Science meets journalism: Two MA bursaries available for 2020Date Released: Thu, 5 September 2019 13:41 +0200
How would you like to spend the next two years…Making a video documentary? Designing a series of posters and learning how to transform these into animated explainer videos? Engaging farmers in discussions about South Africa’s first GMO product? Learning about Action Research? Getting a Masters degree in Journalism and Media Studies at the same time? Does this sound like your dream degree?
Two Masters Bursaries available in the School of Journalism and Media Studies in Science Communication and Engagement
The South African Research Chair in Biotechnology Innovation and Engagement, in collaboration with the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, is offering two bursaries for a Masters degree for a programme starting in 2020 on science communication. This is a particularly relevant project in the light of the 4th industrial revolution and the importance for public engagement and understanding of the new sciences, with a focus on biotechnology. It will position the students favourably for a career in the growing field of science communication.
In the past, scientific communication was only conceptualised as a one-way process of educating the public, thus focusing on a deficit model of communication where the public was seen as lacking scientific information and understanding. In contrast, scientific engagement recognises the importance of involving the public in discussions around scientific research as part of democratic deliberation and sees knowledge exchange here as a two-way process, where scientists can gather valuable insights from the public, and the public can also raise concerns around safety and ethics in terms of innovation. The programme will provide the students with opportunities for interdisciplinary discussions and travel within South Africa, offering rich opportunities for learning and producing media. The two MA research projects will have to explore a given topic through the lens of science communication and engagement.
General Requirements: The bursary requires that students produce multimedia in an action research project exploring GMOs in agriculture with farmers, and then reflect on the process of science engagement and communication in a thesis. Students will be encouraged to use creative media strategies involving new technologies and audio-visual communication. The bursary requires that each student completes the degree in two years. The value of a bursary is R90 000 per year over two years, which will be funded by the Technology Innovation Agency of South Africa through Biosafety South Africa, a national biosafety platform established by the National Department of Science and Technology.
MA Bursary for a research project based on Documentary Video Production and Science Engagement
This student will focus their research project on action research involving the production of a documentary video. Funding towards the production of the documentary will allow the student to travel around the country for filming. The engagement will be with the agricultural community around a specific GMO product, but the video will offer a general insight into science engagement as a practice.
Requirements: This applicant needs to have an honours degree or equivalent in a Journalism and Media Studies or Communications with a specialisation in documentary video production. Alternatively, the applicant needs to have an honours degree in a Journalism and Media Studies, Communication or a related field and extensive experience as a documentary video producer, with skills in operating cameras and editing equipment at a professional level.
MA Bursary for a research project based on developing a multimedia communications strategy informed by Science Engagement
This student will integrate lessons learnt from engaging with farmers, to develop a communications strategy with media products, that will provoke informed discussions among the farming community around a new GMO product. The student will need to develop a multimedia communications approach and integrate elements such as visual design, animation and explainer videos designed for social media distribution into this communications strategy. Some funding for travel will assist the student in the production process and testing of the material.
Requirements: This applicant needs to have an honours degree or equivalent in a Journalism and Media Studies or Communications with a specialisation in some form of multimedia communication such as visual design, animation, video production, or social media engagement. Alternatively, the applicant needs to have an honours degree in Journalism and Media Studies, Communication or a related field and extensive experience as a multimedia producer, with skills in producing multimedia at a professional level.
To apply for the bursary, please follow the official Rhodes University application process and register your information using the following form: https://forms.gle/vmxwU2PcprN9GYy3A