The ASPIRE Modules are short, non-credit bearing electives that broaden the training experiences of biomedical sciences trainees. These elective modules provide efficient exposure to topics in three theme areas: Business/Entrepreneurship, Communication, and Clinical research.The ASPIRE Modules are optional and open to any biomedical sciences PhD student or postdoctoral fellow who wishes to take them to supplement their research training. Class size may be limited, however, and will vary by module.
Module Title: Biomedical Research and Media
Director: Wayne Wood, MLAS, Executive Director of New Media Productions, VUMC News and Public Affairs
Time: Wednesdays, 9-10:00 am, September 30-November 18, 2015
Content: Writing stories for print journalism, media relations, social media, media training in interviewing
Class size: 5 students
Registration requirements: CV and 2-6 sentence interest statement for the instructor
Registration deadline: August 21, 2015
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the class, students will understand the process of interviewing one or more sources and writing a publishable news story or biomedical research or a health topic; understand the daily interactions between the local and national media and a medical center such as Vanderbilt that seeks to influence both public health and its national reputation via media relations; and understand the key role of social media in the modern media environment. Students will also have the opportunity to become more skilled at being interviewed and accurately conveying information, even in a challenging environment. Additionally, the students will have an understanding of some of the key differences in professional assumptions between media professionals and science professionals.
Assessment Plan: The module director will evaluate students based on written and class participation, including an understanding of the choices of communication tools and techniques; mechanisms for identification of appropriate stories to put before the public; and in what formats.
Readings: Class readings will be news and feature stories from contemporary sources, including news stories about developments in biomedical research, first person medical stories, and longer form pieces about medical and research topics.