CPAS Virtual Summer Program


Apply here for the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science Virtual Summer Program!

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Course type

Professional short course


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Explore ideas at the frontier of science communication at ANU

  • The Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at ANU was the first science communication centre in Australia and is now the most diverse of its kind in the world.
  • Join our ANU CPAS Virtual Summer Program to learn about science communication and engagement, join virtual tours across Canberra, and see how studying science communication will give you a competitive edge.

Masterclass in science communication

Participants attending the CPAS Virtual Summer Program can expect to gain a range of skills and knowledge in the world of science communication — and open the door to a deeper engagement with the field.

At the end of the course participants will have the skills and knowledge to

  • Discuss the concepts underpinning science communication practice
  • Consider science communication strategies and tactics for different audiences, using a range of means, media, and technologies.
  • Gain understanding of the ethical responsibilities of science in the modern world


  • undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • currently pursuing an academic program at a university or equivalent
  • preference given to students from ANU partner universities

Academic requirements

Applicants must demonstrate a ‘credit’ GPA of 5.0/7.0 (or very similar) in order to be eligible for consideration.


The CPAS Virtual Summer Program is not formally assessed. Completion of the course does not provide ANU course credit, and you will not receive an ANU transcript.

However, participants attending the course will work on informal group and individual projects to practice the lessons of the course, and feedback will be given to participants throughout to assist their development as emerging communicators of science.


On successful completion of the course, all participants will be issued with an ANU Certificate of Participation.

Course costs

The total course cost is A$1,500. This cost is inclusive of:

  • tuition fee
  • interactive academic activities
  • virtual cultural tours to different national institutions across Canberra

Mode of delivery

The virtual summer program will be delivered completely online. Participants will need access to the internet.

Language of instruction

The virtual summer program will be conducted in English. Participants are not required to undertake an English language test. However, it is strongly recommended that all participants have competent skills in writing, reading, listening and speaking in the English language.

How to apply

A link to the application form will appear here when the next virtual summer program is scheduled. 

Bulk applications are also possible. Email for more details.

Selection basis

Applicants are assessed on the responses to the statement of purpose in addition to their academic transcript.

Course capacity: 40 participants

Sample itinerary (subject to change)

Time (AEDT) Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
  1 February 2 February 3 February 4 February 5 February
09:30AM - 12:00PM

Welcome and orientation

Introduction to science communication

Communicating risk

Science in traditional and social media

Science in popular fiction, humour and storytelling

Science and politics;

engagement for policy impact

01:30PM - 04:00PM

History of science communication

Science engagement: virtual tour of Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre

Science @ Home; rapid prototyping and ‘maker- spaces’

Science engagement: virtual

tour of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Deep Space Complex

Virtual cultural tour of Canberra*

Each session will be interactive, encouraging discussion and small group activities. The Science Engagement sessions will connect students with organisations who communicate science to diverse audiences in different ways, providing the opportunity to explore the different forms of science communication practice.

*The virtual cultural tour will take students to different national institutions such as Parliament House, the National Museum of Australia and CSIRO Black Mountain. These visits will allow students to further explore how science and traditional knowledge is presented within different contexts.

Terms & conditions

The Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) reserves the right to cancel the course or change course title, content, dates and venues. We also reserve the right to decline registrations where registrations exceed capacity or cancel the course due to insufficient registrations. In the event of cancellation, as much notice as possible will be provided to participants registered for the course.

Under the following circumstances, participants may be eligible for a full refund of their fees: if CPAS is unable to offer the course; if a participant cancels their place in the course in writing at least six weeks before the course start date. No fees will be refunded if the participant withdraws from the course within six weeks of the course start date.