Microbiology Literacy Initiative

The Microbiology Literacy Initiative is looking for a group of interns

Who we are/our goals

We, the Microbiology Literacy Initiative – an international consortium of leading scholars and the Society for Applied Microbiology in the UK – are looking for motivated students to support us in an exciting transdisciplinary project. The Microbiology Literacy Initiative aims to establish, in society, a profound understanding of the microbiological processes affecting our daily lives and their importance for various aspects of sustainability – topics include, but are not limited to, microbiology in disease and health, nutrition and food production, marine ecosystem and environmental change, and even how microbes control our moods and behaviour (e.g. 'zombie ants' – eeek), to name but a few. By teaching these topics in an integrated, interconnected and experiential fashion, this exceptional project’s secondary aim is to establish transferrable core competencies early in life and thereby build a societal capacity for the critical assessment of general information. This will also support efforts to counteract the establishment, traction gain and impact of misleading information which is becoming increasingly pervasive in our daily lives.

Our unmet need

Currently, the school curriculum of microbiology topics for children and young adults, which is to be taught in a personal/society-relevant format, is in late-stage development. However, because there exist diverse types of learners and, of course, microbes are invisible, we wish to provide experiential, immersive (multimedia) content that help visualize microbes and their activities – Multimedia Teaching Aids – to complement the curriculum topics. To search for, and create and appraise, appropriate teaching aids, we aim to better understand how children and young adults at school learn most effectively through multimedia content and, in extension, which are their preferences.

Your contribution

This truly multidisciplinary venture is designed to be a collaborative internship project for 3–4 students working in tandem and will consist of desk and empirical research. Specifically, you will support each other in identifying current didactical standards (theory and practice), searching for existing multimedia content on the web, aiding in the identification of relevant stakeholders, eliciting their needs and preferences, and support us in establishing multimedia teaching aid content creation and appraisal standards.

What’s in it for you?

SfAM, the Society for Applied Microbiology (UK) – a prestigious research funder and promoter – will be the official organisation hosting your internship. Being part of this project will look great on your CV, in particular if you are looking for a job in SciCom, education or research. And, just as you will be working in a student team, your interdisciplinary team of supervisors, namely Paul (SfAM), and James & Sem (VU), will work closely together to maximise your supervision experience and learning outcomes. Moreover, based on your degree of initiative and quality of work, it might be possible to offer you co-authorship on potentially resulting publications.

How to get in touch

If this topic, and working for an international consortium, excite you (and you would like to be part of the buzz), please send a brief motivation statement and your CV to [email protected] – it is helpful, but not necessary, to have a basic understanding of microbiology. Learn more about microbiology literacy by clicking here.

Be sustainable change – Microbiology Literacy Initiative