InfGang - Informatics Science Communication Group

Research is at the heart of what we do in the School of Informatics. Publicising our scientific achievements is important, whether we target internal audiences or the public outside of academia. Publicity can serve as a great tool to recruit students and staff, but also to engage the general public with our research and create a pathway to impact.

Due to the size of the School, there are many stories in Informatics waiting to be told. Usually, the Informatics Communications Team in collaboration with the University Press Office identifies them, but we need help to get through to the ones, that haven't been told yet - either because they are still very new, or very niche or the person who could tell them didn't have enough confidence to tell us. That’s why we are inviting PGR students and post-doctoral researchers to give us a hand in identifying, selecting and writing up stories about our research. 

InfGang - the Informatics Science Communications Group represents each of the six institutes within the School of Informatics. When the group was first set up, we have agreed on a statement of values that we will observe in our work. The statement is included below.

Statement of Values 

  • We will aim to communicate stories from diverse research areas, focusing on fundamental research as well as more applied research that is relevant to society, and of interest to the city and region.  
  • We will aim to celebrate people ensuring that there is diversity in terms of gender and other visible protected characteristics. Where possible, we will aim to celebrate early career researchers.  
  • We will promote good practice and conduct research including open research.  
  • We will disseminate via various channels (website, newsletter, social media) and will decide the appropriate channel based on the content and the newsworthiness as decided by the editorial team.  
  • We will prioritize research outputs and impact over grant capture news.  

Current members

Ricky Zhu - AIAI

Steph Droop - CDT in NLP

Ella Davyson - CDT in BioMEd AI

SriPriya G - LFCS

Adarsh Doddappagouda Patil - ICSA

Kasia Kokowska - Marketing, Communications and Outreach Manager

In attendance

Rhona Crawford - University Press Office

Amy Rafferty - Edinburgh Innovations (if required)

Interested in joining?

What will be expected of me if I join the group?

We meet every six weeks, so you will have to be available to attend these meetings. If you miss it occasionally it will be fine, or you can send a deputy. The meetings last around 60 minutes. The appointment will be for a duration of one year or longer depending on your availability and other commitments. Each representative pitches stories from their institute that they think are worth publicising. Informatics Marketing, Communications and Outreach Manager, as well as the University Press Officer are in attendance to advise how the pitched stories could be promoted. The group also gives the Informatics Comms Team a hand with stories they receive: pitches provided by other researchers are shared with the group and they develop them into stories.

Do I need any qualifications to join the group?

You need to be passionate about science communication and prepared to learn good practice. All members will be offered media training developed in-house by the InfComms Team with support from the University Press Office and advice.

Where do you promote science stories?

We are using various channels for promoting these stories, both internal and external: our monthly research success stories reports, the School newsletter, the School website and social media channels, as well as press releases developed with the Press Office. See some examples of stories developed by current InfGang members below.

Informatics PhD student wins 3rd prize in the Shape the Future of ITS Competition

The vHive ecosystem bridges the gap between the serverless cloud industry and academia

Nadin Kökciyan and collaborator propose personal privacy assistants to help us tackle overwhelming privacy decisions

Informatics researcher’s thesis earns an outstanding dissertation prize from TU Dresden

Will I learn to write my own stories?

If there was an interest in developing stories aimed at a scientific audience we could set up Informatics Science Blog to help us promote stories that might not be appropriate for the general channels. Perhaps you brought a story that’s very niche or tricky to explain – or perhaps we have an abundance of stories and have to find the right channels to promote them. For anyone interested in developing their own stories, the Science Blog will be the outlet to do so.

Why should I join?

Ricky Zhu says:

The work in InfGang is to write stories about new research for (smart) laymen. This is almost the same as writing research grant applications to funding committees! Working in InfGang is a great opportunity to practice this important skill to get ready for academic life. One more bonus of the job is that it is necessary to build connections with the authors of the research. By writing stories for other researchers, we also extend our academic network, killing two birds with one stone. Introducing new scientific discoveries to outsiders in itself is delightful, and brings a sense of accomplishment.

How do I join the group?

Please email Kasia Kokowska, Informatics Marketing, Communications and Outreach Manager.

Email Kasia