Unlike the CommKit which contains guides written by Comm Fellows, the following posts are a collection of voices from in and around NSE about communicating in academia. If you’d like to suggest topics or contribute your own post, please email the NSE Comm Lab Manager.

a bearded caveman sits at a computer scratching his head

How to Overcome Writer’s Block with the Cave Rave Approach

Why Cave Rave? Brainstorming can be difficult, and I often find clients (and myself) focusing so much on what each sentence should say that we lose track of what our communication medium is trying to convey. Additionally, the brainstorming process is usually writer-focused, i.e. done with the writer’s concerns rather than the audience’s in mind…. View Article
Male student presents an invisible object against a grey background.

A Beginner’s Guide to Owning and Presenting your Research

Summer has officially come to an end, and with its departure a new semester dawns. And with a new semester come ripe opportunities, scholarly resolutions, and motivating little white lies. I myself have lain in bed the night before the start of classes committed to such delusions as “I will attend my 9:30 lectures” and… View Article
headshot of a white, brown-haired woman, smiling at the camera

Message from the Manager: Congratulations, Rachel!

The NSE Communication Lab is full of wonderful resources, but its greatest asset is its people—from the clients who trust us with their ideas and questions, to the Fellows who lead coaching, workshops, and events. Along with discipline- and department-specific knowledge, every Fellow brings a broader perspective to their work, and those perspectives, in turn,… View Article
Illustration showing "Me" in a field of social networking

The Social Network(ing): Re-defining Networking in the Academic World

Networking. It’s a word we are constantly hearing in the scope of professional development. But how many times have you heard that word and immediately scoffed at the idea, picturing two people in business attire shaking hands with an over-emphasized smile, exchanging resumes before going their separate ways? There’s an air of superficiality that many… View Article
Illustration: Grad School arrow

What Is Your (Statement of) Purpose?

“When I was 8, my mother bought me a science encyclopedia, which opened my mind to the wonders of the universe. This fueled my passion for physics and engineering and has motivated me to apply to the Nuclear Science and Engineering department at MIT.” Grad school admissions committees have read countless stories like this in… View Article
Thumbnail of trigger in effective output

How Do We “Trigger” Effective Communication?

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… With experience, an experimentalist will know with confidence at which level of the independent variable,… View Article
Two people reviewing a research poster

Code-Talk for Any Audience

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. As a graduate student in neutronics, this can be especially challenging. My publications often center on subtle approximations to the neutron transport equation and their… View Article

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