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Demystifying lab equipment

Have you ever wondered why Discovery Channel shows such as “How It’s Made,” “Mythbusters” and “Mighty Ships” are so popular? It’s because people (myself included) want to know how something works, why something happens and what’s really going on behind the scenes. I believe academic research can capture as much interest as those TV programs….

How animation can help translate research

Our Q & A is with new media consultant Andre Navarre. The talented videographer behind many of Ryerson University’s “Everyone Makes A Mark” research videos, Andre produces engaging and targeted interactive animation content that helps people and organizations tell their stories and grow their brands around the world. Andre’s work has been recognized by the…

How to give new life to research stories

What happens to stories after they appear in your university’s research magazine? Are they one-trick ponies, published once and never seen again? Research stories don’t have to be told and then forgotten. With a few tweaks, a story can be used to reach even more audiences. Here are a few tips: 1)  Trim the copy…

First-hand accounts: a powerful way to demonstrate research impact

Addressing the potential impact of research is easier in some disciplines than in others. But in stories where the impact may already be self-evident – for example, in health-related projects – first-hand accounts can really drive the point home. Real-life perspective In any story, we always want to hear from those who have been affected…

11 key messages to help your research stand out

Research stories are tricky things. They have to translate complex research projects into lay language and communicate key messages about your university. So, how can you ensure that readers know a story is about your institution’s research (and only your institution’s research)? Below, I’ve listed some questions to ask when pulling together a research story….

Putting research themes to good use

In research stories, it’s important to provide a framework through which readers can understand the research. One way to do that is by using a research theme. When we group topics or researchers together, we make it easier for readers to comprehend the research and determine how it connects to their lives.  Simply put, when…

Why we shouldn’t overlook grad students

Graduate students,  needless to say, are dedicated. In addition to conducting their own research, graduate students do a great deal to support the work of their faculty supervisors. So maybe, in our quest to profile amazing researchers, we should show graduate students some love, too. ‘Tis the season Spring is an ideal time to run…

1 research project, 3 research stories

Does a research project have to be completed before it’s covered in a story? Or can we visit a  research study during its various stages? Research projects can extend over a few years (or more), so it can be helpful for readers to follow the path of a project – from funding approval to publication…

3 tips to secure sign-off

Approvals, sign-offs, proofs. Whatever your review process is called, how do you handle it for research stories? Do you skip it altogether? Or is every profile sent to a researcher for approval? And if so, what happens if a researcher requests extensive changes? Without a doubt, the approval process can be difficult to navigate. Here…

Helping researchers reach the masses

Around the world, researchers are working in a variety of disciplines. But if no one hears about the work, it’s a lost opportunity to promote the research – and your institution. Getting the word out, however, requires some practise. Indeed, many researchers present their work at conferences and contribute to peer-reviewed journals, but they may…