Science Communication Fellows Program

The Science Communication Fellows Program provides training to scientists and researchers to improve their science communication, especially in an informal science education setting.  

Fellows build their capacity for science communication by participating in four professional development workshops as well as three NHMU public programs.

The Science Communication Fellows Programs operates in partnership with Portal to the Public, as an NSF funded program.


About the SCFP 2018 Workshops:

Fellows participate in five professional development workshops focused on building the skills to effectively engage public audiences.  Scientists refine key messages related to their areas of expertise and practice simple techniques for talking science with non-scientists.
Designing Engaging Activities Workshop: 
Wednesday, January 31 from 5:30pm-8:30pm at the NHMU
One-on-One Meeting:
Once between February 1 - February 21, time TBD, at Fellow's Workspace
How People Learn Workshop: 
Wednesday, February 21 from 5:30pm-8:30pm at the NHMU
Facilitating Your Activity Workshop: 
Wednesday, March 7 from 5:30pm-8:30pm at the NHMU
Crafting Engaging Lectures Workshop: 
Wednesday, March 21 from 5:30pm-8:30pm at the NHMU

Who Should Sign Up?

We’re looking for graduate students, professors, scientists, researchers, and other science-based professionals who are committed to bridging the gap between the scientific community and the general public.  Fellows must be able to attend all four workshops and participate in all the public programs.

About the SCFP Public Programs:

Fellows participate in two Scientist in the Spotlight programs and one Science Café event.  

Scientist in the Spotlight Program: Fellows will provide the general public with a window into their current research by telling stories and showcasing  their field equipment, lab tools, and research specimens in an informal, open-house, face-to-face environment.

Science Café Program: Fellows will present their current research in an informal Ted Talk-like format. 

Why Participate?

For many members of the general public, scientific research and the development of new technology are the exclusive domains of scientists and engineers. Many people have never met or had a conversation with a working scientist, and thus feel no personal connection to science at all.
Face-to-face interactions between scientists and public audiences are important opportunities for improving public awareness and understanding of current scientific research and its application. They also increase public appreciation of the individuals who work in science-based fields. Informal science education institutions are uniquely qualified to facilitate such interactions in ways that create positive impacts for all parties involved.
For more information about the impacts generated by the Science Communication Fellows Program, click here.

Fellow Benefits:

  • Enhance your science communication skills in a dynamic, engaging, and participatory workshop setting.
  • Develop a hands-on educational activity which you can use in multiple educational settings beyond the Natural History Museum of Utah.
  • Receive letters of acknowledgement and documentation suitable for sharing with supervisors and for grant reporting.
  • Receive consultation and assistance in designing and writing broader impact plans to fulfill grant and other outreach requirements.
  • Network with local scientists committed to public engagement and education professionals.
  • Discount at the NHMU museum store and cafe.
  • Free admission to NHMU galleries and special exhibits for you and your immediate family.

How to Apply:

We are no longer accepting applications for the Science Commuication Fellows Program 2018.  We will begin accepting applications for the Science Commuication Fellows Program 2019 in October 2018.

Current Participants:


  • William Barbeau, Undergraduate Student, Biochemistry
  • Thomas Brussel, Graduate Student, Paleoecologist  
  • Steven Denham, Graduate Student, Microbiologist 
  • Brittany Fleming, Graduate Student, Microbiologist
  • Graham Goodman, Graduate Student, Parasitologist 
  • Julia McGonigle, Graduate Student, Enviornmental Microbiologist 
  • Christopher Miles, Graduate Student, Mathematical Biologist 
  • Shahrzad Motamedi, Graduate Student, Enviornmental Microbiologist 
  • Shuba Narayanan, Graduate Student, Human Geneticist
  • Audrey Rutz, Pediatrics Genetic Counselor 
  • Angela Snow. Graduate Student, Cancer Geneticist
  • Courtney Wagner, Graduate Student, Geobiologist 


  • Alan Achenbach, Graduate Student, Biological Anthropology
  • Stacie Bender, Geospatial Specialist, Geospatial Technology and Applications Center
  • Kathleen Bennett, Graduate Student, Human Genetics
  • Kelsey Cone, Graduate Student, Human Genetics
  • Brenden J Fischer, Graduate Researcher, Geology and Geophysics
  • Joshua Horns, Graduate Student, Biology
  • Janet Iwasa, Research Assistant Professor, Biochemistry
  • Evan Kipnis, Graduate Research Assistant/PhD Student, Geology and Geophysics
  • Elizabeth Looby, Masters Student, Geography
  • Joseph Plasek, PhD Candidate, Biomedical Informatics
  • Rodolfo Probst, Graduate Student, Biology
  • Ellyse Simons, NHMU Archeology Lab Graduate Student/Research Assistant, Anthropology
  • Rosalie Waller, PhD Candidate, Biomedical Informatics
  • Blanca Yagüe, International PhD Student, Cultural Anthropology
  • Deeptha Vasudevan, PhD Candidate, Developmental Neurobiologist, Neurobiology and Anatomy

Past Participants:




For More Information:

Please contact Paulmichael Maxfield by email: or by phone: (801) 585-5920.