Creating societal impact

The GIDS students win the Student Societal Impact Award


Researchers often generate valuable insights and findings. However, academic output is often inaccessible to non-academic audiences, such as community organizations, journalists, and policymakers. Scientific reports are typically difficult to access, filled with complex language, and, let's face it, not the most exciting read.  

This course aims to tackle these challenges. There will be four interactive sessions, with lectures, assignments, and discussions. 

In these sessions, we will look into the textual and visual features of effective science communication, and explore the needs and wishes of the stakeholders that you try to reach. We will also discuss examples of how creating societal impact looks like in practice. 

Course information 

ECTS: 2,5 
Number of sessions: 4 
Hours per session: 4 (session 4 is 3 hours)

Key Facts & Figures

Instruction language
Mode of instruction
Offline, Online

What will you achieve?

  • After the course you will understand the importance of science communication.
  • After the course you will know how to formulate your research findings concisely and communicate them in an engaging and attractive way.
  • After the course you willHave explored how comics can effectively convey what your research is about and the findings it produces;
  • After the course you will know how to make your research stand out to reach and convince your target audience.
  • After the course you will know how to address and create a pitch for different stakeholders.
  • After the course you will know good examples and understand best practice of creating societal impact.

Start dates

Edition 1 (online)Edition 2 (offline)

Session 1
November 2 (Thursday) 2023
Online (Teams)

Session 2
November 7 (Tuesday) 2023
Online (Teams)

Session 3
November 14 (Tuesday) 2023
Online (Teams)

Session 4
November 21 (Tuesday) 2023
Online (Teams)

Session 1
February 29 (Thursday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01

Session 2
March 7 (Thursday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01

Session 3
March 14 (Thursday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01

Session 4
March 21 (Thursday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01


Entry level and relevance 

The course is specifically relevant for people who already have a general idea about what their research will focus on. Specific artistic or software skills are not required. 

Please note that, due to scheduling problems, for edition 2 we have swapped session 1 (Communicating your research) with session 3 (Making your research count)!

Session descriptions

In the first session, we will discuss the importance of science communication, and how you can textually convey your research findings in an accessible and interesting manner to a broad audience.  


The second session focuses on research comics, which can also be effectively used for science communication. In creative exercises, participants will begin to work on their own research comic.

Session 3 discusses how you can make your research stand out to the stakeholders with whom you want to communicate your research, such as journalists and policymakers. You will also be asked to present a pitch of your own research that targets a stakeholder group. 

In session 4, we will further explore the do’s and don’ts for creating societal impact with academic research on the basis of examples from actual research. 


  • portrait of Esther Rozendaal, dean EGSH
    Prof. dr. Esther Rozendaal is the dean of the EGSH. In June of 2023 she was appointed professor of Digital Resilience at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). Since 2020, she has been an associate professor of Communication and Behavioural Change at the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB). Her research focuses on the digital resilience of young people. In particular, she investigates how to help children and teenagers to behave media-wise online. In addition to her academic research, she is concerned with bridging the gap between science and practice. In 2011, together with Prof. Moniek Buijzen (ESSB), she founded Bitescience, a company aimed at transferring scientific knowledge to professionals with young people as the target group.
  • Portrait of Crystal Smit
    Crystal Smit is assistant professor in Clinical Child and Family Studies at the Department of Psychology, Education and Child Studies. She is also lab manager of the Erasmus Movez Lab—a research team with a shared interest in youth, digital media, and well-being. Her research focuses on motivating healthy behaviors among youth, while taking into account the influences in their social networks. In co-creation with the targeted youth, she investigates how effective (online) health campaigns implementing social influencers can be developed. As lab manager at the Movez Lab, she focuses on the connection between research and society.
  • Portrait of Ulrike Hahn
    Ulrike Hahn is a PhD candidate at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her PhD focuses on the connection of the visual arts to climate change. She is also working creatively (photography, short films, paintings) and has given several creative workshops and presentations on art, circularity, climate change and sustainability, for example as part of the projects by ACCEZ (Accelerating Circular Economy Zuid-Holland). Last year, she won the NWO Synergy Award for her project on research-based comics. Website:
  • Portrait of Jason Pridmore
    Jason Pridmore is the Vice Dean of Education for the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication and an Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Jason directs the educational resources of the faculty including the education professional services personnel and oversees the bachelor and (pre) masters programmes in three departments. He is the coordinator of the forthcoming COALESCE project which will work to build a European Science Communication Competency Centre. Jason is also the lead on several projects with his research team.
  • Portrait of Simone Driessen
    Simone Driessen is an assistant professor in Media & Popular Culture in the Arts & Culture Department of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Before, she worked as a senior lecturer in the Media and Communication Department. As a researcher she is interested in topics at the intersection of media and popular culture. As a lecturer she is involved in several courses in the Arts & Culture program(s), and supervises theses.
  • Portrait of
    Charlotte Bruns is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the School of History, Culture and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam. She holds a PhD in Media Communication and an M.A. in Cultural Analysis and Cultural Education. Her research activities lie in the fields of visual sociology, qualitative image analysis and the theory and history of visual media. She is especially interested in the visual aspects of science communication, e.g. how text-image relations inform the way science is understood and how visual communication can be applied to communicate academic research to diverse audiences.
  • Portrait of Kayla Green
    Kayla Green is a PhD candidate in the [SYNC lab][]. Her work focuses on the individual differences in developmental trajectories of behavioural and neural processes related to affect and mood. She is particulary interested in how social environmental factors, like socioeconomic disadvantage, may shape brain development, how these neural changes can either be maladaptive or adaptive, and how this interaction between brain development and social environment contributes to wellbeing. She also examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wellbeing of young people.
  • Kristel de Groot
    Kristel de Groot is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB) and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE). She has experience with both fundamental research (mostly in the field of cognitive neuroscience) and applied research (primarily in the field of student well-being), and actively collaborates with (non-academic) stakeholders in both fields. For the valorisation of her work on student well-being, she received the 2023 EGSH excellence award for Best Societal Impact.


Facts & Figures

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • € 575,- for non-members
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information
Not applicable
Application deadline
Thursday 19 Oct 2023

Enrolment for Edition 2 is available from the end of October.

Offered by
Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities
Course type
Instruction language
Mode of instruction
Offline, Online

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