The UCSF Social Media Boot Camp for Scientists (official name to be considered based on comment received) is designed to help researchers explore social media as a tool to achieve various goals, including wider exposure for their research, connecting with potential funding opportunities, cultivating collaborations, and increasing the impact of research, to name a few.
A NatureJobs blog post, Social Media Tips for Scientists, puts it well:
“For many scientists, the thought of spending time on social media sites is distinctly unappealing. To some it’s just a question of time: why add to that to-do list which is already long enough? For others it’s more to do with social media itself, finding the idea of sharing thoughts and ideas with the whole world pointless or self-indulgent.
“If that sounds like you, it might be time to reconsider your options – social media includes much more than the usual suspects like Facebook and Twitter, and there are even sites dedicated to academics. Indeed, a vast number of scientists are using social media for tremendous gains – whether that be forming new contacts and collaborations, sharing ideas, communicating science, inspiring others or just entertaining them. Why not join them?”
A series on Science Marketing featured in Nature Materials notes:
“Today, researchers have to make their publications stand out from the stack of nearly 800,000 science and engineering manuscripts that are published each year, recent PhD graduates and postdocs face historically low employment prospects in academia, and principal investigators compete over shrinking government funding.”
Beyond that, researchers are noting that the unique aspects of social media are changing the way science is talked about, and scientists have even noted that social media tools help to clarify thinking, demystify the scientific process, and spark new ideas.
The UCSF Social Media Boot Camp for Scientists will:
- Offer useful information about social media specifically targeted at scientific researchers and the academic community;
- Address the challenges, myths and potential misconceptions about social media within the scientific community;
- Support researchers in developing individual goals for social media, identifying tools that meet their needs, and establishing a social media presence;
- Support community building among those within the UCSF campus community who are actively engaged in social media;
- Create a “starter kit” and related resources for other academic institutions interested in a similar effort;
- Develop a publicly available online resource featuring all UCSF Social Media Boot Camp for Scientists sessions;
- Launch a social media consultation service as part of CTSI’s Consultation Services program, which already offers expert advice for researchers in 18 subject areas.
The CTSI Communications team (Communications Director John Daigre, and Communications Manager Nooshin Latour) will lead the effort to establish a Planning & Implementation Team that includes UCSF communicators, researchers already active on social media, other universities, external Bay Area companies involved in social media, and others. UCSF University Relations has agreed to be a primary partner in this effort. Additionally, an important component of the project will be to enlist UCSF researchers to share their personal experiences, challenges, and successes involving social media.
All related events will be free and open to all at UCSF (ideally events will be available via webinars or similar for a broader audience).
The format of the Social Media Boot Camp for Scientists will be finalized with input from the Planning & Implementation Team. Events may be organized into one primary event (i.e. a one-day boot camp), or spread out over several months depending on feedback from organizers and partners.
Will consider piloting with other groups, such as K Scholars, as suggested in comments.
Examples of potential types of presentations and panel discussions:
- Marketing for Scientists: Thinking Beyond Self Promotion
- Understanding the Social Media Landscape
- Demystifying Social Media
- Social Media 101: Getting Started
- Twitter: It May Be More Than You Think
- Social Media Rules of Engagement: Risks and Rewards
- Social Media Advice for Physicians
- Making the Most of Videos and Podcasts (UCTV, iTunes, etc)
- Your Online Profile: LinkedIn, ResearchGate, UCSF Profiles and more
- Social Media Networking: What Tools Are Right for You?
- Academic Blogging
- Speaking with One Voice: Integrating Your Social Media Efforts
- The Future of Crowdfunding Science
- Altmetrics and Non-Traditional Research Impact Measures
- Using Social Media for Clinical Research Studies (suggested via commenting)
- Connecting with Other Researchers vs. The Public (suggested via commenting)
- Smart Social Media: Tools for Better, Faster Communication (suggested via commenting)
The UCSF Social Media Bootcamp for Scientists will:
- Support researchers’ efforts to achieve their individual goals (including career development, as noted in comments);
- Support community building on campus;
- Provide ongoing support (i.e. videos, consultation service) available to researchers interested in social media;
- Support amplification of UCSF’s brand as a preeminent health sciences innovator;
- Provide tools for other institutions to use in the development of similar events;
- Strengthen UCSF ties with external partners (i.e. Bay Area companies).
Metrics for Success: (TBD based on finalized event format)
- Participation of faculty/staff (~250+)
- Collaboration with UCSF faculty active in social media (~10+)
- Collaboration with campus groups (~10+)
- Collaboration with other universities (~1+)
- Collaboration with Bay Area companies (~3+)
- Satisfaction survey (75%+ satisfied)
- Other metrics TBD
A proposed budget of $19,500 includes costs for coordination, meeting space, recording events, printing, promotion, incentives, guest speakers, etc.
- UCSF University Relations (confirmed via comments)
- UCSF Library (confirmed via comments)
- UCSF School of Medicine
- UCSF researchers active on social media (Bradley Voytek confirmed via comments)
- CTSI Online Learning (as suggested in comments)
- Other campus groups via UCSF Communicators Network
- Bay Area companies working with Social Media
- Other academic institutions
Commenting is closed.