Every other summer, the Communication Lab hosts the Summer Institute, a four-day workshop open to staff and students from any institution who aim to launch science communication training initiatives. Workshop participants learn how to adapt the Communication Lab model and create innovative communication resources for their own STEM communities.

The next Summer Institute will take place July 22-25, 2024 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 


Learn more about the Summer Institute below:

Summer Institute Overview

The Summer Institute is a hands-on strategic planning workshop for staff, students, and postdocs who are excited to improve technical communication at their institution.

Participants will…

  • Learn the MIT Communication Lab model for discipline-specific, peer-to-peer science communication coaching.
  • Adapt the model for their own communities.
  • Connect and collaborate with a network of educational entrepreneurs to share science communication experiences and best practices.
  • Create a strategic plan for launching their own Communication Labs.

Despite deep customization, the Communication Labs share a framework of these 4 interrelated concepts that guide our strategy and operations:

Venn diagram of 1) educational philosophy, 2) sociology + anthropology, 3) customer service + management, and 4) business + innovation.

Each day, we will break down a different concept and support you in drafting a strategic plan to launch your own communication training initiative.

Educational philosophy Sociology + anthropology Customer service + management Business + innovation
Department head + faculty panel Communication Fellow panel Communication Fellow panel Founder panel
Strategic planning 101 Strategic planning 102 Strategic planning 103 Strategic planning 104 + next steps

Registration Information

  • Faculty, staff, administrators: $3,000 for four-day workshop, including breakfast, lunch, snacks, and materials
  • Students and postdocs: $1,500 for four-day workshop, including breakfast, lunch, snacks, and materials
  • Room and board is not included in the registration rate.
  • For any questions about registration (such as accommodations for attendance of fewer than four days), please contact program director Diana Chien.


Sample Event Agenda

Click here to download a sample Summer Institute Agenda (PDF).

Summer Institute Testimonials

Past Summer Institutes have been attended by representatives from institutions including Boston University, Brandeis University, Caltech, Cornell University, and Northeastern University. Attendees have used the experience to help launch initiatives including a graduate science communication course, a director of science communication position, and their own Communication Labs.

Read about their experiences below:

“The Summer Institute was full of useful, practical advice and examples for starting a Communication Lab. It was very helpful while also providing a supportive atmosphere in which we could ask questions and consider institution-specific solutions. The week was fun and I left with the tools to start building a Comm Lab elsewhere.”

Summer Institute 2017

“The Summer Institute was incredibly informative – it was also the perfect combination of content, introspection, and discussion-based forums.”

“I thought it was easily the best workshop as far as structure and engagement I have been to. […] It was extremely educational […] and really addressed the range of experiences and communities of the participants.”

The Comm Lab Consortium

Click here to learn about the network of Comm Labs established by past Summer Institute attendees.