Our Communication Lab teams are always thinking about new communication skills and scenarios that we can help to demystify and support. Find some of our latest resources below:

Blog posts

Quick tips on handy skills and first-hand reflections about communication experiences, from Communication Fellows and community members

When you start a PhD, you also begin a professional relationship with your PhD adviser. This is an exciting moment: interacting with someone for whom you might well have great respect and admiration, but who might also slightly intimidate you.

Congratulations! You’ve submitted your thesis prospectus, which officially makes you a doctoral candidate. Now you’ll be enrolling in 22.911 (Doctoral Seminar in NSE) every year until you graduate. Being in 22.911 means attending a dozen seminars by your peers and, at some point, giving your own 20-min research presentation.

Imagine two people on the phone. One is in Boston and says it’s “9 am.” The other is in Paris and says it’s “3 pm” (or more likely, “15 h”). Who is right? Obviously, time zones are universally recognized and we accept that this discrepancy isn’t a matter of opinion but of location. Both people are right and they know it.

Grad school admissions committees have read countless stories like this in applicants’ statements of purpose (SoP).

Over the past few decades, we have witnessed an exponential increase in our ability to collect wide swaths of data. In turn, the ways we visualize data have changed.

Applying principles of storytelling to your research presentation can help your audience understand your research problem and why it is important, and lures in their attention.

Not sure what the statement of purpose in the BE PhD application is supposed to look like? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s break it down.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a custom vector graphic is worth a million! From scientific figures to illustrations for a blog post, the graphics you create can captivate your audience and help convey key takeaways from your presentations and publications.

We’re five undergraduates who wanted to investigate the wonderful world of venture in the life sciences and biotech space. We’re all Biological Engineering majors in different years of our study, and while the program is amazing in academics and research preparation, we wanted to learn more about the business and commercialization sides.

One of the first things I learned after joining the Comm Lab was a framework known as Claim, Evidence, Reasoning (CER)—a pedagogical tool with interesting applications in technical communication. I was in the process of shadowing a coaching session as part of my Comm Lab orientation when this beautiful piece of communication wisdom was dropped in my lap.

You are close to finishing your dissertation and want to continue research as a postdoc. Perhaps you have a partner and you need to carefully select a mutually agreeable geographic location. Maybe you have a PI in mind, but they cannot guarantee funding for you…

The concept of a threshold or trigger is common in engineering. Once a variable exceeds a particular value, another response variable changes rapidly. Signal strength as a function of applied voltage, semiconductor optical response as a function of photon energy…

Gone are the days when obscure, hour-long PowerPoints filled with complicated math results derived alone can win awards. The modern engineer must be communicative, creative, and collaborative to be successful.

The qualifying exams are an important milestone for doctoral students in MechE. The exam is currently administered in two parts– a subject examination and research examination (RQE). The RQE is a research presentation meant to demonstrate the candidate’s competency as a researcher.

“Just write, sleep, write, sleep, etc.” Such is the life of one thesis writer hoping to defend soon. He is also one of the dozen members of NSE PHinisheD, a community of graduate students who are months away from receiving their doctoral degrees.

People often joke that MIT made a “mistake” letting them in—a small sign of the widespread imposter syndrome among students. Many of us feel the need to prove that MIT didn’t make a mistake so we try figuring things out on our own, which leads to stigma and shame around asking others for help. Yet, help is available everywhere.

Despite the pandemic, many institutions are moving forward with their faculty hiring, and selected candidates are now preparing for their interviews in earnest. If you’re one of those candidates, congratulations on making it to the next round!

“While I’d love for every conference presentation I give to be the highlight of the conference, I should be honest with myself: most attendees won’t remember any details from my talk.”

In grad school, communication is as important to everyday life as it is to career development.

To build up a personal brand and have a presence on social media is becoming a must for people interested in developing a career in academia. It helps researchers stand out and increase the visibility of their work.

Asking for a letter can be an intimidating prospect so we checked in with five NSE professors to learn directly from them what they would consider best practices.

Career Fairs are hard. But what about virtual career fairs? Check out our tips for virtual career fair success here!

Reviews are an important part of the scientific process. And a good way to use your time if you can’t be at the bench. Read our do’s and don’ts for writing a review, here!

The most challenging part of writing happens before you put pen to paper. Developing your story’s framework and identifying your audience informs your scientific approach and guides your writing.

You did a lot of work to get your paper accepted. Now do a little bit more to make sure people know about your paper! Learn some ways that people share their work with the world!

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!

Takeaways and strategies from four days of faculty panels and application workshops: 1) Rewards and stresses of the job – 2) Getting a faculty job – 3) Getting through the junior faculty years – 4) Preparing your own faculty application

“As one of the organizers of MERE 2019, I had a bird’s-eye view of the poster presentation, the audience, the judging, and our goals.”

“Whether you are new to TOC figures or not, here are some tips for generating TOC graphics to entice and inform!”

Comm Fellows reflect on the importance of effective emails and share tips for interviewing others.

“As scientists and science communicators, we have a duty to clearly and responsibly communicate reliable information about COVID-19 to the general public. Our work has the potential to change people’s understanding, which can change their behavior—which can change the course of the pandemic.” – Eugenia Inda

“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.”

New & updated CommKit articles

Discipline-specific how-to’s and annotated examples, covering both technical and professional communication. For a full directory of all of our CommKit articles, click here.