Science Communications Specialist

Job description

Hyde Park Campus

2010014 BSD - CTSA

About the Unit
The University of Chicago (UC) Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) was created in 2007 to assemble, integrate, and create the intellectual, administrative, and physical resources required to catalyze research and research training in Clinical and Translational Science. Its ultimate goals are to train scientists and health care providers at UC and in our community to determine the molecular, genetic, pathophysiologic, and social determinants of disease and disease predisposition in individuals; to test interventions directed toward those mechanisms; and to achieve these goals in a way that is rigorous, efficient, ethical, respectful of, and responsive to our community's needs and values. Over its nine years, the ITM has capitalized on the outstanding intellectual and physical resources throughout the University and at ITM affiliate Institutions, Argonne National Laboratory, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Access Community Health Network, and on substantial institutional and CTSA financial investments, to build the infrastructure for a transformative, energized, and self-improving home for clinical and translational research, ensuring the continued progress of clinical and translational science at the University of Chicago, its affiliates, on the South Side of Chicago, and beyond.

Job Information

Job Summary:

  • Under minimum supervision, plans, develops and disseminates information designed to keep the public informed of the organization's programs, accomplishments, or point of view. Accomplishes assigned duties through two or more of the following: written communications; visual/graphic media, which may include Web site maintenance; speeches and personal contact. Work may be routine and performed according to detailed instructions, but at times may be varied and somewhat difficult in character.
  • The science communications specialist helps execute communications plans that help enhance the ITM's reputation and expand its reach. This member of the ITM team will help communicate research findings in easy-to-read formats, contributing written, visual, and multimedia content to the ITM's internal and external communications vehicles to convey the ITM's mission and strategic goals. These vehicles include new and developing websites and electronic media, as well as other mechanisms, such as weekly e-newsletters, quarterly/annual publications, videos, brochures, pamphlets, position papers, letters, social media, and other materials/platforms.
  • The science communications specialist will work as part of the ITM team and collaborates with stakeholders, such as the University of Chicago Medicine (UCMC) and Biological Sciences Division (BSD), Chicagoland affiliate institutions and partners, and members of the national CTSA consortium to execute ITM communications plans.
  • The person in this position will act as a science reporter, digesting scientific publications, interviewing the research authors, and translating the discoveries and science into dynamic stories the general public can understand.
  • The science communications specialist will explain how research and initiatives are working to improve human health and may help coordinate the work of ITM communications interns and university and Chicagoland affiliate collaborators.
  • This at-will position is wholly or partially funded by contractual grant funding which is renewed under provisions set by the grantor of the contract. Employment will be contingent upon the continued receipt of these grant funds and satisfactory job performance.

  • The science communications specialist will work with the ITM Communications Manager to evolve and evaluate strategies and help advise communications interns and investigators.
  • The science communications specialist will report and disseminate stories that highlight ITM research, program impacts, and the importance of participating in clinical trials through the ITM's communications channels and explore new and emerging web-based communications technologies.
  • The science communications specialist will produce and continue to enhance ITM electronic and print materials, such as weekly newsletters and quarterly/annual publications, news articles, social media, and high-priority materials, while maintaining consistency between ITM and University brands.
  • This person will contribute to multimedia production and manage the ITM website.

  • Knowledge of grammar, punctuation, spelling and style required
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to create both news and marketing/promotional copy required
  • Interview and content research skills required
  • Interpersonal skills required
  • Editing skills required
  • Creativity required
  • Problem-solving skills required
  • Decision-making skills required
  • Ability to work independently with a high degree of initiative required
  • Attention to detail required
  • Organizational skills required
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality required
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, and meet deadlines required
  • Knowledge of MS Office Suite, especially Word and PowerPoint required
  • Must be able to translate research for a lay audience and connect those initiatives to ways it is improving/could improve human health required
  • Must have experience managing WordPress websites required
  • Experience in or willingness to learn photography, video, and editing skills required
  • Interviewing skills preferred
  • Photography and video skills preferred
  • Experience with developing web-based communications technologies (blogging, podcasting, website maintenance, etc.) preferred
  • Ability to coordinate the work of others preferred
  • Project management skills preferred
  • Knowledge of desktop publishing software, such as Adobe InDesign and PhotoShop, etc. preferred
  • Knowledge of video production software, such as Final Cut Pro preferred

Additional Requirements

Education, Experience or Certifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in journalism, public relations, marketing, science, English, or a related field is required.

  • A minimum of three years of relevant experience.

Required Documents:
  • Resume
  • Writing Sample

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Depends on Qualifications

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Full time

About Us
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

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Job No:
Posted: 9/15/2018
Application Due: 9/22/2018
Work Type: