Science communication opportunity at the EGU General Assembly: be a student reporter

Science communication opportunity at the EGU General Assembly: be a student reporter

For the first time at the 2016 General Assembly, which is taking place in Vienna, Austria, from 17–22 April, we will be implementing a Student Reporter Programme. A team of volunteer early career researchers will report, via the Union’s social media outlets and blogs, on the findings presented at scientific sessions and press conferences during the General Assembly.

What is involved in being a student reporter?

We are giving the opportunity to four geosciences students with an interest in science communication, pre-registered to attend the conference,  to be involved in reporting, science writing, videography and social media activities during the conference.

The student reporters will attend scientific sessions, as well as Union-wide sessions, such as the Great Debates and Medal lectures, and report on the findings presented on the EGU Blogs. They will work closely with the division bloggers and social media managers, who will provide the main outlet for the content produced by the student reporters, via the division blogs and division social media channels. Some findings and those which cover scientific disciplines not represented by the division blogs will be included in the EGU’s official blog, GeoLog.

The successful candidates will be part of the Student Reporter team, coordinated by the EGU’s Communication team. The reporters will have access to the press centre, interview rooms, as well as being encouraged to attend the science-communication related short courses at the conference. Reporters will also be given access to a range of science-communication resources to develop their communications skills. Interview-style reporting will be encouraged, giving reporters the opportunity to interact with prominent scientists and keynote speakers.

This is an unpaid opportunity for early career geoscientists with an interest in science communication who want to gain experience in science reporting via online platforms at a major scientific conference.

How to apply

The positions are open to University students (undergraduates or postgraduates) in the Earth, planetary and space sciences wishing to gain experience in science outreach. Candidates must be pre-registered to attend the conference when submitting their application and available for an introductory meeting on Sunday the 17th April in Vienna, prior to the conference starting.  Applicants must have a good command of English and good computer and internet skills.

Applications must include:

  • A letter of motivation (maximum one page), which includes a summary of relevant experience. Please specify the scientific division(s) of the EGU with which you identify the most and for which you would be most keen to report for
  • A sample of recent science communication work such a photo feature, a short video or a written article or blog post (published or unpublished, aimed at a general audience, and maximum one page long)

The deadline for applications is 11 March 2016.

Application documents (in English) should be submitted by email in a single file to Bárbara Ferreira, the EGU Media and Communications Manager (, and Laura Roberts, the EGU Communications Officer ( Bárbara and Laura can also be contacted for informal enquiries.

There are even more benefits to choosing a PICO session at EGU 2016!

There are even more benefits to choosing a PICO session at EGU 2016!

Some of the sessions scheduled for the upcoming EGU General Assembly are PICO only sessions. This means that, rather than being oral or poster format, they involve Presenting Interactive COntent (PICO). The aim of these presentations is to highlight the essence of a particular research area – just enough to get the audience excited about a topic without overloading them with information.

PICO sessions start with a series of 2 minute long presentations – one from each author. They can be a Power Point, a movie, an animation, or simply a PDF showing your research on a display. After the 2 minute talks, the audience can explore each presentation on touch screens, where authors are also available to answer questions and discuss their research in more detail.

This format combines the best of oral and poster presentations, allowing researchers to stand up and be recognised for great research while giving an oral contribution as well as discussing their work in detail and network with other participants. This year we are also making a few improvements to the layout of the PICO presentation areas in the large halls to minimise noise disruption to presenters.

An exciting development for the 2016 General Assembly is that PICO presentations are now included in the Outstanding Student Poster Awards (as they were formerly known), and have now been renamed to Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Awards.

The aim of the award is to improve the overall quality of poster and PICO presentations and most importantly, to foster the excitement of early career scientists in presenting their work. To be considered for the OSPP award, you must be the first author and personally present the PICO at the conference, as well as satisfy one of the following criteria:

  • being a current undergraduate (e.g., BSc) or postgraduate (e.g., MSc, PhD) student;
  • being a recent undergraduate or postgraduate student (conferral of degree after 1 January of the year preceding the conference) who are presenting their thesis work.

Entering couldn’t be easier! Make sure you nominate yourself when you submit your abstract on-line. You’ll receive a letter, known as ‘Letter of Schedule’, confirming your presentation has been accepted, which will also include a link by which to register for the award. Before the conference, make sure you include the OSPP label (which you can find here) to your PICO presentation header so that the judges of the OSPP award now to evaluate your presentation.

To learn more about PICO presentations see the General Assembly website. You can also check out the short introductory video below:

Seeking young scientists! A great opportunity to get involved in the EGU

Young scientists make up a significant proportion of the EGU membership and it’s important to us that your voices get heard. One way to do this is by getting in touch with your division’s young scientist representative, or better yet, putting yourself forward as a young scientist representative for your division.

Young scientist representatives are a vital link between the EGU and the young scientist community. They are crucial in providing feedback from students and early career researchers, so that we can take action to improve our young scientist activities at the EGU General Assembly and maintain our support for young scientists throughout the year.

As well as giving you the platform to interact with a large network of researchers in your field, being a young scientist representative is a great opportunity to build on your communications skills, boost your CV and influence the activities of Europe’s largest geoscientific association.

Within each scientific division, representatives can also take on a variety of tasks, according to their areas of expertise and interest. These can include (but aren’t limited to): organising events for young scientists at our annual General Assembly, outreach to young scientists and the wider public through social media or a division blog, or establishing a mentoring programme for other young scientists. For a first-hand account of what it’s like to be a young scientist representative, see this article by the Natural Hazards Division representative, Jennifer Holden.

Interested? The divisions currently looking for a young scientist representative are:

If your division isn’t listed here, but you would still like to get involved, contact your young scientist representative – to find them see the structure page in your division’s website.

If you are interested in being a young scientist representative, or have any questions about getting involved in the Union, please contact the EGU Communications Officer Sara Mynott at

More information for young scientists, including resources, events and opportunities at the General Assembly, is available on the EGU website:


Resource site for young scientists launched!

Early career researchers make up a large proportion of the EGU membership and students (both graduate and undergraduate) regularly make up about a third of General Assembly participants. With so many young scientists involved in the EGU, it’s time we had something that caters for them – the young scientists’ website!

The new website is a hub of information on jobs, events and resources that relate to young scientists in the Earth, planetary and space sciences. Here’s a quick introduction to what’s online:

  • Careers – this section highlights research positions in the geosciences that are relevant to both recent graduates and early career researchers.
  • Events – want to pick up some new skills or share your work with other young scientists? You can find some great training courses, workshops, and meetings here.
  • Resources – a database of digital resources with tips on topics such as how to find a job, write a grant, or review a paper, as well as ways to communicate your work with a wider audience.
  • Get Involved! – this is your chance to get involved with the European Geosciences Union. Get in touch with us if you have some feedback or would like to do more.

There will be more information on what’s on at the General Assembly for young scientists coming online as EGU 2014 approaches – stay tuned!

Young scientists at EGU 2013

Young scientists at EGU 2013

Would you like to see a little more of something else on the site? Send your feedback to the EGU Communications Officer, Sara Mynott.