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Mentoring Program Communicating Academic Content

In 2014–2015, Philipps-Universität Marburg offered its junior scholars a new, unique program that was unparalleled in Germany at the time: the Marburg Mentoring Program for Communicating Academic Content.

Ten junior scholars in Marburg worked with a personal mentor for one year to improve the presentation of their research to the world outside academia. They attended workshops ("Lebendig und anschaulich Präsentieren" (Lively and Illustrative Presentations), "Dos and Don'ts im Pressekontakt" (The Dos and Don'ts in Dealing with the Press), "Allgemeinverständlich texten" (Writing Texts Comprehensible to the General Public), and others), participated in the program's supplemental activities (e.g., visiting a science newsroom), and practiced with their mentor to choose the appropriate audience and media format and present their topic in an accessible, credible, and publicly appealing fashion.

Goals of the Program

The mentoring program for communicating academic content intended to provide a framework for mentees in which

  • they gain insight into the perspective of the editorial staff of the science departments of various media and formats,
  • they practice presenting their research topic in an accessibly written fashion (popular science writing),
  • they develop a concept for the best possible presentation of their individual research topic to the public,
  • they take first steps to implement the concept - in accordance with the timeline of their research.

The Mentees

The ten Marburg junior scholars were from the fields of sociology, political science, peace and conflict research, art history, philosophy, theology, psychology, and biology.

The Mentors

Their mentors came from (science) journalism. They were freelancers, worked for Hessische Rundfunk (the public broadcasting service for the state of Hesse), or for Spektrum Verlag (a science publisher).

Project Coordination

The project was designed and carried out in close cooperation between MArburg University Research Academy and the university's Press Department.

End of the Project

The pilot program ended on February 27, 2015, with a closing public event.