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  • Gabriel Signorelli

Communicating academic research & opportunity generation


Even doing an industrial PhD, which involves spending time outside academia, a PhD is mainly a research-based educational program, and it is mandatory to earn credits from educational modules at your host university. In my case, I’m based outside academia, in a Private Oncology Clinic (Oncoavanze, Seville, Spain), as part of a European Industrial Doctorate and my secondment is in Academia, in my case, University College Dublin, UCD.

Being involved in an educational program means you need to attend classes, which I have not done since my first-year master’s degree in 2010. However, UCD has a wide range of interesting modules, such as The Innovation Academy PhD Modules. At first, I was imagining some random talks about innovation and research. In reality, these modules were really hands-on, one intense week workshops.

Last semester I had the chance to attend to the Opportunity Generation and Recognition module. During these intense 5 days, I could face many challenges and accomplishments. The idea of creating a video not motivated me, however with all the training and talks I could understand the value of communication and the importance of creating different abilities.

”The Innovation Academy offers UCD PhD and Masters students an opportunity to broaden skills in a dynamic, multidisciplinary learning environment. They offer a range of modules designed to enhance creative confidence and help to think entrepreneurially.”

The most important achievement was the final video delivery. The ideation, filming, and editing were really challenging, but in the end, the feeling of accomplishment was enjoyable. I struggled in the beginning with the idea, and how to create the narrative, which elements I should have, and how I could film and edit it. The planning took most of the time as I changed and adapted some ideas. Usually, I prefer to take more time on planning so I can do the tasks more prepared. However, I felt my video was presented with some errors. As I did not have much time to film it, some English mistakes could not be recorded again.

Another challenge was the plan of communication, thinking for whom I would need to aim my video. I usually just communicate with researchers and people who are aware of my research. So it was important to have a plan on how to communicate my research to other audience. I could perceive the difference and the message that I need to deliver for different people. In the same line, the oratory activity was another barrier as I am not used to listening to myself and see what I need to improve. Doing the videos I needed to change many things and it still did not end up where I wanted it to. The process allowed me to develop something more - resilience skills. I knew that the video was not perfect but I was still proud of the result after just one week. I am a perfectionist, so to deliver a non-perfect video was hard. Also, I understood the importance of appearing and talking in the video to create more empathy and explore the human factor. Even with my experience of presenting in conferences, to be in a video was hard for me.

I preferred to post the video as it was delivered after one week, so I can always notice where I need to improve on future tasks. What do you think about my video and research? Please get in touch and let me know!

#catchitn #MSCA #EU #H2020 #PhD #ESR #cancer #research #Oncoavanze #UCD #innovation

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© 2016 CATCH. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement 
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