We all do excellent research that deserves to be presented in the best possible way. This course is open for you who want to improve your skill in drawing figures, making posters and visually conveying your research more effectively to both your peers and to the general audience.
As fluent as we may be in writing or talking about our science and results, we may still lack one essential element of scientific communication in our repertoire: the translation of our work into clear, pedagogic images and figures.
The goal with the course is to teach you basic skills that will make you comfortable to do figures that are clear and crisp, posters that outshine your neighboring fellow posters and presentations that keep your audience awake.
Course name: Visualize your Science
Credits: Equivalent to 4 ECTS (3 weeks)
Illustration software: Inkcape, Adobe illustrator or similar
Course fee: 425 € (vat excl.)
Course time: 19th of September to 1st of December
How is the course structured?
The course is a mix of on-line modules and face-to-face sessions.
Theory and drawing tutorials are online whereas feedback sessions are face-to-face. We will meet in four face-to-face sessions according to the following schedule.
In face-to-face session 2 and 3 you are divided in smaller groups and will only need to attend one 1.5 h session. You select when and where you would like to attend the face-to-face sessions.
If you cannot attend a face-to-face session in your city you could always attend the same session in another city or on-line.
The online “face-to-face” sessions will be done as webinars and online meeting rooms.
Course timeline and modules
After you have registered for the course you will get access codes to the course on-line school and the communication central.
Each on-line module consists of 20 - 40 minute video lectures. You will also get access to all slides and source files.
You can watch the on-line tutorials as many times you want. You will also have access to the material as long as you would like to.
“Great course! Very relevant for PhD students! I managed to win a poster-prize with my “almost” finalized poster”
“I had high expectations from the start, but the course was even better than my expectations”
“I cannot say with certainty but I feel these skills are EXTREMELY useful for ALL presenters of any kind”
“A very nice and informative course, it should really be mandatory for all PhD-students. I enjoyed every part of it”
Linus von Fieandt
"It’s excellent course which is good base for every scientist. It’s very important to explain to people how to show difficult data in the best and easy way. Ideas and tricks which I learned helped me to make good pictures, that is really nice. My supervisor asked me to make and improve other people pictures so I can see as much I learnt during this short time.”
“I am completely satisfied with the course. I learned what I wanted to learn, its more than I have expected. Thanks a lot for this course”
It is always fun to get e-mails from old students
Using google translate the email says
Who is this course for?
The course is intended for PhD students who are interested in improving their drawing skills and producing posters that outshine all other posters; images that are simple but yet informative, result graphs that are effective and clear, and graphical abstracts that are self- explanatory. The course is based on drawing and not coding.
You will also
Get lots of feedback on your poster, graphical abstract and other images.
Meet lots of PhD-students from other disciplines and actually understand what they are doing.
Learn how to think visually about your research.
Get training in how to produce, print and present your poster.
After the course you will know
How to create beautiful and credible scientific posters.
How to use professional illustration software to illustrate your research.
Where to find images, if you cannot draw them yourself.
How to create images that are simple but yet informative.
On-line modules block 1
VISUALS IN SCIENCE
Why do we have to care about the images?
What kind of images do we have in science?
How could we create better images?
ART SCHOOL FOR SCIENTISTS
Elements of good design
Principles of good design
COLORS IN SCIENCE IMAGES
Design with color
Color in results graphs
Anatomy of fonts
How fonts affect credibility
Font crimes to avoid
INTRODUCTION TO LAYOUT
Using grids and guides
Order and organization
IMAGE ETHICS AND LICENCES
How to find "safe-to-use" images
Data and chart types
How to create a structured poster
Text in posters
Images in oral presentations
Introduction to visual storytelling
SOFTWARE AND IMAGE FORMATS
A guide through the graphical software jungle
Image file formats
From bitmap to vector images (and the other way around)
DRAWING TUTORIALS IN ILLUSTRATION SOFTWARE
Clip art look
2.5D drawing using gradients and transparencies
DRAW LAB EQUIPMENT IN FOUR STEPS
Practice to draw in the illustration software of your own choice
Face to face session 1
POSTER DISSECTION WORKSHOP
We will meet and talk about posters, go through some poster examples and use our acquired knowledge in graphical design to see if we could make the posters more communicative
You will also get a printed copy of the Science Illustration Visualization Fact Sheet
On-line modules block 2
TYPES OF IMAGES
What is a graphical abstract?
