Research outreach programme enhances impact

06 Jun 2024

XJTLU’s University Marketing and Communications (UMC) office recently held the Research Outreach Ambassadors Programme, which aims to help academics increase their research impact through communication.

Research Outreach Ambassadors Programme launch


Blended learning resources

The programme consists of three parts: onsite workshops, an online course, and tailored workshops for six “ambassadors”.

The International Communications Team at UMC developed the workshops to equip researchers with the necessary skills to enhance their research outreach. These workshops, covering media engagement, social media, public speaking, and more, took place onsite from March to May.

Open to all XJTLU researchers, including academic staff and PhD students, these sessions were designed to foster a collaborative environment where participants can learn from experts in the field and exchange ideas with their peers.

Academic staff networking

In addition, researchers can access UMC’s Research Outreach Learning Hub through Learning Mall. These on-demand lessons are for researchers who want to learn more about the foundations of communication, and include videos, PPTs and audio transcripts.

UMC’s Research Outreach Learning Hub


Outreach Ambassadors

This semester, UMC has also continued to partner with The Conversation UK, a renowned outlet for academic analysis and news, to curate tailored workshops for six ambassadors and to assist them in crafting pitches for media outreach. The Ambassadors received tailored workshops and one-on-one mentoring from Matt Warren, Managing Editor at The Conversation UK.

From left to right: Dr Simon Schweighofer, Dr Nanlin Jin, Dr Penelope Scott, Matt Warren, Dr Irina Shcheglova, and Dr Joe Lo (not pictured: Dr Jing Sun)

This year’s Ambassadors are:

Patricia Pieterse, Senior Writer and Editor at UMC, giving a presentation

Dr Catherine Diamond, Writer and Editor at UMC, giving a presentation

 Partnership with The Conversation

The launch event featured a panel discussion with academics who have worked with The Conversation UK in previous years, including Dr Li Li at the Department of Health and Environmental Sciences, Dr Yiwen Wang at the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Dr Na Li at the Department of Educational Studies, and Dr Alessandra Cappelletti at the Department of International Studies.

From left: Patricia Pieterse, Dr Li Li, Dr Yiwen Wang, Dr Na Li, and Dr Alessandra Cappelletti

XJTLU’s partnership with The Conversation UK has offered many media opportunities for researchers to share their expertise and insights with a broader audience.

Dr Cappelletti reflected on her experience of working with media and journalists.

“It’s a valuable exercise to work with journalists because they can guide me through communicating complex concepts to general audience. It also tested my self-confidence and how strong my research outcomes are.

“Sometimes, academics are reluctant to expose themselves to the media for fear that their opinions are not accurately represented, or their relation with journalists might be manipulated. But I don’t think we need to be scared. I think we need to jump into media with awareness and with understanding of how the media world works,” she said.

Research at XJTLU

The Research Outreach Ambassadors Programme demonstrated XJTLU’s commitment to promoting impactful research as a research-led international university.

Professor Fei Ma

Professor Fei Ma, Associate Vice President of Research and Impact, recognised the importance of research outreach in his speech.

“The ultimate goal of research is addressing real-world challenges and finding tangible solutions,” he said.

“By equipping researchers with the necessary skills and resources, XJTLU continues to cultivate a vibrant research community that contributes to the advancement of knowledge and addresses global challenges.”

Dr Xin Bi

Dr Xin Bi, Chief Officer of Data and Director of the Centre for Knowledge and Information, said: “At XJTLU, we are dedicated to cultivating a research ecosystem that promotes creativity, collaboration, and impact. By fostering a supportive environment, we empower our researchers to push boundaries and make contributions to their fields.” 

For more information about research outreach opportunities, please visit Learning Mall Core or email


By Xinmin Han
Edited by Patricia Pieterse
Photos by Zuofu Wang


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