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Creative Communication seminar series

Want to learn how to make your own podcast?

Have you heard about or seen scribing and wondered how this could help you  tell people about your own research? 

Ever wondered if you could write a blog?


Then maybe the ‘Creative  Communication Series’ is for you.


What is creative communication?

Creative communication aims to engage and inspire the audience. Creative communication products can include podcasts, videos, animations, infographics, interactive websites and more engaged written pieces. Creative communication can be used at any stage of a research project from recruitment right through to the sharing of the findings. 


Why a seminar series?

This series of seminars will help researchers at all levels to learn and develop knowledge and skills to communicate their research in more creative and accessible ways. Throughout this series we hope to:

  • Highlight the importance of communicating research messages beyond academia and across disciplines using a broad range of techniques to appeal to different audiences,
  • Encourage researchers to think about communicating their research early in the research proposal,
  • Give researchers the skills and knowledge to communicate their own research more creatively in the future and,
  • Understand the practicalities of using different media techniques in communicating research.


We will host a seminar once every two months. Each seminar will be 1- 2hrs long depending on the topic and identified interest from attendees, and will be recorded and shared via videoconferencing facilities at Truro Knowledge Spa and Plymouth John Bull Building. The series will aim to cover a range of topics including:

  • Blogs
  • Digital marketing
  • Maximising impact
  • Vine style video clips


​The first seminar aims to set the context of creative communication and why it is so important and useful. This session will also cover some fundamentals about how to start thinking about creative communication for your project. This session will be recorded and will be available to view throughout the series. If you wish to attend please click here to register your interest and confirm your attendance.

Where possible and where attendees express interest, further meetings or workshops can be arranged with speakers on the afternoon of the seminar. Please register your interest in a further meeting or workshop on the registration form above or email to discuss further.


Future seminar events

April 19th 2017 1-3pm – Making Research Visible, Accessible and Engaging

Sarah Chapman and Jack Leahy will be talking about their work, which focuses on creative dissemination of Cochrane reviews and other health evidence through social media. As well as giving an overview of their dissemination work, they will show how the findings of one Cochrane review were shared in multiple formats and the impact of these activities. Through a series of brief activities, you will have a chance to start building a communication plan for your research.

Speakers: Sarah Chapman and Jack Leahy

Locations: Exeter St Lukes Campus, South Cloisters room 3.06 with videolink to Plymouth Tamar Science Park, John Bull Building room MR10 and Truro Knowledge Spa, room F08

Watch the recording here

Recording here (this link is not working please bear with us while we try to fix it)

Slides here

Handout here

Catch up on our Tweetchat held on 24th May 12-1pm here


June 14th 2017 12-1.30pm - To blog or not to blog - is blogging right for me?

André Tomlin (@Mental­Elf), Caron Sprake (@CaronCares2) and Andrew McRae (@McRaeAndrew a head of department’s blog) will be talking about their blogs why they use them, their experiences in setting up and maintenance, and sharing some top tips for blogging and how to make the most of digital technology. If you want a clear and fun introduction to the importance of blogs and social media - this is the talk for you!

This seminar will be followed by a practical ‘how to’ workshop hosted by André Tomlin (2 - 4pm EXETER only). Please make sure you indicate your interest in attending the workshop when you register for the seminar as there is a minimum number this workshop will run for.

Speakers: André Tomlin, Caron Sprake and Andrew McRae

Locations: Exeter St Lukes Campus, South Cloisters room 2.13 with videolink to Plymouth Tamar Science Park, John Bull Building room MR10 and Truro Knowledge Spa, room F10

Recording here

Catch up on our Tweetchat held on 19th July 1-2pm here




Locations: Exeter St Lukes Campus, South Cloisters room TBC with videolink to Plymouth Tamar Science Park, John Bull Building room TBC and Truro Knowledge Spa, room TBC

Register here


October 24th 2017 seminar 11-12.30pm workshop 2-4pm 'TBC'

Speaker: Peter Jones

Locations: Exeter St Lukes Campus, South Cloisters room TBC with videolink to Plymouth Tamar Science Park, John Bull Building room TBC and Truro Knowledge Spa, room TBC


December 6th 2017 12-2pm 'Public and patient involvement in communicating research creatively'

Speaker: Kristin Liabo and Kate Boddy

Locations: Exeter St Lukes Campus, South Cloisters room TBC with videolink to Plymouth Tamar Science Park, John Bull Building room TBC and Truro Knowledge Spa, room TBC


Past seminar events, documents and recordings

In 2016 a short series of seminars and workshops ran from June to July also covering techniques of creative communication. The details of these sessions can be found below. Where possible there are recordings of the seminars, presentation slides and documents used during the session.


7th June 2016 Seminar 1 Why do we need to get creative Part 1 What is a communication plan/strategy? Identifying audiences and messages, using branding. Part 2 Why do we need to get creative? Golden rules, measuring impact, Cochrane example.



