Here you will find quick tips and thoughts on a variety of topics related to science communication. If you have suggestions for additional blog posts, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Towards an “#evenbetterposter”: improving the #betterposter template

What is #betterposter? Introduced in 2019 by a psychology graduate student1, #betterposter is a framework for improving scientific poster design and presentation. The goal is to eliminate large blocks of text—which too often plague academic posters—to improve audience understanding and to make posters more efficient to create and view. To accomplish this, #betterposter templates are… View Article

Intro to the faculty job search: tips and resources

The faculty job search, while continually evolving in terms of trends and hiring practices, is commonly experienced as a daunting, poorly illuminated, and variable process1. While there is no single path to success in finding a faculty job, here we aim to provide some general recommendations based on communication best practices and links to additional… View Article

Fantastic BATS and how to give them

This blog post will follow a roadmap format—jump in at any point no matter how much time you have until your own BATS: At face value, BATS might seem like one of the most intimidating aspects of the entire Biological Engineering PhD. You may feel like it is too early to share your research progress… View Article

Career Exploration

If you are starting to think about what you want to do with a degree in Biological Engineering, check out this post on career exploration. Learn about the various career paths our students have taken post PhD, think about what you are looking for, and get tips for how to start your own career exploration process.

Introduction to Illustrator and Helpful Resources

Vector images are an important component of figure design. While the learning curve is steep, Illustrator is the best way to make images. In this series of blog posts, we introduce you to Illustrator and the things you might need to know how to do in Illustrator as a bioengineer!

A guide to Life Sciences VC as a Bioengineering Student

Many biological engineering students go into careers in venture capital or venture creation. In this series of blog posts, we interviewed alums in the field and answer common questions about jobs in VC. Read on to learn more!

Fellowships – Fall 2021

Check out a highlight of BE-related fellowship opportunities for undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Writing Letters of Recommendation

Recommendation letters are critical for a successful job, school, or fellowship application. Writing a letter of recommendation can be hard. Check out our tips to write a strong letter for your mentee.

Asking for Recommendation Letters

Applying for graduate school or fellowships can be daunting. To make the process more stressful, we often need several letters of recommendation for a complete application. Below are some tips on who to ask and how to ask for a letter of recommendation.

Editing Checklist

Working on writing a long document. Use our editing checklist when you think you are done to make sure you don’t miss any details!

Fellowships – Fall 2020

It’s that time of year again! Fellowship deadlines are fast approaching. Writing a fellowship is an important exercise for any scientist and winning a fellowship is important for any career.

Remote Teaching Tips and Tricks

Remote teaching comes with its own challenges. The BE Comm Lab, in collaboration with the BE-TLL Teaching Fellow Program, compiled this list of remote teaching tips and tricks.

Remote Presentations

Do you have an upcoming class presentation, lab meeting, or thesis defense that you have to deliver virtually? Check out our tips on giving an engaging and informative scientific presentation over Zoom.

Spotlight on Emails and Interviewing

How can you improve your email and interviewing skills? BE Communication Fellows Sarah Schwartz and Josh Peters share their motivation for writing these articles and provide tips for success.

Tips for Remote Teamwork

It can be difficult to work in teams. Remote teamwork can be even harder. Here are some tips to help you work in a team remotely and have difficult conversations if needed.

How to Be Clear When Nothing Else Is

In the last month, coronavirus has rapidly rewritten the rules for how we engage with each other. Science communicators play a crucial role as they investigate, clarify and contextualize incoming data. Communicating complex concepts is a standard challenge that researchers, journalists, physicians, and other members of the scientific community struggle with daily—but these are not standard times.

Things to do when you can’t be in the lab

Many BE undergrad and grad students were working in the lab prior to the worldwide Covid-19 rampdown. While you are at home, we wanted to remind you that there are many ways to use this time to learn and practice important research and life skills.

Remote Learning in BE

Welcome to the world of remote learning. We’ve all found ourselves in a new situation and are having to adjust quite rapidly. Below are some tips to help you prepare for and participate in remote learning.

