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Science Education & Outreach

Make science accessible and engaging to non-specialist audiences or specialists-in-training

Example job titles

Adjunct faculty | Assistant/associate Professor* | ŸClassroom teacher | Communications manager for education/outreach | Community relations/involvement manager/specialist/analyst | Curriculum developer | Educator/instructor/lecturer | Education researcher/director* | Education/outreach specialist/coordinator/director | Educational software/content developer | Education technologist | Exhibit developer | Grants program manager* | K-12/classroom teacher | Learning officer | Medical science liaison* | Museum educator/guide | Program/project analyst/specialist | Program/project manager/director/coordinator* | Public events coordinator | Public information officer* | Online educator/education specialist | Science specialist | Undergraduate/high school/teacher/public outreach/research program coordinator

*These job titles appear in other career pathways

Additional keywords to find more information or job postings

Continuing medical education | E-learning | Flipped classroom | Formal science education | Higher education | Hybrid/blended learning | Informal science education | Instructional design | K12 education | K12 partnership/professional development | Primarily-teaching faculty (university, liberal arts college, community college levels) | Public outreach | Research experiences for undergraduates (REU) | Science outreach

Get up-to-speed & stay current

Look for the corresponding myIDP categories: Teaching intensive careers in academia | Science education for K-12 schools | Science education for non-scientists

  • If you are not familiar with the US educational system check out this brief explanation (more details about teaching in the US can be found in the book "Teaching American Students: a guide for international faculty and teaching assistants in colleges and universities" in the library collection)
  • Read articles on the latest best practices and research in educational research journals (e.g. CBE Life Sciences) and newsletters from professional societies
  • Make a database of institutions with Centers for Scientific Teaching and Learning
  • Attend a Gordon Research Conference related to science education and communication
  • Get additional advice on how you can prepare for this career from scientists who have recently transitioned into a role in this field, as well as from those who have made hiring decisions.

Build your network

  • Express your interests to faculty and colleagues on campus who can point you to local teaching opportunities and contacts.
  • Participate in education-focused workshops and sessions at scientific conferences.
  • Reach out to representatives from education and/or outreach -focused committees of the professional societies you and/or your research advisor are affiliated with.
  • Attend the annual Massachusetts STEM Summit to network with policymakers and educators interested in K-12, higher, and informal science education.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile and use it strategically to expand your network.

Get training & experience

  • Volunteer with UMass Chan RTI's ScienceLIVE to practice the art of communicating difficult science topics with a diverse audience, while exciting the next generation of scientists about STEM careers and topics
  • Share your scientific expertise with the public at a science café.
  • Volunteer part-time at a museum or science center—such as Worcester's EcoTarium or the Tower Hill Botanic Garden—as a docent, guide, or educator.
  • Provide access to science to underserved communities - for instance UMass Chan volunteers produce Science Journal for Audio Journal, a radio broadcast service for individuals with low or no vision
  • Develop your skills in presentation and teaching. Good teaching requires good communication. Check out the Science Communication pathway for more ideas for practice and training.
  • Teach a lecture or course. Incorporate instructional materials that have been reviewed and evaluated by educational research experts from sources such as the Yale University Center for Scientific Teaching.
  • Tutor students in science.
  • Help a faculty member update their course curricula.
  • Contribute to a blog or start your own that is targeted towards a non-expert audience.
  • Judge a science fair or give a guest lecture at a local K12 school.
  • Mentor a junior scientist, applying best practices in mentoring and leadership/management (view books in our library).

Deeper training opportunities & experiences

Gearing up for a career transition?

  • All transitions (even those that are positive, desired, and successful) involve some amount of stress. This article on "Understanding the Impact of Change" from the NIH OITE blog offers a practical approach for considering an upcoming transition and doing a brief self-assessment to navigate change effectively.

Have a suggestion? Know of a great local opportunity? Let us know.