Jenna Richards

Sarah Chapman

Delivered by:

Jenna Richards - With a background in digital journalism Jenna provides strategic and operational digital communications support and advice to academics across the University was well as the Research Services and Innovation, Impact and Business directorates. Jenna assists researchers with the creation and management their digital presence, manages all of the institution’s central research and business web pages and social media accounts and oversees the commissioning and production of digital content for our feature led research pages.

Sarah Chapman - Sarah Chapman is the Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK where her work focuses on creative dissemination of Cochrane reviews and other health evidence through social media, including writing and editing the Evidently Cochrane blog. She has a keen interest in exploring ways to share health evidence widely and encourage engagement with it. Before joining Cochrane UK in 2007, Sarah worked for a number of UK-based institutions, including the University of Oxford and the Royal College of Nursing Institute, conducting systematic reviews in several areas of health. Before that, she qualified as a nurse and has degrees in Modern History from the University of Oxford and in the history of women¹s health and illness in early modern England (MPhil., University of Reading).



28th June 2016 Seminar 2 Infographics – Infographics and motion graphics (including physical graphics) what are they, who are they aimed for, where do you start, what do you need, local and free resources to help get started.



Delivered by:

Will Stahl-Timmins - As The BMJ's first Data Graphics Designer, Will designs online and print infographics, which explain scientific developments and investigative data to our busy clinical readership. Will takes copy from scientific authors, and works with the editors to visualise it, from concept through layout and coding interactivity. His career has focussed on visual communication of health research, using infographics and data visualisation techniques. Will turns raw data into engaging visual stories, so that the information can immediately be put to use by those that need it.



5th July 2016 Seminar 3 Podcasts Part 1 Introduction to Podcasts (audio and visual). Part 2 recap of products (including small excerpt on animation and stop motion) and the pros and cons of each plus digital marketing.

(no recording just slides)


Jane Reck

Jenna Richards

Delivered by:

Jane Reck - is a freelance BBC radio producer, podcaster and media trainer. Jane’s podcast work has included features for the UK Research Councils, universities across the UK, the British Library, the BBC, the Open University and the Transport Systems Catapult. As a former press officer for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Jane is very familiar with the Impact Agenda and the importance of stressing how a piece of research is, or could potentially, benefit society and the economy. Jane’s radio features and documentaries have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5 Live, commercial radio and BBC Local Radio. In 2015 Jane was awarded a bronze at the New York International Radio Festival for Mad about the Mustang, which was narrated by Ewan McGregor.


Jenna Richards – as above


Creative communication products and feedback

The feedback we had for this seminar series was very positive. The seminars in particular were well received and this time they will be more widely available through video conferencing at different sites and recording each session.

‘Great series!  I think it would be worth running it in the future.’

Great course - would love to do course/workshops next year!’

I am going toRevisit group website for search optimisation consider podcast/other options for dissemination of research findings.’

For me the most useful part of the session was…  ‘Practical issues of developing podcasts and putting information online, especially importance of not relying on one type of social media and importance of making websites look professional’


The feedback from those that attended the workshops was also very positive with many of the attendees commenting that it was just good to allocate the time for this kind of work where they would normally struggle to fit it in alongside their daily workload. However, those that did not/could not attend reported that the time commitment over a prolonged period was difficult to get a whole team to commit to. Therefore, in this series workshops or additional meetings will be subject to the level of interest indicated by registered attendees.



Specific products that will be developed as a result of the 2016 workshops are:

  • A podcast by UEMS and ECEHH researchers
  • A static and interactive infographic by UEMS researchers
  • Funding proposal to develop an online interactive learning tool for medical students by UEMS researchers

Useful links and resources 

Upcoming Events


Searching and Review Clinic

The University of Exeter, St Luke's campus, South Cloisters (Room 2.35)

These clinics have been set up to help the PenCLAHRC Evidence Synthesis Team to manage and respond...
More information


Searching and Review Clinic

ITTC Building, Plymouth Science Park (Room N14)

These clinics have been set up to help the PenCLAHRC Evidence Synthesis Team to manage and respond...
More information



Prisoner mental health collaboration receives extension and funding boost

23 June 2017

A national collaboration supported by PenCLAHRC, investigating ways to support prisoners with mental health problems both...
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Starting school young can put child wellbeing at risk

22 June 2017

New research, supported by PenCLAHRC, has shown that the youngest pupils in each school year...
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Carers speak about helping to shape research and education

16 June 2017

Carers have spoken about the value of sharing their experiences with students and researchers at...
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Research Projects

Public involvement in suicide prevention

Theme: Mental Health & Dementia

A research programme examining a public health intervention designed to help members of the public...
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PenCHORD: Modelling the optimal size of Derriford Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU)

Theme: Evidence for Policy and Practice

Providing modelling evidence of the optimal size for an expanded Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) at...
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Research Projects