Supporting Community Engagement and Effective Science Communication
We have discontinued the Breaking Down Barriers program but will continue to make available its web resources. If you have questions, please email us.
Graduate Outreach Fellowship FAQs
NCSE promotes and defends accurate and effective science education, because everyone deserves to engage with the evidence.
Since 1981, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has worked to ensure that what is taught in science classrooms and beyond is accurate and consistent with the best current understanding of the scientific community.
NCSE recognizes that well-established areas of science that are culturally controversial, in particular climate change and evolution, are challenging to teach. Many teachers avoid or water down these topics out of fear of conflict. NCSE helps train teachers and community volunteers in approaches that have been proven to reduce conflict and help learners overcome even deeply held misconceptions about evolution and climate change. NCSE also helps local communities stay informed about and, if necessary, mobilize against legislation and other efforts that would result in the miseducation of students on these critical topics.
Yes! You'll be joining as a member of our third cohort of Graduate Student Outreach Fellows. You can find out more about their journey by visiting their pages on the NCSE website or watching their video diaries.
No, we are accepting applications from a) graduate students b) post-docs or c) adjunct and non-ladder faculty teaching at community colleges, colleges and universities. Unfortunately we cannot consider applications from other parties.
We will consider every complete application that meets the requirements. However, the strongest applicants will have demonstrated: a) previous success with outreach activities, b) an understanding of the particular needs of her community, and c) full support of your PI or department chair to take on this fellowship.
NCSE is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourages applications from female and minority candidates.
The application for the 2020 cohort closes Friday, October 25, 2019, at 11:45 PM Pacific. To be considered, applicants must have submitted both the full application and all required supporting materials.
You will need a CV, undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and a signed form from your advisor or department chair.
Finalists for the 2020 cohort will be contacted for interviews the week of November 4th. Final decisions will be made by November 15th, 2019.
Learning how to talk to non-scientists about science is a crucial skill for every academic to have. You will also gain skills in fundraising, community organizing, and management. You will also get the chance to share your research with a wide range of non-scientists across the country. Here's a full list of skills that you can share with your PI:
You will be learning outreach theory and practice while sharing science in your community. You'll also be learning skills like human subjects research, grant writing, and curriculum development crucial for effective, informal science. In addition, you will attend bi-weekly meetings with your other fellows and completing small projects along the way.
Pretty much. Here’s the syllabus.
We ask that you plan to devote about 50 hours per month to the fellowship. This includes attending group meetings and monthly check-ins, learning activities and interpretation skills, mobilizing volunteers, fundraising, developing content, and presenting activities. You will have the flexibility to do many of these tasks at a time convenient for you.
NCSE is particularly interested in developing local DIYSci affiliates in areas where evolution and climate change are societally contentious. Therefore, rural and conservative-leaning areas are our primary focus. You will receive ample training in NCSE’s “no-conflict” approach, which will allow you to have discussions in your community in a respectful manner and de-escalate disagreements. If you think you are up to the task, you are strongly encouraged to apply!