Science Communicators: Research @ CEPS
What is Science Communicators?
It’s an opportunity for CEPS’ graduate students to help the college tell its research story. You will gain invaluable paid experience to translate research projects into engaging content for our website and social platforms. You will learn how to interview, communicate and produce communication pieces that promote the research excellence of our faculty and students. This initiative is similar to CBS’s SCRIBE program for graduate students and the University’s SPARK program for undergraduate students. Annually, Science Communicators aims to publish 36 research highlights. These research highlights are 500-word pieces that summarize and translate research publications coming out of the College. These highlights are written in plain and accessible language for broad audiences and are amplified by the College through various communication platforms, including the College website and social media (Twitter and Instagram). The CEPS Research Manager (CRM) may approve Q&A’s with researchers or select human interest pieces on a case by case basis. The CRM serves as program coordinator and, in collaboration with College Graduate Studies Manager (CGSM) and College Marketing and Communications Manager (CMCM) edits and provides feedback to writers.
Meet our current writers
Name: Mehran Bozorgi, PhD student, Mechanical Engineering
Supervisor(s): Dr.s Shohel Mahmud and Syeda Tasnim
Biography: As someone passionate about pushing my limits and unlocking my potential, I thrive on new challenges. Whether it's tackling critical issues in renewable energy technology and environmental issues, where every day brings new opportunities to make a meaningful impact on the world, or simply taking on a new cooking recipe, I believe that challenges are what drive us to become our best selves. Beyond my work, I love to indulge in the hobbies that keep me energized and engaged, including playing soccer, watching movies, cooking, and playing the Santoor, a traditional Iranian musical instrument. My passion for cooking allows me to express my creativity and bring joy to those around me. Through all of these experiences, I've learned the value of perseverance, creativity, and teamwork, which have helped me achieve success in both my personal and professional life.
Thesis Description: I am working on sustainable energy systems for cooling purposes for residential and industrial applications. In the main part of my research, I am focusing on the development of solar desiccant cooling systems to achieve thermal comfort conditions in buildings in different climate conditions, especially in hot and humid cities.
Name: Kasra Ghasemi, PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering
Supervisor(s): Dr.s Syeda Humaira Tasnim and Shohel Mahmud
Biography: I am graduate student in mechanical engineering with a passion for solving real-world problems. Originally from Iran, I have been living in Canada for two years now and I am loving the new experiences and challenges that come with studying in a new country. Despite my busy schedule in the laboratory, in my leisure time I love staying active by swimming and hiking, as well as trying out new restaurants and exploring different parts of the city. I think it's important to maintain a healthy work-life balance to stay motivated and focused. As I pursue my academic goals, I am driven by the desire to make a positive impact on people's lives. I strongly believe that even the smallest steps can lead to significant changes in the world.
Thesis Description: Did you know that poor packaging systems and conventional refrigeration methods are among major contributors to food waste and global warming? That is why I am working on an innovative solution to these problems: a Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage system with micro-scale capsules. By enhancing temperature buffer capacity and keeping food at the desired temperature, my research has the potential to significantly reduce food waste and CFC emissions, while increasing food storage capacity for the agri-food sector in Ontario.
Name: Carley Miki, PhD Candidate, Biophysics
Supervisor(s): Dr. John Dutcher
Biography: I’m currently a 3rd year Biophysics PhD candidate at the University of Guelph and CEPS Science Communicator. I completed my B.Sc in Nanoscience at the University of Guelph and M.Sc in Physics at McMaster, then worked in the biotechnology industry for 5 years before returning to my studies. I love learning new things and finding ways to express my creative side. When I’m not in the lab, I’ll likely be exploring a trail outdoors, reading the latest book on my ever-growing list, or baking something fun. I’m looking forward to sharing some of the exciting research happening in CEPS!
Thesis Description: My research focuses on understanding the forces and interactions between soft, sugar-based nanoparticles and how they differ when charged. I explore how controlling the particle’s charge and environment allows us to tune their physical properties for desired effects.
How does Science Communicators work?
As a Science Communicator, you will:
- build your CV through publications and outreach
- gain valuable writing experience and training
- develop your research translation and mobilization skills
- And make a significant contribution to the communication and outreach goals of the College.
The following is a step-by-step process to get involved and participate in Science Communicators.
- Apply: student writers are apply by the set deadlines each semester. Typically, the program aims to have a maximum of 3-4 active writers per semester. Preference is given to students who have been in their program for at minimum one semester and will be in their program for at least one additional year. At the time of application, students must provide their CV and a general writing sample that is used to ensure that selected writers meet a minimum standard in terms of general writing ability (e.g., grammar, spelling and sentence structure). This writing sample should be modeled after published CEPS research highlights. Only selected students are invited to participate in the program. Application deadlines are as follows:
- March 15
- June 14
- October 18
- Get Trained: Selected students will engage in a one-hour training workshop with the CRM. The goals of the training session are to: review the Science Communicators initiative, receive instruction and tips and tricks for writing as a CEPS communicator, review conducting an interview with a researcher and provide time to ask questions.
- Select a Story: Once students have completed their training, it is time to select and sign up to write a research highlight. CEPS encourages student writers to select recently published, no older than 3 months, journal articles or conference publications written by CEPS faculty and/or students to focus their research highlight on. These articles should be in high impact journals or conferences. The CRM will approve all stories. The CRM may approve Q&A’s with researchers or select human interest pieces on a case by case basis. CEPS publishes research highlights from each of our departments and schools equally, so students are encouraged to select pieces that ensure an equitable distribution of coverage. If students need ideas the CRM maintains a list of publications and can assist with selection.
- Write your piece: Once a student has signed up for an article, they then will have approximately 2 weeks to interview their key story subjects (typically a CEPS faculty member, write their piece and submit a draft to the CRM. The CRM will review and edit the article as necessary to ensure quality and a reasonable level of consistency and provide the student writer with feedback. Once a final draft has been approved by the CRM, the student is responsible for sending the draft to the publishing researcher for review and final approval. The student will also be responsible for developing the story title and summary, selecting a lead story image, obtaining CEPS faculty and student headshots, sourcing any additional images that provide a snapshot into the research, and including all pertinent links and drafting social media posts.
- Publication: When a story is approved it will be posted on the CEPS website and shared via social media. Selected stories may also be featured in the CEPS Annual Report and/or College newsletters.
- Get Paid: Students will be paid once a semester for all stories that they have written, submitted and published during that period. Students receive $75 per article. The CRM tracks the number of articles published per student and liaises with the CEPS Associate Director, Finance & Operations to arrange these payments, which will be charged to the Dean’s Office.
Want to become a Science Communicator?
If you are interested please contact Bethany Davidson-Eng, Acting College Research Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).