2019 European Immunization Training Workshop in Geneva

Brocher Foundation, the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of new medical developpements


The World Federation of Science Journalists is announcing a 2.5 day European Immunization Training Workshop at the Brocher Foundation site from 14-16 October 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.


Objectives and Themes


The aim of the training workshop is to provide factual information on the state of immunization and to increase journalism skills for accurate immunization science coverage in Europe. Training will cover many vaccination-related topics relevant to the European context such as basic vaccination science, the economy of vaccination, the science behind immunization strategies, vaccine hesitancy and social media polarization.


Workshop directors


The programming of the workshop is designed and led by Daniela Ovadia and Alexandra Borissova.

Daniela Ovadia


Daniela Ovadia is an Italian science journalist, neuroscientist and neuroethicist and the Co-director of the Neuroscience and Society Lab at the University of Pavia. She has a background in medicine and neuroscience (Università Statale, Milan, Italy) and neuroethics (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, US). She is the Director of the Center for Ethics in Science and Journalism (CESJ) and the Scientific Director of Agenzia Zoe (science writing agency).

Alexandra Borissova



Alexandra Borissova is a Russian science journalist with a background in physical chemistry. She is currently the president of the Russian Association for Science Communication (AKSON) and a senior lecturer at the Center for Science Communication at the ITMO University, St. Petersburg. As a science reporter and editor, she collaborated with the leading Russian news outlets (TASS, Gazeta.Ru, RBC). As a science communicator, she was the first head of communication office at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and held workshops on corporate science communication all across Russia. She is a former German Chancellor Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.


Special Guest Speakers


  • Fabiana Zollo (Ca’ Foscari University, International Center for the Humanities and Social Change) on the use of social media and polarization.
  • Emilie Karafillakis (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) on the role of culture and values in the anti-vax movement.
  • WHO experts, Martin Howell Friede and Raymond Hutubessy, on the economy of vaccination, the future of the immunization, research and new vaccines.
  • Additional speakers will be announced at a later stage.



The primary focus is on European junior science journalists or general beat journalists, occasionally covering science topics. Anyone who actively writes, edits or produces science news, information or commentary for an independent media, is working as a staff member of such media or as a freelance journalist in Europe. Training will be held in English. We will particularly welcome journalists from France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and Romania. However, applications from all over Europe are accepted.




  • Up to 20 participants from Europe will be selected for attending the workshop. Travel expenses, accommodation, meals and workshop materials will be paid for.
  • The main selection criterion is the quality of the application. International diversity, gender balance, a mix of experiences and personal motivation to the topic will be considered in the selection process.
  • Successful applications will make a clear and convincing case for how attending this workshop will benefit the applicant. Journalists will be asked to upload a curriculum vitae and provide a statement of interest.

For more information, please contact: info@wfsj.org 

Before applying, we recommend that you read first through the application information below to prepare materials as required.

Required application information

  • Current work situation (job title, short description of your current journalistic work and/or communication duties [max. 200 words])
  • Topics covered (the topics you most frequently cover [max. 200 words])
  • Years of experience as a journalist 
  • Time spent on average per month for independent media
  • Tell us why you wish to participate in this workshop? (What impact might it have on your future work as a journalist? [max. 200 words])
  • For which media outlets do you mainly publish your stories?(Radio, television, newspaper, magazine, blog or website)
  • Samples of your work (Provide us with a minimum of 3 samples of your work [Word, PDF, Video], provide a short summary in English if the document is in a different language. You may add links for samples of your work.)
  • What is your level of English?
  • Attach a copy of your CV (upload a document PDF or image)


If you are ready to apply, click here.