Authors and Advisors

Author

Joanna Downer, Ph.D.

Joanna Downer is Associate Dean for Research Development at the Duke School of Medicine, a role in which she leads efforts to facilitate development of research grants led by the School of Medicine faculty members. She previously worked in science writing and media relations, first at the Duke School of Medicine and then at Johns Hopkins Medicine. At Duke, she covered basic and clinical cancer research, and at Hopkins she covered the biomedical sciences, genetic medicine, and cell engineering. She has also freelanced as both a science writer and a scientific editor. While in graduate school, she was a Mass Media Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, placed at Time Magazine in Washington, D.C. Joanna holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, and a B.S. with Honors in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.


Lead advisors

Rebecca L. Davies, Ph.D.

Rebecca L. Davies received her Ph.D. in comparative animal physiology from the University of Minnesota and is an Associate Professor in the Veterinary Population Medicine department at the College of Veterinary Medicine. She is the Director of Quality Central at the University Of Minnesota College Of Veterinary Medicine. Quality Central provides scientists with tools and support for integrating quality assurance (QA) best practices into academic research, service and training programs. Rebecca is developing training programs for research trainees and other scientists to help them use quality management systems and QA best practices to provide assurance that research data and records are accurate, complete, and can be readily reconstructed. This assurance stems from the use of good documentation practices, the integration of quality checkpoints throughout the research life cycle, and the adoption of research monitoring strategies to ensure continuous improvement.

Rebecca's interests include the adoption of voluntary QA practices within non-regulated research programs, sustainable models for incorporating research QA into basic research environments, research on research to improve research rigor and reproducibility, and the use of laboratory error data and QA metrics to drive continuous improvement in laboratory and research settings.


Richard Coico, Ph.D.

Richard Coico is Professor of Cell Biology and Medicine and Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Center at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. As an immunologist, his research focuses on the investigation of lymphocyte regulation of immune responses. His translational research activities include the study of peptide immunization strategies to develop effective vaccines. His laboratory uses computational and bioinformatics approaches to identify candidate peptide vaccines for hemorrhagic viruses such as Ebola and Lassa. His group was the first to identify immunogenic Lassa virus peptides capable of stimulating protective cytotoxic T cell responses. Richard has been a leader in medical education, specifically as it relates to the biomedical disciplines of microbiology and immunology. He has served on the National Board of Medical Examiners and has chaired several national meetings including those sponsored by the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs organization of which he is past-President.


Reviewers

E. Andrew Balas, M.D., Ph.D.

E. Andrew Balas leads academic, local, and national initiatives facilitating innovative life sciences research responsive to societal needs and developing global competitiveness in the production of new scientific knowledge. Andrew serves as Professor at Augusta University, Director of the Biomedical Research Innovation Laboratory, Vice President of the Friends of the NIH National Library of Medicine, member of the American College of Medical Informatics, and is an elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. His studies about delay and waste in the transfer of research results to health care are often mentioned reference points in translational research initiatives. The results have been cited by numerous research studies and policy-makers. His academic credentials include over 100 publications, externally funded research in excess of 10 million dollars and publications that cumulatively attracted thousands of citations. He obtained degrees in medicine (M.D.), medical informatics (Ph.D.), and applied mathematics (MS).


Claudia von Vacano, Ph.D.

Dr. Claudia von Vacano is the Executive Director of the Social Sciences D-Lab and the Digital Humanities (DH) at University of California (UC), Berkeley. She is the lead online course developer of the SAGE Campus "Introduction to Applied Data Science Methods for Social Scientists." She received a master's degree from Stanford University in Learning, Design, and Technology. Her doctorate is in Policy, Organizations, Measurement, and Evaluation from UC Berkeley. Her expertise is in organizational theory and behavior and in educational and language policy implementation. The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, and the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, among others, have recognized her scholarly work and service contributions.


Accessibility advisor

Wilma Alexander

Wilma Alexander is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with Masters in Human-Computer Interaction, Linguistics, and Information Science. She has over 15 years of experience as a manager with the online learning team at the University of Edinburgh, where she specialized in usable and accessible digital practice, tutored on the groundbreaking Masters in Digital Education, and developed online staff training on accessible e-learning and online tutoring skills. Since retiring from the University at the end of 2015, Wilma has provided consultancy services on all aspects of online learning, with a special focus on accessibility and usability issues.

Module structure

Welcome

Orientation

  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes

Module files

    Module 3: Wider communication of research

    • Why wider communication is needed
    • Finding guidance from experts
    • Preparing for effective communication
    • Audiences and communications
    • Working with the news media
    • Communicating directly with the public
    • Application

Closing

  • Module summary
  • Resource bank

Course features

Course features include:

  • Videos interviews with experts discussing the importance of communicating research to different audiences.
  • Interactive comic strip scenarios that encourage you to reflect on and respond to issues relating to the communication of research.
  • A range of useful resources relating to audiences and communication.

Supporting institutions

  • Boston University, Boston MA
  • Duke University, Durham NC
  • Ohio State University, Columbus OH
  • Oxford University, Oxford UK
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN
  • University of Southern Maine, Portland ME