Research Communication Graduate Certificate

The Research Communication certificate is a graduate credential focused on helping graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and employees learn how to effectively communicate research to lay (general) audiences. The certificate offers courses in presentation and discussion skills, academic writing, writing for broad audiences, and more.

Why Earn the Research Communication Certificate?

The goal of the Research Communication certificate is to help students gain the skills needed to communicate complex research to both academic and general audiences. We hope you will join us as the certificate expands to fill the needs of those working tirelessly to keep the public informed with critical scientific and humanities-based scholarship — scholarship that very much affects and shapes our world.

Who Will Benefit from Completing the Program?

The Research Communication Certificate focuses on helping graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and employees in both science and non-science fields learn how to effectively communicate research.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

  1. Current student: complete the Intent to Pursue form
  2. New Students:
    • 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.
    • Complete and submit the UAB Graduate School Application.
    • GRE and MAT are not required to be admitted.

Is the Research Communication graduate certificate a credential?

Yes. You may choose to earn the Research Communication graduate certificate by taking courses in the Pass/No Pass grading format of by earning a standard letter grade for each course. Either way, it is an official credential that is tracked and awarded on the student’s official 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information on using your education benefit.

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.

You're Admitted - Next Steps

  • New students: Visit the New Students to UAB page.
  • Current students: Review the course requirements, choose your courses and get enrolled.
  • Questions: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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/CORE

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

ELECTIVES: CHOOSE 6 CREDIT HOURS IN TOTAL FROM SPECIAL TOPICS IN RESEARCH COMMUNICATION AND ELECTIVES FROM OTHER DEPARTMENTS

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

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.

Application Checklist

  • Current UAB graduate students
  • Postdoctoral Trainees & Postdoctoral Scholars
    • Complete the online application
    • Fill out and submit the Intent to Pursue form
    • Contact the Office of Postdoctoral Education to seek Educational Assistance (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • 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