How to edit images
The design process
Setting up art board
Add entry point, grids, guides
DRAWING TIPS AND TRICKS
Crop and clip
Lighting and shading
CREATE A GRAPHICAL ABSTRACT
In this assignment you will have to create a graphical abstract describing your research project or an article. The aims of the assignment are
Become more familiar with the illustration software
Develop your visual thinking
Test your design against scientists not in your field
Face to face session 2
PRESENTATION DAY: GRAPHICAL ABSTRACT
We will meet in small groups and give feedback on each other’s graphical abstracts. You get the chance to practice and improve your visual literacy.
There will be several 90 min sessions during the day and you only need to attend one.
On-line modules block 3
ADVANCED POSTER DESIGN
Introduction to the poster design wheel
MEMORY USER DESIGN
How to make your poster memorable
What makes your poster invisible, i.e. poster design crimes
The five ways you could structure your poster
PREPARE FOR POSTER
ESSENTIAL POSTER TRICKS
CREATE A POSTER
Use your acquired software skills and combine them with graphic design and visual thinking to create a beautiful and yet credible scientific poster
Face to face session 3
PRESENTATION DAY: POSTER IN PROGRESS SEMINAR
We will meet in small groups and give feedback on each other’s posters-in-progress. You will discover that elements in your poster that are obvious for you are not obvious for everybody.
There will be several 90 minsessions during the day and you only need to attend one.
On-line modules block 4
BALANCING YOUR POSTER
UNIFYING YOUR POSTER
ASSIGNMENT 3 cont
IMPROVE YOUR POSTER
Make adjustments based on the feedback you received.
Face to face session 4: Conference
10 th CONFERENCE IN VISUALIZE YOUR SCIENCE
Uppsala 1st of December
We will all meet in Uppsala and enjoy a one-day conference where we listen to interesting talks about science visualization and admire all the great posters that are presented. Yes, one of the great posters will be yours.
You will get more feedback visually but also scientifically since your poster will draw attention, control eye movement across the paper, convey information and evoke emotion.
You will need to print your poster in A0 format and bring it to the conference.
A. The course itself, all course material and a 30 pages printed factsheet. I always strive to keep the cost down, that is why I have not included coffee, lunch, poster printing, accommodation etc.
Q. Hmm, you represent a company, could you really examine and give me the credits?
A. Of course not, but if you complete the course I will give you a certificate that clearly states the amount of work you have done in time. This certificate could then be used to get ECTS credits but your supervisor/resonsible must be the examinator. So far, more than 100 students have completed the course and received their certificate. If you will run in to problems, please let me know.
Q. Why does it cost 425 €, I thought all PhD courses should be free of charge
A. I wish that all courses were free as well but since I am doing this for a living I need to charge for the course. I do everything I can to keep the cost as low as possible.
Q. Is this some easily earned credits? I mean, I pay a registration fee, then you must be happy and just let me pass?
A. Absolutely not, In order to pass and complete the course you must do all the assignments, attend all face-to-face sessions and complete all on-line modules. It is equivalent to 3 weeks of full time work.
Q. What will happen if I cannot complete the course this semester?
A. No problem, you will get another chance to complete the course next time the course is given, free of charge of course. This happens quite often among my students, don't worry.
Q. How could I pay for the course?
A. I prefer that your supervisor/institution pay the registration fee. You could pay by invoice or directly on-line when the course opens.
Q. If I sign up for the Uppsala course, Am I allowed to join the Stockholm group if It better suits my schedule?
A. Yes of course! You could switch between the locations and also take some face-to-face sessions completely on-line. The most important is that the schedule is convenient for you
Q. How long time do I have access to the on-line material?
A. You will have access to the material for life (or as long as you would like to).
Q. What is Visualize your Science?
A. Visualize your Science AB is a company based in Espoo Finland (FO: 2754269-4), It was founded by Andreas Dahlin in April 2016. Visualize your Science AB helps scientists to communicate their research more effectively with better images, illustrations, visualizations and animations.
Andreas Dahlin has a PhD in Analytical Chemistry, Uppsala university from 2005. He thereafter worked as a project leader and researcher in an interdisciplinary project at Uppsala university where his group developed a new microdialysis catheter for clinical use. He has always been interested in presenting science with high quality, pedagogical images.
In 2011, he started a PhD-course at Uppsala university with the name Visualize your Science where he shows tips and tricks on how students could visually communicate their research more effectively to both the general audience and peers. The course quickly became the most popular, non-mandatory graduate course at Uppsala university. So far, more than 30 students have won poster prizes in international conferences.
In the beginning of 2016, Andreas founded Visualize Your Science AB (Visualizeyourscience.com) and decided to dedicate all his time to help researchers become better science communicators using illustrations, visualizations and animations.