• Offered by Centre for the Public Awareness of Science
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Science Communication
  • Areas of interest Political Communication, Science Communication, Sustainability Science, Biodiversity Conservation
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Christopher Cvitanovic
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Summer Session 2020
    See Future Offerings

Scientists around the world consistently list achieving tangible impacts on policy and practice as a core career goal - yet few have the knowledge or skillset needed for turning this into a reality. This has arisen because traditional scientific training programs rarely teach the skill set and competencies required to operate effectively at this interface. Thus, this course focuses on providing students with the theory, as well as the practical knowledge, skills and tools that are needed to operate more effectively at the science-policy-practice interface to achieve tangible impacts from their research. This will be achieved by drawing on current research from the fields of knowledge exchange and research impact, as well as the inclusion of guest lecturers from the realms of policy and practice so that students gain a first hand account of the practical ways in which they can bridge the gap between science, policy and practice.  

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand the key principles underpinning successful knowledge exchange between environmental scientists and diverse stakeholder groups;
  2. Apply theories underpinning successful science-policy-practice interface as they relate to contemporary grand socio-ecological challenges such as climate change, population growth and biodiversity loss;
  3. Understand and apply practical strategies for building successful relationships with diverse stakeholder groups founded on trust and respect;
  4. Synthesise scientific knowledge and practices to produce a strategic research impact plan;
  5. Synthesise scientific knowledge to produce a range of engagement aides/products such as policy briefs, blogs and infographics;
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of themselves and others at influencing environmental policy and practice.

Indicative Assessment

  1. An oral presentation (e.g. the students will develop and present a 'policy pitch') (10) [LO 2,3]
  2. A written assessment (policy brief up to 1000 words outlining the policy challenges to be addressed) (20) [LO 3,5]
  3. The creation of an infographic to aid scientific engagement (10) [LO 3,5]
  4. The development of a research impact plan (3000 words) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  5. Reflective journal (10) [LO 1,2,6]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The course will be offered as an intensive, running from 9am-5pm for five consecutive days. Assessment will occur both during the course, and with one major assignment to be submitted three weeks following the completion of the course. 

Inherent Requirements

Not yet determined

Prescribed Texts

Not required

Preliminary Reading

Evans and Cvitanovic (2018) An introduction to achieving policy impact for early career researchers. Palgrave Communications 4: 88.

Reed MS (2016) The Research Impact Handbook. Fast Track Impact Ltd, Aberdeenshire, UK. 

Oliver and Cairney (2019) The do's and don'ts of influencing policy: a systematic review of advice to academics. Palgrave Communications 5: 21.

Cvitanovic et al (2015) Improving knowledge exchange among scientists and decision-makers to facilitate the adaptive governance of marine resources: a review of knowledge and research needs. Ocean and Coastal Management 112: 25-35.

Reed et al (2014) Five principals for the practice of knowledge exchange in environmental management. Journal of Environmental Management 146: 337-345.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1482 14 Feb 2020 21 Feb 2020 21 Feb 2020 16 Mar 2020 In Person View

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