Pre-Workshop Requirements

ComSciCon's National Workshop is a highly interactive and cooperative event. For instance, several of the sessions include group workshopping of already-developed science communication pieces.

All accepted attendees to ComSciCon 2017 are expected to complete the following in advance of attending the workshop. Check back soon for additional details of each requirement.


Through the "Write-A-Thon", ComSciCon attendees develop science communication pieces (articles, videos, etc) and workshop them extensively with fellow attendees and science communication experts. Many of these pieces are later published in major science communication outlets.

Details / Submission: See Write-A-Thon Guidelines. Please share your Write-A-Thon submission as a Google Doc and share the link to


  • Monday May 15th: First draft due: 2-3 pages (<1000 words) written or ~5 minutes of multimedia
  • Thursday May 18th: Peer editing groups assigned
  • Thursday May 25th: Peer edits due
  • Thursday June 1st: Revised draft due
  • Thursday June 8th: Expert review at ComSciCon


E-Poster (Optional)


On June 10th, ComSciCon will feature a poster session highlighting the science outreach, communication, and social media activities of our attendees and several local SciComm organizations. This poster session will utilize ePosterboards, so you won't need to print or transport a physical poster.

We are unfortunately not able to offer posters to all attendees, so we ask interested attendees to submit abstracts. You can see examples of successful abstracts from last year's program. Selected attendees will be invited to prepare an electronic poster before the workshop. We'll let you know the status of your submission within a few days, so you have plenty of time to work on the poster.


For attendees with accepted posters, the guidelines for creating and submitting the ePosters can be found here. There is also a Youtube Channel with a number of short videos on creating and uploading your ePoster.

Please note that you should not plan on presenting from your own device. Your poster needs to be submitted no later than Friday June 2nd, through the EPosterboards website. There will soon be an option available on the website to select ComSciCon on the dropdown list of “Conference / Event”.


  • Thursday May 4th: Short abstract due
  • Friday June 2nd: Submit final electronic poster (selected attendees)
  • Saturday June 10th: E-Posterboard Session


K-12 Session "Bite" (For attendees selected for the K-12 Session)

In the K-12 session graduate students will work with local area educators to learn how to develop content appropriate for a K-12 classroom setting. Graduate students participating in the K-12 session will be asked to write a 400-600 word "Bite" summarizing an exciting topic related to your research (it does not specifically have to be your research as long as it is in your field) in advance of the session. On the day of you will work with the educator to edit your "Bite" and translate it into a curriculum appropriate lesson plan. This year, we will be focusing on developing materials for high school students.

Details / Submission: To submit your K-12 Session document:

  1. Save your piece as a Google Doc, with the name format: FirstLast_LessonPlanTitle
  2. Upload it to this google drive folder. If you do not have a google enabled email address, please send your final piece to me at
  3. Lastly, please fill in the corresponding spreadsheet with the appropriate details. To get a shareable link of your file, you will need to right click the document and select "get shareable link".

Here are some sample lesson plans, for your reference: Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3


  • Friday May 26th: Draft due - a few written paragraphs (400-600 words) plus brainstormed ideas for hands-on activities
  • Saturday June 10th: Educator review at ComSciCon

Social Media Session (For attendees selected for the Social Media Session)

Attendees will not be required to prepare in advance, but there are a few things they can do if they're feeling proactive. Attendees who are unfamiliar with Twitter but want to learn how to use it should think about signing up for an account. We would like to invite attendees to submit pitches for leading their own social media sessions (~1 hr total, with a focus on interactive/hands on approaches), if they have a particular platform or approach that they have found to be particularly effective. These pitches can be submitted to this Google form:

Story Collider Piece

Details: Start keeping a list of ideas: reflect on your life, your career, and your science so far. What are you favorite anecdotes or stories you find yourself telling again and again? Make a note of those. Think about the biggest moments of change or big events in your life. It’s fine if you just write a bulleted list of prompts like:

  • The time the cow knocked Molly into the reservoir and I saved her from drowning
  • Learning the hard way that moray eels are almost impossible to kill
  • Getting stranded in the high chief’s village
  • The worst field trip ever (the other one)
  • When the Christmas tree sent me to the emergency room

Evaluation Surveys

ComSciCon is interested in learning more about how best to improve science communication training. We evaluate our performance through surveys before, immediately following, and 6-months after the workshop. 

Details: The pre-workshop survey is available here.


  • Thursday June 1st: Complete pre-workshop survey
  • Late June: Complete post-workshop survey
  • Early 2018: Complete follow-up survey

Deposit and Paperwork

Attendees are required to submit a deposit ($50 check), which will be refunded (not deposited) following the workshop. We also require some basic paperwork (W9s, or equivalent for international attendees) to be submitted prior to the workshop to allow for reimbursement of travel expenses. 

Details: Checks should be made out to "Harvard University", and mailed to:

ATTN: Ben Cook / ComSciCon
Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden St., MS 10
Cambridge, MA 02138

All attendees requesting travel reimbursement must fill out the reimbursement paperwork, and submit by email to Peg Herlihy ( by May 1st.


  • April 14th: Deadline for receipt of deposit
  • May 1st: Deadline for receipt of W9 / International forms


comscicon2016_poster_abstracts.pdf455 KB