Communication in Science

The course Communication in Science is designed for PhD candidates who need to be able to present their research findings to an international audience. The various forms of written and oral presentation will be approached from the perspective of interaction, with special attention to some linguistic issues. Participants apply what they have learned in the work groups and video sessions. The course is conducted in English.

Target group

PhD candidates from the Faculty of Science at the end of their first or beginning of their second year.
PhD candidates of the LUMC in their second or third year.


To enable participants to critically evaluate both their own oral and written communication and that of others.

Working method and course content

The course uses several methods, including peer review, video training and individual tutorials (if needed). Participants produce new material in the form of short assignments, in order to directly apply what they have learned to their own research.

- Communicating more effectively in academic settings (spoken and written)
- Presenting for an international audience: interaction, structure, intonation, pronunciation
- Writing for publication: readability, cohesion and coherence, readers' perspectives

This is a tailor-made course.
For PhD candidates in the (bio)medical sciences, the course consists of 5 sessions.
For PhD candidates from the Faculty of Science, the course consists of 6 regular sessions and 2 language sessions (first two sessions of the course).


Employees of Leiden University can register via Self service.

Others/LUMC (or when you have no access to Self service): by returning the completed and fully signed registration form to HRM Opleidingen (scanned & by email or by post). 

If the date of the course is no longer in the overview in Self Service, this means that the course if full. In that case you can register for the same course on another date. When the course is not mentioned in the overview, this means all courses are full, then you can send a mail to . As soon as there are enough people interested in the course, we try to plan a new date and will let you know accordingly


Courses for Science PhD candidates:

2017/3 Sc: 9, 11, 16, 18, 23 May, 1, 8, 15 June (fully booked)
Tuesday and Thursday, from 9.30-13.00 hours

2017/4 Sc: 25, 27 July, 1, 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 August (fully booked) 
Tuesday and Thursday, from 9.30-13.00 hours

2017/9 Sc: 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30 March, 4, 6 April (not possible to registrate)
Tuesday and Thursday, from 9.30-13.00 hours

Courses for LUMC PhD candidates

Venue of all courses: LUMC, Onderwijsgebouw (Building 3).

Note: dates for the fall will be mentioned June 2017


The course for the Faculty of Sciences amounts to 60 hrs and the course for the LUMC amounts to 40 hrs in total, including attendance, preparation and homework.

Costs and cancellation

PhD candidates (Leiden University and LUMC): free of charge.

Our cancellation rules apply to all courses. Cancellation within two weeks before the first course date means we have to charge a cancellation fee of € 200.

Course tutors

John O’Sullivan, Lucas de Looij, Jenny de Sonneville, Dominique Donato from the Communication in the Science department (Onderwijs Expertise Centrum) of the LUMC.

Any questions?

Experiences from participants

To give you an idea of the opinion of participants that took this course before, we have included comments of the evaluation forms from recent sessions:

Course experience / The most important thing I learned from this course is…
“The course encourages critical thinking of communication in science and most importantly one’s own work.”
“Thinking about good writing; how to structure paragraphs and build good sentences.”
“The course is very useful and you meet people from other fields and you see new ideas.”
“How to engage the audience.”
“Learning to think more about structure and pronunciation.”
“The teachers are great. Really enjoyed them and their explanations. Well done!!!!”

Last Modified: 20-03-2017