Alda Center Boot Camp

Now accepting applications for 2018 sessions!

  • January 8-12, 2018
  • June 18-22, 2018



Coming up: June 19-23, 2017

Our next boot camp will be held at Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY from June 19-23, 2017. Applications will be reviewed and accepted/denied on a rolling basis through April. THIS SESSION IS COMPLETELY BOOKED WITH A WAIT LIST.

Key Dates and Deadlines:

  • March 1, 2017: Early Application Deadline ($1,500 rate)
  • March 15, 2017: Early Application Full Payment Due
  • April 15, 20-17: Final Application Deadline ($1,750 rate)
  • May 1, 2017: Full Payment Due

A $200 non-refundable deposit is due within two weeks of acceptance into Boot Camp. Scholarships are available for students. Please indicate student status on your application form if you wish to apply for a scholarship. Cancellations will be issued a refund through May 19, 2017 (minus $200 deposit).

What is Boot Camp?

The Alda Center Boot Camp is intended for scientists – including faculty members, post docs and graduate students – who are eager to improve their skills in communicating science to the public. We teach flexible skills that are applicable to communicating with a range of people outside your own field, including students, funders, employers, policymakers, community members and scientists in other disciplines.

This intensive week of training will include workshops from our foundational courses, as well as presentation skills which will be incorporated into a culminating activity at the end of the week.

The Foundations of Boot Camp

Improvisation for Scientists

Improvisation for Scientists is an innovative workshop that uses improvisational theater techniques to help participants communicate more directly and responsively. The Alda Center approach will help you adapt to the needs of different audiences, pick up on non-verbal signals and become more flexible and engaging in your communication. It’s not about acting; it’s about connecting with an audience.

Sonya Hanson, a postdoctoral research fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, participated in the 2015 Alda Center Summer Boot Camp. You may read about her experience in her blog here.

Distilling Your Message

Distilling Your Message is the sister workshop to Improvisation. Participants learn to speak clearly and vividly about their work and why it matters, in terms non-scientists can understand. They practice finding common ground with listeners and speaking at different levels of complexity for different audiences. Also included is a workshop on storytelling and a video interview with a journalist.