Research: how do you get it out there?


In 2014 VLIR-UOS launched a study to see how we can support researchers to help them communicate more and better about their research and its impact. As a result of the study we wrote a handbook with practical communication tips and inspiring examples.


The handbook



Download the handbook (PDF) or read it online


In this handbook we show that publicising your research is a very worthwhile thing to do. We focus on researchers and people involved in international projects. Our cases deal with cooperation with partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Our definition of ‘publicise’ is communicating with a wide audience rather than simply experts in the field.


Interview EURANET Plus On Student Mobility 24-09-2014 Pauline Kibui And Ellen Van Himbergen (HVDW) (6)We held interviews with researchers, communication departments and institutional coordinators for development cooperation. We looked through media databanks to see what international research made the news. This handbook presents what we learned, along with the tips we were given by those experts during the study day on 11 March 2015.


Among the topics:

  • Science journalist Koen Wauters teaches us how to think like a journalist: ‘Your story has to have a wow factor’
  • How do you get into the media? Eight tips for getting noticed 
  • Tips from the experts on press releases, presentations, photos and more

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Study day

Vliruos -38We organised a study day in Antwerp on 11 March 2015 for researchers and people involved in international projects. The goal was to motivate them to publicise their research and give them tips and tools that enable them to do that properly. 


The results of the study were presented for the first time to the almost 150 people who attended; science journalist Koen Wauters shared with them the secrets of journalism and experts took workshops on press releases, presentations, social media and more. The researchers were able to talk with the communication officers at their own institutions.


What’s next?

We expect to hold more communication-oriented study days in coming years together with interested partners. 


And in the meantime we join forces with the communication departments and institutional coordinators for development cooperation at the universities and university colleges, and with you to help you publicise your work.  


Why is there a need to publicise more?

Vliruos 07Mai -23In 2013, without warning we were told that state funding could be discontinued. Ongoing and scheduled projects and scholarships were under threat. Ultimately the funding was released after all. But the crisis taught us that the world of politics and research scarcely knew anything about us. It appeared to be a well-kept secret that Flemish universities and university colleges achieve very relevant things with partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 


Conclusion: we had to come out into the open more and show that we do make a difference, together with the network of hundreds of researchers, professors, teachers and employees that are involved in VLIR-UOS projects. It’s not only about the visibility of VLIR-UOS, but also the results and the impact of the cooperation. 

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