Application Details

The application period for the Spring 2021 How-to Talks series is closed. Please review the requirements below before submitting your application.

Participation Requirements: 

  • Present a 45-minute talk on a health-sciences topic to an audience of up to 50 attendees. The specific topic is at your discretion, but it must be a “how-to” style talk and not a research seminar.
  • How-to Talks will take place noon – 1 p.m. on Mondays, February-April 2021. You must have availability during this time slot, although there is some flexibility with scheduling which Monday you will be presenting.
  • Participants are required to conduct a practice run 1–2 weeks prior to their talks; presentations/slides do not need to be complete for this session. This will give you an opportunity to see the space and receive preliminary feedback from the coordinators.
  • Participants are required to attend a professional development session prior to the start of the series. This session is specifically designed to provide tangible takeaways for science communication in a synchronous online format. The session will conclude with networking time for current and past presenters.
  • All talks will take place online, utilizing Zoom.

Sample Talk Ideas

See Past Talks for examples of topics that have been covered. Talks can be about specific techniques (e.g. CRISPR/cas9 genome editing), analysis. protein expression analysis, regression analysis, etc.), programming (e.g. UNIX for biologists), teaching (e.g. effective syllabus construction), and more. If you would like to participate and are unsure of a topic to submit, please contact Stacey Wahl, Ph.D. to workshop a topic.

Benefits of Participation:

  • Opportunity to compete for The VCU Science Communication Award and Prize
    • This is an award and a $100 cash prize.
  • Dedicated professional development workshop and networking time for speakers.
  • Letter of acknowledgement from program coordinators.
  • Direct feedback on presentation styles and skills.
  • With your permission, a recording of your presentation will be made available through Scholars Compass, VCU’s institutional repository and YouTube.  This presentation can be shared as an example of your science communication skills when you enter the job market.

When applying, consider questions that clinicians, researchers in other health sciences disciplines, or novices might have for you regarding your specialty. What do you think someone not immersed in your field will most want to learn? You may also want to consider how what you teach could encourage interdisciplinary collaborations.

Multiple how-to talk proposals may be submitted. Please contact Stacey Wahl, Ph.D. at with any questions.