If there's one thing I can achieve through my posts, it's that you are aware of the many more ways to #ShareYourScience beyond journal articles or conference presentations. One unique way of doing this is the sticky note challenge, where you have to communicate your research topic using only one sticky note. Let's check out some examples I've found below the cut, and then I'll show you how I took my own thesis and made it a #PostItNotePhD.
The #PostItNotePhD is a way to engage people outside of your research, taking the "turn your thesis into an elevator pitch" challenge into a written/visual product.
Example 1: Carolina Oquendo, a PhD student at the University of Southampton, who is studying cancer genomics.
I like Carolina's example because:
Example 2: Lauren Eades, a PhD student at the University of Leeds, who is studying how bone marrow is changed by peripheral artery disease (when the arteries are narrowed and reduce the blood flow to the arms and legs).
Lauren's sticky note summary uses the same principles as Carolina's, but adds colour, shading, and a touch of playful cartooning to the structures to make it really pop. How can you not want to read this and learn more about her work?
It seems like a useful tool to both communicate your work to a broader audience, as well as make you consider how to best summarize your work for a wider audience. So, I decided to give it a shot! Check out the video below of a time lapse creating a sticky note synopsis of my PhD:
I reviewed my abstract and made notes of key words that could be easily visualized. In my case, the “search for identity” led me to think of travel imagery and exploring uncharted territories. It took a few rough sketches once I saw a photo on Pinterest of a woman backpacking and looking ahead to get the feeling I wanted to convey. In total, probably 1-1.5 hours of work.
Afterwards, I can say it’s a challenging, yet worthwhile, exercise to improve your scientific communication skills. your office. Learning how to condense years and pages of work into a 3x3 piece of paper makes you think purposefully about word choice and presentation of concepts. What do you include to communicate the main message, but without cramming too much?
Did you try the PostItNotePhD? Comment below and let me know if and how it helped you to summarize and share your science!
Personal blog for Bryn Robinson, PhD. All opinions are my own.