Communication Fellows are trained peer coaches and practicing engineers. These graduate students and post-docs are from MIT engineering departments and are trained to combine technical skills with effective communication strategies. The team offers writing, speaking, and visual design support for undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-docs.

Our peer coaches receive extensive training and mentorship; we focus as much on the Fellow experience as we do our clients’.

If you become a Communication Fellow, you will…

  • Spend <5 hours/week on Communication Lab activities
  • Have the opportunity to earn up to $3K/year to learn communication skills, coach your peers, and design other communication resources for your department
  • Participate in a year-long training (9 sessions x 2 hours each)
  • Be mentored by your manager and experienced Fellows
  • Receive regular feedback on your own communication and coaching
  • Have access to ample professional development opportunities
  • Learn to design and run hands-on workshops and other educational resources for your peers
  • Take the lead on projects that excite you, with support from Communication Lab staff

How to become a Communication Fellow

In participating departments, we solicit applications to become Communication Fellows once a year, in early spring. Here’s what you can expect from the application process:

  1. Write <500 words about why you want to become a Communication Fellow and what you would like to bring to the program.
  2. Request permission from your PI to join the team, if accepted.
  3. Selected candidates will be invited to an interview, where you will discuss your interest in the program and share your approaches to communication and coaching.

Candidates must be affiliated with a participating MIT School of Engineering department. Find your department’s Fellow recruitment information using the following links, which will lead either to an informational webpage or to the relevant Comm Lab manager’s email for inquiries.

Fellow alumni

Since launching in 2013, the Commmunication Lab has graduated 166 Communication Fellows. Alumni Fellows now apply their skills in a wide spectrum of careers, from start-ups and science journalism to industry and education. Alumni report that the deep training and experience in communication, teaching, mentorship, and leadership that they receive through the Communication Lab have been essential to their success beyond their PhDs and postdocs.

Communication is perhaps the most important aspect of science and engineering that we receive almost no training on. As a Fellow, I felt that I helped change that by coaching many MIT students on their communication abilities. … I also learned so much about science communication myself. The Comm Lab trainings and workshops developed techniques that I continue to use in my writing, presenting, and even informal science discussion. As a result, I constantly receive compliments from my colleagues on my ability to efficiently convey my main message and “bigger picture” of my research.

Headshot of Andrew FeldmanAndrew Feldman, Civil & Environmental Engineering Communication Fellow alum