Comm Lab Fellows visit Amplify the Signal at UIUC

MIT Comm Lab attended the Amplify the Signal conference at UIUC in May 2019. Communication Fellows Leigh Ann Kesler (NSE), Ravikishore Kommajosyula (MechE), and Amanda Chen (BE), brought back exciting ideas and important questions.

Spotlight on GitHub Resources

Seeing a need for resources to supplement the CommKit, BE communication fellows Alex Triassi, Tyler Toth, George Sun, Divya Ramamoorthy, Josh Peters, and Kyle Jarrod McLean began compiling templates and learning guides to make it easier to create beautiful and clear scientific documents. 

Join our team — Become a BE Communication Lab Fellow!

The BE Communication Lab  anticipates several openings this year to join the team. The Communication Lab is a program that is for engineers – by engineers. We offer writing, speaking, and visual design support for BE undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-docs.

Happy Birthday, BECL!

In Jan 2018, the BE Communication Lab celebrated it’s 5th birthday! It has been an exciting journey to get here and we can’t wait to see where the next 5 years take us! Thank you to all the clients, fellows, advocates, and discussion partners for helping us shape our journey.

Spring Fellowship Deadlines

Spring tends to be pretty quiet when it comes to applying to fellowships — but there are a few important fellowships to consider! Writing a fellowship is an important exercise for any scientist and winning a fellowship is important for any career.

Spotlight on Science Policy

How can you communicate your science to alter science policy and accurately inform the public? Driven by this question, BE Communication Fellow Aaron Dy, along with BE Fellow Manu Kumar, EECS Advisor Pete Lindahl, NSE Fellow Patrick White, and Dr. Dan Pomeroy of MIT’s International Policy Lab, created a new initiative to help students learn about Science Policy.

Wishnok Prize – Suggestions for Speakers

The Wishnok Prize for the Bioengineering and Toxicology Seminar (BATS) was established by the Department of Biological Engineering in 2015 in honor of Pete Wishnok, who led BATS for over three decades. The Wishnok Prize is awarded for the best talks in the Fall and Spring Semesters.

Resume/Networking Workshop and Speed Networking Event

Need a polished resume? Want to practice your networking skills? Thinking about next steps after you graduate? The BE Comm Lab is hosting a Resume/Networking Workshop and Speed Networking Event. Join us to learn strategies to make your resume stand out and engage your audience with the perfect pitch. It’s never too early to start perfecting these skills!

BE Comm Lab launches new public speaking resources

What makes an exceptional public speaker? Driven by this question, BE Communication Fellow Andee Wallace led the creation of a new initiative to help BE members elevate their public speaking. Here she explains what inspired her, and the resources the Comm Lab now offers to take your public speaking to the next level – regardless of where you’re starting from.

Fellowships — Fall 2018

It’s that time of year again! Fellowship deadlines are fast approaching. Writing a fellowship is an important exercise for any scientist and winning a fellowship is important for any career. While fellowship applications take time, they provide a great opportunity to put your ideas on paper and help you to write about your work in a clear and concise manner.

BE Communication Fellow Alumni Spotlight: Scott Olesen

Scott Olesen was one of the founding cohort of BE Communication Fellows, who joined and helped shape the Communication Lab when it was established in 2013. He was a BE PhD student in Eric Alm’s lab. Scott graduated with his PhD in 2016, and is now a postdoc at the Harvard School of Public Health.

BE now offering an undergraduate senior thesis

For the first time, Biological Engineering is now offering its undergraduates an opportunity to try their hand at a senior thesis – an in-depth write-up of their original research. For students who want to get a taste of graduate school or move their work closer to publication, this is an excellent opportunity to pursue scientific communication at length.

BE Communication Fellow Alumni Spotlight: John Casey

John Casey was one of the founding cohort of BE Communication Fellows, who joined and helped shape the Communication Lab when it was established in 2013. He was a BE PhD student in Angela Belcher’s lab, where he designed and developed thermostable de novo enzymes on viral capsid proteins. John graduated with his PhD in the spring of 2015.

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