Introduction to Communications & Broader Engagement Toolkit

Research at SESYNC brings together the science of the natural world with the science of human behavior and decision-making to find solutions to complex environmental problems.  

    • SESYNC-supported research helps answer some of the greatest environmental challenges, and researchers often convey it with technical language in journals. Many of the Center’s research findings have broader application to social and environmental issues.
    • By translating your work to broad audiences and thinking about communication throughout the life-cycle of the research process, you can simultaneously meet research goals, convey knowledge to the people who need to know it, and achieve greater impact.
    • Synthesis communication work goes beyond the ability of researchers to speak more clearly about their findings. A broader goal is to build a more dynamic relationship between science and society, where knowledge can be exchanged as part of the research process between investigators and the broader community of decision-makers.  

Synthesis teams face many communication challenges.  

    • Language specific to disciplines can create communication barriers between and among those working in boundary organizations such as non-profits, the private sector, stakeholders, and others who use knowledge to inform decisions.  
    • Because effective team science requires diligent and open communication to solve critical socio-environmental problems, it can be challenging to also translate your work to broad audiences.
    • We designed this toolkit to overcome some common challenges and we hope this information will enable science teams to engage with audiences to achieve research goals.
Draft a strategy to engage beyond disciplinary boundaries. This Toolkit is designed as a resource for synthesis teams to develop a communication plan that is accessible, relevant, timely, understandable, and credible.
    • SESYNC believes synthesis science is important. Communicating about your work is crucial to achieving broader impacts. Whether the goals are raising the understanding of your interdisciplinary efforts on human and natural systems with specialists outside your area of expertise, or greater understanding of your science among targeted stakeholders and the public, it is important to strategize how to translate your work.
    • Before you launch your communication strategy, the below resources will help you determine your audience while at the same time build ties to engage with them.