The ChemE Communication Lab is looking to recruit a new cohort of fellows to join our team this spring. Are you the go-to person in your lab to restructure a manuscript or critique a presentation? Do you value opportunities to mentor and develop others? If so, bring your skills and love of service to the Comm Lab where you will learn how to coach your peers to become more effective communicators and engineers.

Submit your application online by Tuesday, February 13, 11:59 P.M. Eastern time. You can preview the full application questions in this PDF.

About the Communication Lab

The ChemE Comm Lab began in 2017 in response to grad student requests for more support in their communication tasks — writing manuscripts, making presentations, designing figures, creating faculty packages, and more.

The program is provided expressly for chemical engineers by chemical engineers. Our fellows are trained grad students and postdocs from across the department who combine technical skills with effective communication strategies. The team provides written, speaking, and visual communication support to all ChemE undergrads, grads, and postdocs through 1:1 coaching and group workshops. Our programming has covered a myriad of communication needs from faculty application packages and research proposals to visual abstracts and slam-style talks.

About the Fellowship

The Communication Fellows are a team of ~10 PhD students and postdocs from across ChemE who serve as communication coaches in the department. Each Fellow typically contributes 3-5 hours/week towards Comm Lab related activities.

As a Communication Fellow you will:

  • Contribute <5 hours/week
  • Earn up to $3,000/year
  • Participate in a year-long training series on topics like scientific papers, figure design, and job applications
  • Learn best practices in feedback, coaching, and mentorship
  • Coach peers 1:1 and develop workshops to address community needs
  • Train with the Communication Lab Manager and receive deep feedback on communication and coaching

The program is a great way to hone your teaching and communication skills, experiences that will prepare you well for your many roles as an engineer: teacher, mentor, presenter, and writer.

Important Dates

  • Jan. 19 – Applications open
  • Feb. 13  – Applications due by 11:59 P.M. ET
  • Feb. 14-23  – Candidates invited to interview
  • Feb. 27  – Candidates notified of final acceptance decision

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is eligible to apply?
    All PhD students and postdocs affiliated with ChemE who plan to be at MIT through at least May 2025 are invited to apply.
  • Are postdocs eligible?
    Postdocs are an essential part of our team, but individual circumstances can vary. You can confirm your eligibility with our HR administrator, Bori Stoyanova, and (if international) the International Scholars Office. Check that there are no conflicts with your research sponsors, postdoctoral fellowship terms, and/or visa terms.
  • I need help with my own communication skills. Can I still apply?
    You do not need to be a communication expert to be a strong candidate. We will help you grow your communication and coaching skills. Even the best communicators can and should continue to improve, and our program is designed to help you do that. In fact, our fellows often meet with their peers for coaching on their scientific communication.
  • What do you look for in a Communication Fellow?
    Some of the things we look for in a Communication Fellow are technical communication skills, interpersonal communication skills, teaching skills and experience, an interest in communication, a desire to help others, and a growth mindset.
  • What if I plan to TA or go to Practice School this year?
    We’ve always accommodated TA schedules. Depending on the timing of Practice School, we can likely schedule around that as well. Talk to Caitlin to learn more.

If you have additional questions, please contact Caitlin Stier, the ChemE Communication Lab Manager, at