Research Communication Digital Badge

Communicating your research to non-specialists in an asset in many different situations. It can help you engage in interdisciplinary initiatives, expand your professional network and recognition, excel in job interviews, and communicate the significance and implications of your research to the public and to policy makers.

To help document your skills as a research communicator, the Graduate School offers a Digital Badge in Research Communication. This credential, which you can add to a resume/CV and attach to your LinkedIn profile, will demonstrate your ability to show the value of your research, in a variety of formats, for non-specialist audiences.

Badge Requirements

To earn the Research Communication credential as a graduate student or postdoc, you must:

1. Attend at least 4 workshops (or equivalent trainings) focused on research communication offered through or approved by the Graduate School

A variety of workshops and other activities with a research communication theme are offered by the Graduate School (approximately 4-6 per year). These will be announced via email and posted on the Graduate School calendar. Event descriptions identify programs counting toward the digital badge requirement.

Make sure to swipe your ID or provide your email address at each event in order to receive credit for attending workshops.

Trainings offered outside the Graduate School may also count, if approved in advance by the Graduate School. To qualify an event, please email Dan Olson-Bang with the following information:

  • name of workshop/event and sponsoring organization
  • brief (ca. 50-word) description of the program content
  • link to the workshop/event or organizer’s website

Only workshops/programs directly related to the public communication of academic research and led by persons with demonstrable expertise in the content will be approved.

Proof of participation is also required.

2. Produce and deliver TWO OR MORE research communication products collectively involving components of Oral (O), Written (W), and Visual (V) communication.

Your research communication products must be directly related to independent research conducted for your SU graduate program(s) or postdoctoral appointment* and must be directed to a non-specialist, “lay” audience. The audience may be defined more narrowly (e.g., middle school students), but not on the basis of subject expertise. Products may engage with the same general research (e.g., your dissertation), but the content and format must be significantly differentiated to reflect the context, mode of delivery, and audience (for example, you can’t write a blog post and then read it to record a podcast—you must adapt the material for each circumstance).

Below are examples of opportunities to satisfy requirements for the badge in Research Communication. To discuss these opportunities or to propose alternatives, email Dan Olson-Bang.


Research Communication Product Counts for Description
Three-Minute Thesis Competition O,V+ SU’s Three-Minute Thesis competition is organized by the Graduate School in the Spring semester.+ Satisfies Visual component only if a graphic is used and referred to in the oration.
Junior Café Scientifique presentation at the MOST (oral presentation with visual components and hands-on activities or demonstrations) O,V Science outreach to middle-school students at the Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse, held once a month on Saturdays. A spot must be reserved by early fall to present in the spring; contact Emily Stewart (
Blog post W To qualify, the post must be substantive and appear on an established blog suitable for communicating science to the public.
Op-ed, published letter to the editor, or newspaper article W The op-ed, letter, or article should reflect how your research intersects with issues of broad social relevance. Publication venues are subject to review by the Graduate School.
Podcast (oral) O* Qualification of podcasts is at the discretion of the Graduate School. Limited opportunities may be available through SU’s Gradcast series.
Radio interview (oral) O* Qualification of interviews at the discretion of the Graduate School.
Infographic W,V* Infographics may be conference posters redesigned for a public audience. Publication in an approved venue (public presentation, website, social media) required. Additional opportunities forthcoming.
TEDx talk O,V Graduate students can apply to present at the annual TEDx Syracuse event.

*The podcast, interview, or infographic must relate to original research conducted by you as a graduate student or postdoc at SU. This could be research conducted for your doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis, or independent research in conjunction with graduate coursework or other opportunities. Products related to research conducted by others, or conducted by you prior to graduate enrollment or postdoctoral employment at SU, are ineligible.

There is no enrollment process for those hoping to earn the digital badge. When you believe you have met the requirements, simply email Dan Olson-Bang with documentation of qualifying workshops/events/activities and research communication products. The Graduate School will review your materials and either award the badge, request additional information, or indicate remaining requirements. Determination of sufficiency regarding external workshops/trainings and research products/venues of publication is at the discretion of the Graduate School.