Science Communication Fellowship

Connecting Scientific Research with Communities

Sunset Zoo's Science Communication Fellowship (SCF) is a growing network of certified researchers, professionals, graduate students and post-graduate students working together to connect the community to science and elevate the understanding of science-related work taking place in the region. Launched in 2015, SCF is part of the national Portal to the Public Network and has received additional support from Kansas State University's Graduate School.

Benefits of Becoming a Fellow

  • Enhance your science communication skills

    through a dynamic, engaging and participatory workshop series.
  • Develop a hands-on educational activity that is yours to use in multiple settings at Sunset Zoo and beyond.
  • Receive letters of acknowledgement and certification suitable for sharing with supervisors and for grant reporting.
  • Join a growing network of certified Fellows who participate in public programs throughout the year facilitated by Sunset Zoo.

Expectations of Fellows

  • Individuals or organizations that are actively engaged in research or practicing science as a profession related to the life sciences, earth/space science or an applied science related to one of those two core science disciplines.
  • Complete an official Science Communication Fellowship application.
  • Participate in an initial interview and cohort selection process that evaluates commitment, intent and availability to participate.
  • Participation in ten hours of professional development workshops and a prototyping work session.
  • Participate in a one-on-one activity development and communication meeting between workshop sessions.
  • Sign up for a minimum of three public programs facilitated by Sunset Zoo’s Education Department.

General Timeline for 2017 Fellows Program

  • MAY 5, 2017: Application due to Zoo by 5pm (CDT)
  • MAY 19, 2017: Fellows notified by Zoo staff; the cohort is limited to ten fellows.
  • JUNE 12—AUGUST 18, 2017: Professional development workshops hosted by Zoo staff; exact dates to be determined with input from fellows.
  • SEPTEMBER 2017—FEBRUARY 2018: Public programs by fellows.
Certification of Fellows will be achieved after completion of all workshops and participation in three public programs. It is anticipated that this will be completed by early 2018.

Application Process

Interested individuals should complete the Science Communication Fellowship Application and return to Zoo staff by Friday, May 5 at 5pm (CDT). Completed applications can be mailed, emailed or faxed to:

Sunset Zoo
Attn: Science Communication Fellowship
2333 Oak Street
Manhattan, KS 66502
email: | fax: 785-587-2730

More About the Portal to the Public

Portal to the Public was launched in 2007 through funding from the National Science Foundation and a collaboration between Seattle’s Pacific Science Center, Albuquerque’s Explora, Lancaster’s North Museum of Natural History, and London’s Institute for Learning Innovation. Their work created an guiding framework that informal education sites - like zoos, aquariums, and science centers - can use to build programs that connect scientists and the public. The Portal has since received two additional grants including one through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, expanding the network to 44 institutions. Sunset Zoo was invited to join the Network in 2015 and completed a year-long mentoring opportunity provided by Portal staff. To learn more, visit the Portal's website.