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Scientific data visualization and technical writing

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 6211 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €299 per programme
More information



Effective scientific communication relies on clear and unbiased visualization of data as well as unambiguous textual explanations of that data. This course will cover the creation and interpretation of figures, reading and writing scientific papers, and presentation of data. Scientific communication has adapted to the coronavirus pandemic – with the majority of communication now taking place online. This course will be entirely online and will aim to equip students with a toolbox of best practices for online scientific communication in an international community.

Course content and structure:
Effective communication has become essential in the modern, internet-driven world. Scientific communication is no exception. Films and novels often portray science as the efforts of an isolated individual or small-team who achieve a “breakthrough” and then move onto another project. In reality, the scientific process isn’t complete until the results and data have been communicated to and disseminated into the wider scientific community. Unfortunately, many new scientists lack crucial communication skills –such as how to use reference management software, how to create or modify a publication-quality figure efficiently, or how to give an impactful presentation. The objective of this course is to provide you the fundamentals to be an effective scientific communicator and to help you practice scientific communication online.

This course will cover:
• How to think about and critically assess scientific figures and writing
• Creating easily-understood figures without misleading or biased chart elements
• Skills for finding, reading, and internalizing scientific literature
• Technical writing with a focus on scientific articles and figure descriptions
• How to write a scientific paper
• Designing impactful communications including content layout, diction, and audience or journal selection
• Communication of science with laypeople and “elevator” pitches
• How to visualize data in proposals and grants
• Considerations for giving an impactful scientific presentation online
• Effective strategies for online communication and how online communication differs from in-person communication
• An overview of software options for reference management, writing and editing, poster creation, presentation creation, and figure creation

This course is aimed at graduate and undergraduate students who will engage in scientific or technical communication.

• Become familiar with producing publication-quality scientific figures
• Learn to effectively locate and read relevant scientific papers
• Gain basic familiarity with software and internet-based solutions for effective scientific communication
• Understand the scientific paper writing process including the peer review process
• Gain confidence and skill in presenting scientific information online

Course Duration and Dates
This is a three week online course running from the 30th of November until the 18th of December, 2020. Class will be held twice a week for two hour sessions. All courses will be scheduled in Central European Time [CET] so it is possible that some time slots are not ideal for people in certain time zones. However, when scheduling the courses, we will try to take into account the different time zones as much as we can.

The number of credits earned after successfully concluding this course is the equivalent of 2 ECTS according to Maastricht University’s guidelines. For further information see the MSS terms and conditions

Apply now! Fall semester 2020/21
Application period has ended
Studies commence
Nov 30, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2020/21
Application period has ended
Studies commence
Nov 30, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States