WISL Award for Communicating Doctoral Research to the Public

Doctoral candidates in all science and engineering areas are invited to include a chapter in their Ph.D. thesis that describes their scholarly research to non-science audiences.

“Scientists should help enlighten and enable people to make informed choices, to be skeptical, to reject shams, quackery, unproven conjecture, and to avoid being bamboozled into making foolish decisions where matters of science and technology are concerned.”

This thesis chapter is one way to enable sharing of scholarly research with family members, friends, neighbors, community groups, funding agency program officers, state legislators, members of the U.S. Congress, and others. The Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy (WISL) offers support:

  • A set of guidelines to assist in communicating scholarly work to non-science audiences.
  • The assistance of an editor to help students hone their chapters.
  • An award of $250 for each completed chapter submitted by UW-Madison doctoral students in science and engineering.

In addition to publishing research in scientific literature, communicating with non-scientific audiences is an important professional responsibility that is both rewarding and consequential.

To express interest in this program, send an email to scifun@chem.wisc.edu. Please include your area of study and the date you plan to defend your thesis. WISL suggests allowing a minimum of one month to complete the chapter process.