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Communication & Dissemination

Excellent science needs effective communication and dissemination. Bringing research and its outcomes to the attention of non-scientific audiences, scientific peers, potential business partners or policymakers fosters collaboration and innovation. Strategic communication and dissemination will help to explain the wider societal relevance of science, build support for future research and innovation funding, ensure uptake of results within the scientific community, and open up potential business opportunities for novel products or services. Overall, it helps to increase the impact of research and innovation in many ways.

This EU quick guide provides definitions and tips: Communication, Dissemination & Exploitation explained

This EU Guide will help plan social media activities: Social media guide for R&I

 

There are lots of ways in which you can promote your research and build your profile through dissemination and communication activities including:

  • Publications: All researchers disseminate their research by publishing papers and presenting at conferences. Make sure you upload to Arrow when you can. Did you know that there has now been more than 10m downloads from Arrow! The Library has a team available to support researchers.
  • Did you know that Research Professional has a searchable Conference database? You can use this to find conferences to add to research proposals as well locating ones that may be interested in your research outputs.  
  • Consider writing a blog / building a social media presence to generate your own publicity / build profile. Become the go-to expert in your area. E.g. Equality & Diversity blog
  • Publicise your research on the web, talk to Public Affairs about highlighting your research in this section or via a dedicated project website linked to your research group or centre on the website. Contact the web team about setting up a microsite: e: web@tudublin.ie 
  • If you are interested in speaking on radio / to the media provide your details to Public Affairs and describe what you can discuss. 
  • Run a workshop and invite those you’d like to work with. (There is often funding available to do this so email research@tudublin.ie to check)
  • RTÉ Brainstorm is a great online platform for building profile. It is a unique partnership between RTÉ and Irish Universities. TU Dublin is one of the founding members along with UCC, NUIG, UL, DCU, and NUIM. The Irish Research Council and Teagasc are Strategic Partners. It is used by the academic and research community to contribute to public debate, reflect on what’s happening in the world around us and communicate fresh thinking on a broad range of issues. There are regular workshops in TU Dublin about contributing to this platform and it’s a great way to increase your profile as well as fulfilling public engagement activities in relation to ongoing projects. 
  • TOP TIP: Don’t forget to note all public engagement activities and add them to your CV and in proposal applications or in your Career Development Plan. 
  • The Early Career Researcher programme includes great workshops on building profile and developing your communication and networking skills. Find out all about the programme here.
  • Publishing programme or policy briefs: some government agencies such as the EPA, SFI and SEAI fund programme and policy briefs. You need to check on individual organisation’s funding page and E-tenders is also a good place to look.   
  • For EU funded projects publicise your activities here...............
  • Other examples include: presenting results to local community groups and other local stakeholders via community forums, townhall meetings; hosting events at industry fairs and functions; and setting up exhibitions or showcases.  

 

The Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) scale, is an indicator of the status or maturity level of a technology being researched. TRLs are usually used in national and international funding calls, and can be one of several tools that are needed to manage the development activity of the technology and the progress or transitioning of a particular research technology within an organization.

  • TRL 1 – basic principles observed
  • TRL 2 – technology concept formulated
  • TRL 3 – experimental proof of concept
  • TRL 4 – technology validated in lab
  • TRL 5 – technology validated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
  • TRL 6 – technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
  • TRL 7 – system prototype demonstration in an operational environment
  • TRL 8 – system complete and qualified
  • TRL 9 – actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies; or in space.

The Policy Readiness Levels (PRL) scale is a way of assessing the level of policy development a particular piece of research can contribute and be integrated into policy, such as a technology, a product, or service/scheme, an intervention or innovation. Moving research to policy requires an understanding of how the socio-technical innovation of your research is ready for policy-makers and the society stakeholders they impact. Achievement of high PRL depends upon engagement with diverse policy stakeholders and translation of insight into synchronised technical, regulatory, policy, and social innovation. PRLs are defined as follows:

  • PRL 1 – identifying problem and identifying policy readiness
  • PRL 2 – formulation of problem, proposed solution(s) and potential impact, expected policy readiness; identifying relevant stakeholders for the project
  • PRL 3 – initial testing of proposed solution(s) together with relevant stakeholders
  • PRL 4 – problem validated through pilot testing in relevant environment to substantiate proposed impact and policy readiness
  • PRL 5 – proposed solution(s) validated, now by relevant stakeholders in the area
  • PRL 6 – solution(s) demonstrated in relevant environment and in co‐operation with relevant stakeholders to gain initial feedback on potential impact
  • PRL 7 – refinement of project and/or solution and, if needed, retesting in relevant environment with relevant stakeholders
  • PRL 8 – proposed solution(s) as well as a plan for policy adaptation complete and qualified
  • PRL 9 – actual project solution(s) proven in relevant environment.

There is an additional method of assessing the level of adaptation by society to a particular piece of research, such as a technology, a product or service, an intervention or innovation, being integrated into society known as Society Readiness Levels (SRL). The aim of using the SRL is for researchers to be able to ask how ready are the socio-technical innovations of their research for society. SRLs were developed and defined by the Innovation Fund Denmark and are defined as follows:

  • SRL 1 – identifying problem and identifying societal readiness
  • SRL 2 – formulation of problem, proposed solution(s) and potential impact, expected societal readiness; identifying relevant stakeholders for the project
  • SRL 3 – initial testing of proposed solution(s) together with relevant stakeholders
  • SRL 4 – problem validated through pilot testing in relevant environment to substantiate proposed impact and societal readiness
  • SRL 5 – proposed solution(s) validated, now by relevant stakeholders in the area
  • SRL 6 – solution(s) demonstrated in relevant environment and in co‐operation with relevant stakeholders to gain initial feedback on potential impact
  • SRL 7 – refinement of project and/or solution and, if needed, retesting in relevant environment with relevant stakeholders
  • SRL 8 – proposed solution(s) as well as a plan for societal adaptation complete and qualified
  • SRL 9 – actual project solution(s) proven in relevant environment

If you are unsure what TRL, PRL or SRL your project falls into, please contact us e: research@tudublin.ie.