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08 July 2024

Call for applications: Summer School on Resilience to Science Hostility

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), Berlin School of Public Engagement and Open Science (BSOPE) and Scicomm-Support invite applications to a summer school on resilience against hostility through science communication in Berlin from 23-24 September, 2024.

Summer School: Resilience against hostility through science communication
September 23th – 24th | HIIG | Französische Straße 9 | 10117 Berlin
Deadline for applications: Monday 5 August 2024 (23:59 CEST).

Notification of acceptence/rejection: until 9 August 2024.
No training costs to participants.
Travel and accommodation costs are at the participant’s expense.


There is a growing demand and responsibility for science to make a positive impact on society. To achieve this, researchers are increasingly expected and motivated to communicate their findings publicly and engage with non-academic actors, however in some cases, they face unwelcome, aggressive reactions. Researchers can become targets of impertinent attacks, hate speech, trolling campaigns, or even physical threats, which can be distressing and can undermine their credibility as experts. Skills in dealing with such attacks, or strategies of how to build resilient communication campaigns and engagement plans often do not play a central role in university curricula and the daily routines of research institutes. Approaches to dealing with such attacks, and wider strategies of how to build resilient and safeguarded communication campaigns and engagement plans are therefore essential skills for researchers.

This three-day training programme is tailored to early career researchers who want to learn how to avoid or deal with hostility and hate speech attacks, where to find help, and most importantly how to create their own communication and engagement strategy in order to maximize their impact beyond academia.

Call for Applications

Applications are submitted via the online Application Form. Please note that there are three longer form questions (below). We advise you to draft your responses in a word editor and then copy them over to the form. In addition to completing background information about you and your research, we ask you to address the following questions:

  • Which non-academic audiences would you like to engage with? What apprehensions or fears, if any, do you have when communicating with audiences outside of academia? (Max. 100 words)
  • What do you hope to get out of the Summer School and what can you contribute? (Max. 100 words)


PhDs, PostDocs, researchers from all disciplines are eligible to apply. Participants must be associated with an academic institution (university, non-university research institution).

Applicant Commitment

Please read the applicant commitment on the website to understand what we ask of you as a Summer School participant.

Training concept

By participating in the Summer School, participants will …

  • gain an understanding of the wide range of Science Communication and Public Engagement activity open to them
  • gain an understanding of the extent and characteristics of science hostility and hate speech in Germany
  • gain an insight into how hostility and hate speech manifest and impact researchers through real life case studies in order to identify risk
  • develop their own communication and engagement strategies


This summer school is part of the multidisciplinary project KAPAZ, where we provide research on the spread and implication of science hostility in Germany. We also provide training for research institutions together with a group of professional science communicators and public engagement experts. The Summer School is led by the Alexander Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the Berlin School of Public Engagement (BSOPE), part of the Public Engagement and Impact Unit at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.

Questions and Support

If you have any further questions about the application process or need any support, please get in touch with Nataliia Sokolovska ( who is happy to answer your questions.

Nataliia Sokolovska

Head of Research Programme: Knowledge & Society

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Part of research project

Du siehst eine große Welle in blauer Farbe und weißer Schaumkrone. Es steht sinnbildlich für die Welle an Wissenschaftsfeindlichkeit (hostility towards science), der manche Wissenschaftler*innen gegenüberstehen.

Capacities and competencies in dealing with hate speech and hostility towards science

The project develops strategies to make the science system more resilient against hate speech & hostility towards science.

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