Communication Fellow applications are now open for Spring 2022. MIT EECS-affiliated PhD students and postdocs who are interested in improving their own communication skills and helping others do the same and will be at MIT through at least May 2023 are invited to apply. Submit your application here by March 14, 11:59 P.M. Eastern time. You can preview this pdf version of the 2022 Communication Lab Fellow Application.
The Communication Fellows are a team of ~15 PhD students and postdocs from across EECS who serve as communication coaches in the department. Each Fellow typically contributes 3-5 hours/week towards Comm Lab related activities. Fellows have 3 primary responsibilities:
- provide 1-on-1 coaching appointments for technical communication tasks (papers, talks, grad school applications, etc.)
- participate in running communication-related workshops, developing content for the EECS Comm Lab website, or other short or long-term Comm Lab projects designed to meet communication needs of the department
- participate in team meetings and brainstorming about potential projects and ideas for the Comm Lab
While participating in the program, Fellows receive
- a stipend of approximately $240/month
- extensive hands-on training in communication and coaching skills (one 2 hour session every 1-2 months over the first year in the program)
- access to exclusive professional development events and 1-on-1 mentorship from the Comm Lab manager
February 16, 2022 – Applications open
March 14, 2022 – Applications due at 11:59 P.M. ET
March 14-25, 2022 – Candidates invited to interview
March 28, 2022 – Candidates notified of final acceptance decision
April 1, 2022 – New Fellows officially join the Comm Lab
Communication Fellow Testimonials
Here’s what current and former Communication Fellows have to say about the experience:
“Serving as a Fellow with the Comm Lab was one of the most rewarding parts of my experience at MIT. My thesis work prepared me to be a good researcher, but nothing else prepared me better for connecting with and mentoring students, which is now a huge part of my job as a professor at NYU.”
–Chris Musco, former EECS Comm Fellow, now faculty at NYU
Working in the Communication Lab was very helpful for me. You get better at writing every time you do it, but as a graduate student you may only write a couple of papers a year. Through the Comm Lab, I got to work on 2-10 writing and presentation tasks per week. I got to learn what I liked to see and what I didn’t, and that continues to inform my own writing. I went the faculty route after graduate school. I think my work with the Comm Lab was a nice plus for getting the job and the job itself involves a *lot* of communication. As co-curricular activities go, I think the added value of the Comm Lab is large and fills an important gap in typical graduate education.
–Alex Hanson, former EECS Comm Fellow, now faculty at UT Austin
“My favorite part about being part of the Comm Lab was learning about the variety of projects people are working on and working with them to find a compelling story. By seeing many examples of technical communication, I learned how to improve my own writing and presentations.”
–Helen Xu, former EECS Comm Fellow, now postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
“Being a Comm Lab Fellow has been an invaluable experience for me throughout grad school! There are a LOT of advantages and skills gained from being a Fellow, such as understanding the high-level ideas of someone’s research very quickly, being able to parse out issues in written communication at a glance, and being part of an awesome network of grad students and postdocs who are deeply passionate about communication and helping others!”
–Rohan Chitnis, EECS Comm Fellow, graduating CSAIL PhD student
“The scientific writing and communication skills that I was able to develop, practice and share as a Comm Lab Fellow were some of the most important that I developed at MIT. ”
–Genevieve Flaspohler, former EECS Comm Fellow, graduating CSAIL PhD student
“I love being a Communication Fellow because I get to engage with so many of my peers and hear about their diverse research. I have also improved my own skills tremendously and find it fulfilling to contribute to the MIT EECS community.”
–Nili Persits, EECS Comm Fellow, RLE PhD student
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Who is eligible to apply?
PhD students and postdocs affiliated with MIT EECS (enrolled in an EECS degree program and/or a member of an EECS lab) who plan to be at MIT through at least May 2023 are invited to apply. If you have questions about your eligibility, contact us.
- Are international students and postdocs eligible?
Usually! Circumstances vary person-to-person, but many Communication Fellows have been international students and postdocs. International postdocs will need to seek the approval of their HR administrator and the International Scholars Office.
- I need help with my own communication skills. Can I still apply?
Yes! While we are looking for candidates who have some experience with various forms of technical communication, you do not need to be a perfect communicator to be a Communication Fellow. We believe that even the best communicators can and should continue to improve, and the program is designed to help you do that.
- 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.
If you have additional questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.