To earn the Science Communication Credential, PhD students will develop a personalized training plan and complete requirements in three categories:

  1. Didactic Training
    • Coursework
    • Non-credit workshops
  2. Practical Communication Experience
  3. Professional portfolio
    • Publications for the general public
    • Self-reflection skills assessment
    • Letter of recommendation from a science communication professional
      • Instructions for Letters of Recommendation

        The letter should document and speak to the quality and professionalism of the communication work done by the student while completing SCC publication requirements. Students should provide letter writers with information to help highlight experiences that would be relevant for their career goals. If the letter writer will serve as a professional employment reference, this is an opportunity to clarify the message they will convey to potential employers. Recommenders can send their letter to the  student or email it directly to Heather Ahrens (

Students have flexibility to choose training experiences and publications opportunities that support their goals. Before starting the program, students will meet with an SCC administrator for discuss their goals and create their training plan.

After submitting an approved SCC training plan, students will be invited to track their progress through the SCC Canvas site. 

Training elements can be completed in any order based on the student’s interests and training timeline. The credential program is estimated to take 12-24 months to complete; training time will vary depending on the student’s choice of media and publication schedules for campus partners. All requirements for the credential must be completed before graduation.

Sample Science Communication Training Plan
Student Name:Jane DoeDate Completed
I. Didactic Training:   
Coursework:Communicating Science: Writing for Multiple Audiences (L41 BIOL 5866/4866)May 2023
Non-credit Workshops:Becker Medical Library SciComm Thursdays Workshops

March 2023

October 2023

II. Practical Experience:Choose 1:

Writing Job Simulation

Three Minute Thesis Competition

Complete an internship with The Ampersand

Edit a manuscript with InPrint editing network

August 2023
III. Professional Portfolio:

Articles, Podcasts, Videos:

Publication 1: Article in The Ampersand

Publication 2: Podcast for GradCast

April 2023

December 2023

Self-Reflection Component:Cover Letter or Personal Statement + Skills and Experiences InventoryJanuary 2024
Letter of Recommendation:From a publishing partner or science communication mentorMarch 2024