it.

Researchers need to make an effort to communicate their work to people who aren't specialists and build a trusting connection with the public. We here focus on disseminating findings, involving the public in research is covered in the Impact and partnerships section.

There are a range of channels you can use: media, social media, big events and festivals, school outreach etc.

Relevant training and resources:

Getting your research in mainstream media

A great way to communicate your work to many members of the public is to have it featured on mainstream media. This is principally print and online articles, as well as potentially radio and television.

The Communications Media team can help you identify the right platforms to promote your research, so get in touch with them (comms.officer@qub.ac.uk). 

They also organise regular workshops about writing for The Conversation, an online journal for wide audiences in which all articles are written by academics and researchers (including postdocs). These articles often get picked up by other journals and increase your reach.

Find out more about writing for The Conversation

Funding your public engagement activities

Public engagement activities may cost some money, and we advise you to apply for small pots of funding to increase your proposal writing skills and funding track record.

Such activities may be funded by main UK research funders, specialist societies (Microbiology Society etc.), charities and local organisations. Partnering with existing events may provide some means to your activity.

Queen's offers funding for dissemination activities (and other types of engagement) that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Your PI would need to be the lead applicant for administrative purposes but you can get experience developing the proposal (More information on the Engaged Research Seed Fund).