Creating Scientific Illustrations




11-15 February, 2019


Registration is closed


Do you want to use illustrations as an effective communication tool? Learn the essentials of graphic design and visual communication theory, drawing by hand, and drawing digitally during this one week course with Pina Kingman.

Course description

Explaining scientific research, including your PhD research, is an essential process, but it is not always an easy task. Being able to translate complex research into information that can be understood by a wide range of audiences is an important skill that will help you throughout your career. Not only will this help you understand your own work better, but it will give you the tools to be able to explain your work to others. Clearly this is important during your defence, but it will be important later too; funding bodies require creative outreach solutions, publishers demand pictures to go along with scientific articles, and parents DO like to know what their kids have been doing these past few years!

Amongst the many effective communication tools at our disposal, illustration is an ideal option. Visually representing your work gives your audience an additional perspective. Illustrations tell stories in ways that text cannot, and therefore makes complex information more accessible. Illustration itself is also a relatively low-cost, time effective option that can be distributed easily.

But with many different factors to consider, like aesthetics, technical ability, and storytelling, it is easy to see that distilling an entire PhD into one image can be a daunting task. During this course, Pina Kingman will give you practical tools to translate your research into a digital illustration. You will learn the essentials of graphic design and visual communication theory, drawing by hand and drawing digitally. We will combine these new theoretical and technical skills to create a digital illustration from your PhD research.

Course work

To pass the course, students must hand in the following:

  • Digital Illustration, either Black & White or Colour, RBG colour profile, 150 dpi, JPEG file format.
  • Brief description of the design principles used, aim for half a page of text.
  • Photographs of sketches and work in progress.

Course teacher


Pina Kingman is an award-winning animator and filmmaker, focusing on telling scientific and medical stories so that the information is accessible to any audience. In addition to teaching scientific illustration courses to young scientists, She is developing art exhibitions, film screenings and public talks with the intention to inspire the general public to take an interest in science. Overall, Pina hopes to help make science-education a little less daunting and a bit more fun.


This course is a collaboration between the following national research schools:


Contact the coordinator, Liv E. Falkenberg.

Published Oct. 12, 2020 4:00 PM - Last modified Nov. 11, 2020 8:19 PM