Certificate Program Science Communication and Media Competence

The certificate program "Science Communication and Media Competence" at the University of Tübingen is aimed at researchers with a PhD and helps them to

  • create more interest and attention for their research and underline its relevance,
  • increase their visibility in the media and promote their personal career development,
  • get to know different formats and media of science communication and use their potential successfully,
  • formulate addressee-oriented core messages and develop effective visualizations and communication designs,
  • find their own role, topic and approach regarding science communication.

As a part of the overarching communication concept Sharing Knowledge, the certificate program is developed and run by the Presentation Research Center (at the Department of General Rhetoric) and organized in cooperation with the Graduate Academy.

The program provides a diverse range of courses in a modular structure, allowing participants to set their individual emphasis in acquiring skills and covering topics that are particularly relevant to them.

The courses are predominantly conducted in English.


Application form

Prerequisites for participation in the program are a completed doctorate and a registration in the ILIAS portal of the Graduate Academy. In addition, a short application is required.

The application includes:

  • the completed application form (including a short explanation of your motivation, stating why you would like to participate in the program - e.g. why participation would be beneficial for your further career path, which skills you would like to develop, etc.)
  • a short CV

In an initial selection round, up to 12 participants will be accepted into the program.

The Deadline for submission of the complete application by email is April 23, 2021.

The selection will be conducted by selection committee in late April 2021.

Overview and Scope

In addition to the compulsory basic course (Introduction to Science Communication), participants choose at least three workshops suitable for them from a range of two-day practical courses. Moreover, participants can further expand their knowledge in the diverse field of science communication through the expert inputs of a special event series, the Sharing Knowledge Talks.

To achieve the qualification goal, participants are asked to complete the following courses:

  • basic course (“Introduction to Science Communication”
  • at least 3 practical courses (freely selectable)
  • at least 2 "Sharing Knowledge Talks" (freely selectable)

The certificate program should generally be completed within two calendar years.

More information regarding the different courses and formats can be found in the drop-down boxes below.

Basic Course

(compulsory, 2 days with 4 hours per day)

The basic course provides the foundation for the more specialized practical courses of the certificate program. In addition to an introduction to core aspects of science communication, participants receive an initial overview of the areas that can be explored in greater depth in the further parts of the program.

The first basic course will take place on May 18 and 19, 2021.

Introduction to Science Communication



  • Introduction to the opportunities and challenges of science communication
  • Overview and dimensions of media communication channels
  • Self-reflection: Find your own topic and approach to science communication
  • Hands-on SciComm: Getting started


Tue,  May 18 + Wed, May 19, 2021 (9:00-13:00)

Practical Courses

(2 days with 4 hours per day each)

Specialized practical courses give you the opportunity to gain practical experience in specific fields of science communication. In this way, you can expand and develop your own communication skills in a targeted and individual manner. The courses are offered on a recurring basis and can be taken flexibly. The specific dates for the first courses will be announced as part of the initial basic course.

Visualization & Design



  • Basics of successful visualizations
  • Visual core messages and visual abstracts
  • Infographics and data visualization
  • Moving images and animated visualizations

Science Journalism



  • Getting to know formats and contents
  • Dealing with different media
  • Finding topics and conveying them comprehensibly
  • Building your own network

Social Media



  • Opportunities and pitfalls of social media
  • Communication strategies on social media
  • Reflection: Researchers and institutions on social media
  • Getting Started: Your own social persona & first posts




  • Addressee orientation
  • Key messages
  • Poster Flash & Pitch
  • Hands-on exercises and individual feedback
  • Online presentation

Interview & Conversation



  • Basics of conversional rhetoric
  • Practical approaches to the interview format (best practices, case studies)
  • Strategies of science communication in interviews
  • Dealing with critical questions and conflict management in interviews
  • Hands-on exercises and individual feedback

Format Development & Project Work



  • Developing appropriate communication formats for your own research
  • Getting to know creative techniques & creating new routines
  • Development process from concept to prototype
  • Practice-oriented home assignments

Expert Inputs: Sharing Knowledge Talks

The expert inputs of the Sharing Knowledge Talks provide further impulses and opportunities to network and deepen your knowledge in the dynamic field of science communication. Currently planned topics include new research findings in the field of Science Communication, best practice examples, public engagement strategies, the rhetoric of science communication and much more.


Specific topics and dates of the first expert inputs will be announced within the coming months.

Your contact persons

General questions regarding the certificate program

Michael Pelzer

Department of General Rhetoric

Presentation Research Center

michael.pelzerspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

+49 7071/ 29 77998

Administrative questions (e.g. regarding application formalities)

Dr. Christian Zettl

Program Coordinator Graduate Academy

+49 7071 29-75394

christian.zettlspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de