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

The 2020 virtual Summer Institute has been canceled.

Learn more about the Summer Institute below:


What to expect from the virtual event

  • Hosted via Zoom
  • 4-5 hours of programming per day (reduced from 8 hours per day to avoid Zoom fatigue and accommodate different time zones)
  • Programming will focus on interactive components: discussion, feedback, hands-on activities, and panels.
  • Attendees will receive 1-2 hours’ of pre-reading for each day, so that they can arrive prepared to focus on discussion and application of principles and strategies.

Registration rates, now including a 25% virtual event discount, compared to regular rates:

  • Faculty, staff, administrators: $2,250 for four-day workshop
  • Students and postdocs: $1,125 for four-day workshop
  • For any questions about registration (such as accommodations for attendance of fewer than four days), please contact program director Diana Chien.


Click to download the 2019 Summer Institute Agenda as a PDF

Registrants will receive an agenda updated to reflect virtual programming.


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.”


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