Article

The Faraday Institution

How this UK institute pioneered Nature Masterclasses virtual workshop training during ‘the new normal’

Background

Nature Masterclasses offer high-quality training delivered by Nature Research journal editors, experienced researchers, funders and professionals.

The Faraday Institution (FI) is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, skills development and market analysis. Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, the Faraday Institution drives application-inspired collaborative research in electrochemical energy storage to reduce battery cost, weight and volume; improve performance and reliability; and develop whole-life strategies include recycling and reuse. The most promising research coming out of the Institution will be developed for real-world use through the pipeline of innovation and application established through the Faraday Battery Challenge.

Challenge and opportunity

Like many other institutions impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the Faraday Institution could no longer provide access to in-person professional development training for its researchers because of heavy restrictions placed upon travel and large gatherings. To maximise the opportunity of virtual delivery, the FI sought out the unique insights provided by Nature editors Karl Ziemelis and Clare Hansell.

Solution 

Nature Masterclasses worked quickly with the Faraday Institution to adapt existing in-person workshops into a virtual series of webinars to train its battery research community in scientific writing and publishing. The Faraday Institution was the first organisation in Europe to pioneer our virtually delivered, interactive sessions. 

Outcome

The Masterclass taught us how to clearly and concisely communicate our science to capture a wider audience. Using several case studies we were shown the ‘do's and don’ts’ in the art of abstract writing.

The one-to-one abstract review session gave me the opportunity to get constructive criticism from someone who is familiar with both writing and science.

The course has provided me with many insights to apply to my own research.

Participant, The Faraday Institution

Always seeking dynamic and creative ways to deliver excellent training opportunities to our community, a global pandemic has caused us to be fast paced, adaptable and responsive to changing circumstances. 

Swiftly collaborating with Nature Research to launch a bespoke, online training package has enabled high-quality continuing professional development for our growing battery research community at this time. Crammed with topic specific, relevant best practice examples and numerous tips from the experts, the online sessions were instructional, informative, interactive and engaging.

I am confident that, as a result of attending, Faraday Institution Research Fellows will be better equipped with the tools for successful scientific writing and future publications as they further their careers.

Fran Long, Education and Training Co-ordinator, The Faraday Institution

About Nature Masterclasses

Nature Masterclasses was developed by Nature Research to provide professional development training for researchers. To date, over 50,000 researchers from over 180 countries have benefited from our training. Nature Research is part of Springer Nature, a leading academic and educational publisher. Nature Research's flagship publication is Nature, a weekly multidisciplinary journal first published in 1869.