Do you have an important story to share about your research? Can you tell that story in a concise and compelling way?
Join us for a day-long masterclass with a senior editor and discover how you can persuade influential people outside your field – including funding assessors, politicians, the media, industry and the public – that your work matters.
Each session is limited to 20 participants and can be adapted to suit all levels of experience: from senior leaders to early career researchers or PhD candidates. Before each session, participants must submit a short summary or “pitch” about their work to develop in the masterclass. Selected pitches are shared in the class for group and individual feedback.
Highlights of the day include gaining access to:
Note: this masterclass is not exclusively on pitching to The Conversation. Instead, it’s about sharing our editors’ knowledge of why so many pitches fail – based on our experience with The Conversation and other national and international media outlets including the ABC, Fairfax and Nature.
Download a Masterclass brochure, including a detailed full-day schedule.
This Pitching and Writing Masterclass is a collaboration between The Conversation, a not-for-profit project helping researchers share their knowledge with millions of readers worldwide (38 million article views in a month, as of June 2018), and the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne.
The Masterclass was developed in response to requests from universities and research organisations across Australia seeking practical advice from professionals with experience in accepting or rejecting article pitches. Our team of trainers is led by two senior editors:
Executive Editor Liz Minchin is a Walkley award-winning journalist and author. Liz was a reporter and news editor at The Age newspaper for a decade, before working as an executive media trainer and a radio and online producer. In 2010, Liz co-authored a book with a scientist on serious solutions to climate change, called ‘Screw Light Bulbs’.
Sunanda Creagh is an award-winning journalist and The Conversation's NSW Bureau Chief and Digital Storytelling Editor. Sunanda has also worked as a news correspondent in the Reuters Jakarta bureau, and as a reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald. Her work has been published internationally, including by The Washington Post, CNN, ESPN, The Scotsman, and The New York Times.
“This masterclass is now the cornerstone of our academic professional development program. From professors to doctorate candidates, each has participated with interest. For some, the critical analysis process will define their access to readers and, ultimately, funders.”– Ann McLean, QUT Science & Engineering Faculty Corporate Communications Coordinator
"Excellent. You did a really great job at making the workshop interactive, engaging and well-paced. I especially enjoyed the insight into the inner workings of the publishing world."– Future Fellow and Associate Professor Tim Dargaville
Researchers and academics from more than a dozen universities and research institutes around Australia have taken part in this masterclass. Asked to rate the training in post-workshop surveys, 64% of participants rated it as “Outstanding” or “Excellent”; no one has ever given it a negative rating, or said they would not recommend it to colleagues.
Members of The Conversation – including the vast majority of universities in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the CSIRO and other research bodies – are eligible for discounted training fees. The masterclass can also be delivered for organisations that are not members of The Conversation, either on-site or at The University of Melbourne, but these sessions attract a higher rate.
The minimum number of participants in a session is 10, while the maximum is 20; 15 is an ideal size.
When holding training on-site, we ask the host institute to organise the venue and catering, as well as cover the cost of return economy travel and accommodation (where needed). In return, we will offer a 50% discount on fees for participants beyond the minimum group of 10.
To check if your university, research institution or organisation is a member of The Conversation, see our Australian and New Zealand Partners and Funders page.