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Research Communication Graduate Certificate

The Research Communication certificate is a graduate-level credential that provides foundational knowledge and applicable experience in effective communication of research and key research findings to academic audiences, professional audiences, and to the general public across different communicative platforms. The certificate requires and offers courses in presentation and discussion skills, academic writing, grant, writing, writing for broad audiences, and more.

Why Earn the Research Communication Certificate?

The goal of the Research Communication certificate is to provide the skill training needed to communicate complex research and key research findings to academic, professional, and general audiences. The skills obtained from the Research Communication certificate translate into a variety of occupations beyond research that include sales, marketing, writing, and professions within STEM fields. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast a 11% to 22% growth in professions including marketing specialists/analysts and technical writers between 2020-2030. The Research Communication certificate serves the unique needs of professionals in marketing and other fields to prepare them in these rapidly growing markets.

Who Will Benefit from Completing the Program?

The Research Communication certificate focuses on developing current UAB graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and employees in both science and non-science fields to learn how to effectively communicate research and research findings. Additionally, the Research Communication certificate serves the needs of individuals not affiliated with UAB to further develop their professional skills in research/science communication.

  • Faculty & Contact

    Courses are taught by instructors within the Office of Professional Studies and Experiential Learning and other academic units. Please refer to the course schedule to see which instructor is teaching any specific course.

  • Course Details

    The Research Communication certificate is comprised of 15 hours. You must complete 9 core hours (GRD 701, GRD 722 OR 727, and GRD 739) and 6 elective hours chosen from the electives list below.

    (total 15 credit hours: 9 required/core + 6 elective)


    Required Course Name Credit Hours Offered
    GRD 701 Presentation & Discussion Skills 3 CH Spring: Varies
    Summer: Varies
    GRD 722 or Writing Research for Broad Audiences or 3 CH Spring: Online
    GRD 727 Writing and Reviewing Research 3 CH Fall: In-Person
    Spring: Online
    Summer: Online
    GRD 739 Research Communication Portfolio 3 CH All: In-person


    Special Topics in Research Communication

    Elective Name Credit Hours Offered
    GRD 706 Grants and Fellowships 101 (One day workshop) 1 CH Fall: Varies
    Spring: In-person
    GRD 707 Presenting Effectively (One day workshop) 1 CH Fall: In-person
    GRD 708 Writing Successfully (One day workshop) 1 CH Spring: Varies
    GRD 723 Writing Research for Academic Audiences 3 CH Fall: Varies
    Spring: Varies
    GRD 729 Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks 3 CH Summer: In-person
    GRD 730 Developing and Maintaining Your Professional Image 3 CH Summer: Online
    GRD 745 Leadership Survival Skills (one-day workshop) 1 CH Fall: Online
    GRD 749 Improvisational Techniques to Improve Leadership, Teaching, and Research Communication (One day workshop) 1 CH Summer: In-person

    Electives from Other Departments

    Elective Name Credit Hours Offered
    CM 603 Message Construction Varies
    EH 502 Writing in Popular Periodicals Varies
    EH 504 Technical Writing Varies
    EH 557 Writing and Medicine Varies
    MBA 616 Web Analytics Varies
    CM 604 Audience Analysis Varies
    EH 503 Business Writing Varies
    EH 556 Visual Rhetoric Varies
    MBA 614 Social Media Varies
    MBA 690 Social Media Marketing Varies
  • Application Checklist
    • Postdoctoral Trainees & Postdoctoral Scholars
      • Complete the online application
      • Contact the Office of Postdoctoral Education to seek Educational Assistance (
    • Current and New students
      • Request official copies of all your academic transcripts to be sent to UAB graduate admissions (more details in the application)
      • Complete the online application
      • Pay the application fee
  • Course Requirements and Schedules

    Any graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, or UAB employee with a bachelor’s degree can enroll in this program. There are no prerequisites required, and courses can simultaneously count toward other certificates, such as the Mentoring and Leadership and CIRTL certificates, which are both OPSEL offerings.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the admissions requirements for the Research Communication graduate certificate?

    1. Submit official copies of all academic transcripts demonstrating that you have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a 3.0 minimum grade point average.
    2. Complete and submit the UAB Graduate School Application.
    3. GRE and MAT are not required to be admitted.

Is the Research Communication graduate certificate a credential?

Yes. The Research Communication graduate certificate is an official credential that is tracked and awarded on the student's UAB transcript.

If you plan to “stack” your Research Communication certificate into the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies degree, you must enroll into the courses in the standard letter grade format.

Can undergraduate students take Research Communication courses?

No. Undergraduate students are not eligible to enroll in the 700 level Research Communication courses.

Do you have to be a Research Communication student in order to take Research Communication course?

No. You do not need to be admitted to the certificate in order to take Research Communication courses. Anyone in the following groups may enroll in Research Communication courses:

  • Non-degree Seeking, Post-Bac
  • Graduate Students
  • Post-Doctoral Fellows
  • Community members
  • UAB employees

*** Please note that if you are not a current degree-seeking student, you should apply as a non-degree student in order to take individual courses. If you want to earn the certificate, apply as a degree-seeking student and choose the Research Communication certificate.

Can UAB employees use the tuition benefit to pay for Research Communication courses?

Yes, current UAB employees may use their tuition benefits to take Research Communication courses. Visit for more information on using your education benefit.

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