An essential skill needed for scientists to be successful is the ability to clearly communicate their science. Acquiring this skill is a challenge because the form and content of the communication varies according to the intended audience, e.g. a funding agency, a prospective employer, a public outreach engagement, or a scientific talk in or out of their field of specialization. In 2017, the Brandeis MRSEC developed an effective solution to this challenge with the Brandeis SciComm Lab as a science-communication resource center that offers individual coaching with peer mentors (SciComm Fellows) and targeted workshops for the entire Division of Science community. The client benefits by having a specific science communication need met through one-on-one coaching by a scientist. The Fellow benefits because they develop and hone critical communication skills, as well as managerial and mentoring skills, needed for academic and industrial careers.
In 2019, the MRSEC partnered with MIT and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to study the impact of this model of science communication and concluded that the SciComm Lab is scalable model. The SciComm Lab team have developed their own fellow-training resources that facilitate goal-specific fellow-client sessions. These materials are available upon request. Additionally, all of the Brandeis SciComm Lab workshops and guide sheets are developed at Brandeis for the Brandeis community and are also available upon request.