Learn how to engage and inform decision-makers


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, AIBS has determined that the appropriate course of action is to move this in-person workshop to an online workshop.

Rarely has the need for effective and influential communication about science been more important than it is today.

Politicians and political interests are redefining and reinterpreting science--with great persistence and impact. The public is routinely asked to make decisions about matters informed by science. The news media is endeavoring to share increasingly complex stories about science with the public. The majority of the public still respect scientists and value science, but they often find it challenging to discern who and what is legitimate.

Boot Camp for Scientist

Simply adding to the noise will not provide individuals with the understanding they need to inform deliberations and decisions. Scientists must become more skilled at communicating in impactful ways.

As called for by many sources, the time for business as usual has passed. There is a real and immediate need for scientists to become effective and engaged communicators.

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is responding to this need by offering scientists a professional development opportunity. The AIBS Communications Training Boot Camp for Scientists expands on our highly successful media and science policy training workshops. The program meets the needs of everyone from graduate students to senior researchers and program administrators.

AIBS has a long and successful track record of engaging, informing, and influencing the public and science policy decision-makers. Our audiences include members of Congress, federal agency heads and program managers, state officials, and university administrators. In addition to working directly with these groups, we routinely engage the public through traditional and digital media.

Our staff members have used their decades of science policy and communications experience to develop training materials and resources that provide scientists with the skills needed to successfully communicate about their research with decision-makers and reporters.

AIBS training programs have provided more than 1,800 scientists with the skills to:

  1. Inform decision-makers;
  2. Communicate their science to the public;
  3. Translate their research for reporters;
  4. Increase public awareness of their research; and
  5. Develop the leadership skills necessary to pursue careers in science policy and organizational leadership.

AIBS Communications Boot Camp

The Boot Camp is an intensive, two-day, online program.

Participants will learn:

  • How to communicate science to non-technical audiences
  • How to tell a resonant story that informs decision-makers
  • How to prepare for and participate in a news interview
  • How to prepare for and engage in a meeting with a decision-maker
  • How to protect your scientific reputation
  • How to identify and define the audience you need to reach
  • What decision-makers want to hear from a scientist
  • What reporters are looking for in an interview
  • How to leverage social media
  • How the nation's science policy is developed and implemented

Participants will have the opportunity for formal and informal discussions with science policy and communications experts working in Washington, DC.

Participants receive
  • Certificate of completion
  • Resource packet that includes publications and other materials for future reference and use

"At the AIBS Communications Boot Camp for Scientists, I learned practical tips for communicating with policymakers, the media and the general public. I could immediately apply these strategies to a full day of congressional meetings to advocate for increased science funding. In the months since this experience, I have shared these strategies with colleagues and applied them directly to outreach events and interactions with the media. This experience was a powerful way to hone my skills as a communicator, which will continue to directly benefit my career as a scientist."

Brian Lovett
2019 Participant
Ph.D. Student
University of Maryland

Dates: April 20-21, 2020.

Location: Online

$495/person General registration for individuals who are not nominated by an AIBS Member Society or Organization (MSO).
$440/person Individuals officially nominated to participate by an AIBS Member Society or Organization (MSO).
Group Discount: For any group or organization that sponsors the participation of four or more individuals, the registration rate will be reduced by $30/participant in the group. Please contact membership@aibs.org for details.
We'll come to you If you would like us to bring the course to your institution, we are happy to come to you. We are able to offer a substantial discount per person from the DC workshop rate. Please contact Robert Gropp at 202-628-1500 x250 for more information.

IMPORTANT: A $100 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. Individuals will be billed for the balance prior to the workshop. Do not make any non-refundable travel arrangements until you have received notification from AIBS that the course is confirmed.

AIBS will offer this course again in 2020. Please provide your contact information and we will alert you before the next program is announced.

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