A Beginner’s Guide to Science Communication Opportunities in Canada

This guide includes training opportunities, as well as outreach, public speaking, writing, journalism and social media initiatives to get involved with

Today, there is a growing number of science communication opportunities, where individuals can learn, practice and be paid while making science accessible to a general audience. This is a beginner’s guide to science communication opportunities in Canada, which includes outreach, public speaking, writing, journalism and social media initiatives.

The best way to learn is often through practice. Photo credit: Green Chameleon [Unsplash].
  • If your organization is a registered non-profit, then you are also eligible for greater funding via the annual NSERC PromoScience grant competition. If you’re planning an initiative which involves health research, CIHR’s Planning & Dissemination Grants may be the right fit for you. The Trottier Family Foundation also distributes grants in the following areas: science, environment, health and education.
  • If you are a Canadian registered non-profit organization, postsecondary institution or a non-federal museum or science centre, then you can apply for an NSERC Science Communication Skills pilot grant (up to $20,000 for one year) to provide science communication skills training to students, fellows, and faculty in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) from Canadian postsecondary institutions.
  • Often, micro-grants or grant competitions pop up online which you can apply to in order to support such initiatives, such as the Aviva Community Fund and 500 Women Scientists’ Fellowship For The Future (for women of colour), or grants available for niche topics, such as the 2021 Immunization Partnership Fund.
  • If you’re currently a student, then registering your initiative as a university student group ensures your eligibility for internal student group grants (such as the University of Toronto’s Student Initiative Fund).
  • Don’t forget to look at grant and funding opportunities beyond Canada, such as the NASW Peggy Girshman Idea Grants.
  • You can find a list of science communication fellowships and grants here, courtesy of Kat Middleton.
  • If all else fails, don’t hesitate to ask for support from fellow science communicators, organizations or university departments whose mandate may overlap with your initiative. In my experience, it doesn’t hurt to ask — and if you pitch your initiative right (and early), you’re likely to get a yes.
The best way to explore science communication in Canada is simply to begin. Photo credit: Danielle MacInnes [Unsplash].

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