Popular Science Presentations GFOK070

For PhD students in the second half of their PhD studies


In the doctoral education at Chalmers it is mandatory to do one popular science presentation as part of the Generic and Transferable Skills training. This means that all doctoral students must present their research work to an interested public that lacks deeper knowledge about the students’ work. This could include a presentation to a secondary school team of teachers, colleagues from other disciplines or a public audience.

To support the development of popular science presentation skills, Chalmers offers doctoral students and young researcher courses in presentation skills and workshops where you can work on compiling and structuring your presentation material.


The overall aim is to increase young researchers´ capability to present and disseminate their scientific results and ideas to the public environment and targeted societal communities. This will make new research visible in a accessible way to a broad audience.  To develop the capability of young researchers to provide Popular Science Presentations will also boost the career of the scientist.

Guidance on how to set up the mandatory popular science presentation within the scope of Generic and Transferable Skills

1. When to give your presentation?

To perform the mandatory popular presentation you should have reached the second half of your PhD studies. 

2. Contact organiser to book time and place

As a doctoral student you are responsible to contact an organiser of popular science events to book time and place for your presentation. For tips on where you can perform presentations please check the list of examples below. You are free to organise your presentation at other locations than those listed by us.

To those of you who are participating in the workshop Popular Science Presentation additional support will be given to find your platform of presentation.

Examples of presentations platforms

3. Fill in the registration form (on the left side)

When you have decided when and where to perform your presentation, you should register by submitting  the registration form on the left side at least 4 weeks in advance of the event.

4. Prepare the presentation according to the assessment criteria

The presentation should normally be around 10 minutes long followed by 5 minutes of questions and discussion. The presentation can be longer or shorter but must have a specified length that you should adhere to. You should use some form of visual aid. Make sure that your presentation meets the assessment criteria listed below.

5. Request feedback before you start

Before your start kindly ask a few persons in the audience to give you constructive criticism on your performance. Tips and feedback forms you may use

Feedback in English.pdf

Feedback in Swedish.pdf 

6. Send a reflection on your learnings, including the audience feedback to genericskills@chalmers.se

After the performance write a reflection on your presentation consisting of 200-400 words on the topic: What did you learn for the future? You are expected to include comments on the audience feedback. Send the reflection to genericskills@chalmers.se. Please write “GFOK070” in the subject line. 

Reflection example

Reflection example

Reflection example

Assessment criteria

You are expected to demonstrate the capability of presenting you research to a non-expert public in an accessible way as a popular science presentation. To achieve that goal you should ensure that you include the following components in your presentation:

  • the content is relevant in relation to the audience
  • the presentation content is clear with a reasonable balance between presentation elements
  • the research context, purpose and findings are presented
  • the presentation describes in which area/activity your results will be important, and why
  • the language is simple, precise and tailored to the public. Any technical terms must/should be explained
  • use supporting visual aids and respect the timetable
  • the presentation has a distinct theme and you have good contact with your audience.

Available resources for your presentation

1. To train your ability to present scientific material in an accessible manner for different target groups, Chalmers offers courses in presentation skills - see Advanced Communication, GFOK045.

2. Workshops aimed to help you to design and to train delivering a popular science presentation -  read and register here

Workshops: Popular Science Presentations


"Speaker’s Cookbook”, Erik Mattsson (2015)


A written reflection on your presentation consisting of 200-400 words. You are expected to include the audience feedback and your personal learning for future presentations as part of the document. The reflection is to be sent to genericskills@chalmers.se . Please write “GFOK070” in the subject line.

Published: Mon 13 Jun 2016. Modified: Thu 01 Jun 2017