Communicating research to the public always seems like a really great idea... but I'm guessing that coming face to face with a journalist can be a nerve-racking experience. Most scientists I've spoken to have worried about whether the journalist will 'get it right' , misquote them or misrepresent their research. The British Science Association are offering researchers the chance to spend 3-8 weeks on a Media Fellowship to get first hand experience of how a news desk really works, what makes a 'story' and the deadlines that journalists work to.
Armed with that knowledge and understanding, you're likely to find it much easier to speak to journalists confidently in the future - something that is hard to escape with the current trends towards research with impact. The chance to develop your writing skills through preparing well-informed and accurate news pieces will also help with journal articles and funding applications in future.
Previous hosts for the Fellowship have included The Guardian, Nature, BBC News and The Times. Glasgow Researcher Pat Monaghan spent 3 weeks at the Scotsman in 2009 and has written about her experiences in the FBLS Christmas newsletter.
The deadline for applications is 2 March 2010