Stanford Research Communication Program
  Home   Graduate Students and Postdocs About
Archive by Year


I-RITE Statement Archive



About Our Program
About I-RITE

Our Goal: teaching researchers how to communicate their work to a broad audience

Every research university faces the challenge of helping its researchers persuasively communicate the significance of their work to the larger public. The Stanford IRITE/ISPEAK Program implements this objective by assisting participants in producing both accessible written statements explaining their research and oral presentations that are succinct and invite further discussion.

The Problem

Many researchers have problems communicating their ideas to non-specialized audiences. When researchers cannot successfully communicate the purpose and significance of their research, the results are:

  • Reduced exchange of new concepts, methods, and findings among academic disciplines and subdisciplines
  • Lack of appreciation and knowledge by lay persons of the purposes and achievements of academic research
  • Underutilization of research findings for policy- and decision-making

Individual researchers who are unable to clearly express their ideas in ways comprehensible to non-specialists experience problems during job-talks, when writing proposals or communicating with the media, and in other professional and personal situations.

Our Solutions

IRITE and ISPEAK provide postdoctoral scholars, and advanced graduate students with time-efficient, intense training in effectively communicating their ideas to a broader audience. Participants work on crafting a written statement that describes their research in understandable and compelling ways to high school seniors. ISPEAK participants develop a one-minute oral version of their IRITE statements, also based on principles of communicating work to nonspecialized audiences.

While developing the written statement and oral presentations, participants work with techniques that cover a range of issues in the writing and speaking process. Topics address issues ranging from peer reviewing and assumptions about audience to the methodology of preparing and delivering brief talks in a work context.


By preparing graduate students and others in the research community with the skills to effectively present their own work, the I-RITE and I-SPEAK programs contribute to:

  • Interdisciplinarity within academic communities, both nationally and internationally
  • Broader dissemination among the general public and policy-makers of academic approaches and findings
  • The quality and accuracy of journalistic representations of academic research
  • Greater appreciation from the broader community for the importance of academic research
  • Graduate and postgraduate professional development

A complete list of benefits can be found here.