Interested in sharpening your science communication skills?

Interested in sharpening your science communication skills?

An internship with MIT Biology can get you on your way.

Raleigh McElvery
April 7, 2020

For the past several years, MIT Biology has been training undergraduates, graduate students, and research associates in the craft of science communication. In an effort to foster professional development and share the exciting research that transpires on campus, our communications team offers science writing and multimedia internships. We develop these positions to align with the interests of our interns, who often help out on a volunteer basis. Assignments range from assisting with videos and podcasts to writing news stories and profiles, aiding with social media, and chronicling the history of the department. After honing their own skills, many of our interns have successfully competed for prestigious communications fellowships, graduate programs in science writing, and communications jobs. Take a look at what they’ve done, and contact us if you’re a member of the department interested in joining our team.

Justin Chen PhD ’18 (Spring 2017 – Spring 2018)

Justin Chen earned his PhD in Hazel Sive’s lab, using frog embryos to model human craniofacial development. As a science writing intern, he composed student profiles for the department website and articles on research papers for MIT News. After graduating from MIT, he earned an AAAS Mass Media and Science and Engineering Fellowship, which he spent at STAT News publishing breaking news and profiles of scientists. He is currently an external affairs associate at OpenBiome, where he drafts press releases, annual reports, academic publications, and patient education materials, while helping to manage the website and social media. In addition to his work at Openbiome, he authors personal essays as a writer-in-residence at Porter Square Books.

Nafisa Syed SB ’19 (Spring 2019)

Nafisa Syed earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology (Course 7), with minors in Science Writing (Course 21W) and Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9). She was an editor at The TechMIT Undergraduate Research Journal (MURJ), and Rune Literary Magazine, while completing a UROP in Evelina Fedorenko’s lab studying the brain’s language regions. As an intern at MIT Biology, Nafisa generated content for the internal newsletter, spearheaded social media campaigns, and analyzed data displaying the distribution of life science funding across the Institute. She is currently earning her master’s degree at MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing.

Saima Sidik (Spring 2019 – Spring 2020)

Saima Sidik is a research associate in Sebastian Lourido’s lab, where she studies how the parasite Toxoplasma gondii causes disease. In addition to authoring articles on scientific research for her blog, 10X Objective, Saima composes student profiles for the department website and MIT Newsnews briefs, and archival pieces about the history of biology at MIT. Starting this fall, she will begin her master’s degree at MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing.

Lucy Jakub (Fall 2019- Spring 2020)

Lucy Jakub served as the editorial assistant at The New York Review of Books for two years before entering MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing in the fall of 2019. As an intern for MIT Biology, she writes news briefs for the department website, student profiles for MIT News, and articles on recent events, in addition to generating the internal newsletter and social media campaigns. Her work has also appeared in Harper’s Magazine and National Geographic.

Sebastian Swanson (Fall 2018 – present)

Sebastian Swanson is a fourth-year graduate student in Amy Keating’s lab, studying the principles of protein-protein interactions in order to develop algorithms for peptide design. As an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, he served as an officer and co-chair of MinneCinema Studios, which produces a variety of multimedia projects ranging from mock TV episodes to short films. He is currently the department’s primary cinematographer, filming faculty profiles and short videos on research projects.

Are you a member of the MIT Biology community interested in honing your scientific communication skills? Contact to discuss potential internship opportunities.