Excellence in Communication and English Language Skills Program (ExCELS)

The Summer ExCELS Program for graduate students, based on the program of the same name for Postdocs, will focus on developing communication and presentation skills for PhD students.

The program consists of two required sessions plus a final presentation session. All sessions are especially designed to help non-dominant English speaking graduate students enhance their English presentation skills and overall presentation confidence. Students will work in small groups with postdocs who will provide coaching and feedback.

During the final presentation session, participants will have the option to have their presentation considered for an award by a panel of judges. Cash prizes will be awarded for those with the top presentations.

The program schedule is included below. Due to the nature of this program, space is limited. Students who are selected for the program will be required to attend all three sessions and participate fully in all workshops.

All sessions will be held in on the Medical Campus in Becker Library Room 405, and meals/refreshments will be provided.

Thursday, June 6

Breakfast will be available at 8:30am.

9 – 10:15am: Why is Science Communication Important? – Dr. Liz Wolfson, Program in Public Scholarship and Katie Brown, Director of English Language Programs


10:30 – 11:30am: Examples of great science communication – Katie Brown, Director of English Language Programs

11:30am – 12:00pm: Personal Reflections

12 – 12:30pm: Lunch

12:30 – 2:00pm: Functional movement and speaking – Dr. Elinor Harrison, Dance and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology


2:15 – 3:00pm: “‘1-minute’ exercises” in groups

3:00 – 3:45pm: Language targets: Who are we trying to talk to?

3:45 – 4:00pm: Wrap up!

Thursday, June 13

Refreshments will be available during the afternoon.

1 – 1:30pm: Introductions and homework review

1:30 – 2:45pm: Small group work


3 – 3:45pm: Tips and tricks for revising your presentation

3:45 – 4:00pm: Wrap Up!

4 – 5:30pm: Networking social event, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company

Thursday, June 20

1 – 4pm: Final presentations

4:00pm Reception for all presenters, Hearth Room, FLTC

Registration for this program is now closed.