CIRES/ NSIDC Science Communications Service Group Manager Professional Research Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:

16-Apr-2020 Close All Job SummaryThe Science Communications Service Group (SCG) encourages applications for a Group Manager to join our team. This position reports to the Director of NSIDC and leads one of three service groups within NSIDC’s matrixed organization. The SCG develops and implements communication strategies for NSIDC as well as specific NSIDC science research and data management programs. The SCG Manager ensures these strategies support the NSIDC mission to deliver scientific data and information to users and to advance the understanding of the cryosphere.
The SCG group provides functional expertise in communications, including strategy, branding, web presence, user experience, science writing, and media relations; technical writing to build metadata and user documentation for scientific data; and user services to support data users and information consumers through online resources, helpdesk requests, and tutorials. The SCG Manager has overall responsibility for the efficiency and the performance of the group.
The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Who We Are

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, more than 800 environmental scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at the Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, and solid Earth sciences. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC),, part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, serves as a national information and referral center in support of snow and ice research. NSIDC is a trusted source of cryospheric data and services and is an authority in research and development within this field.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will BeThe duties of the SCG Manager encompass four major areas:
  1. Science communication expertise
  2. NSIDC leadership
  3. SCG team management
  4. NSIDC portfolio management.
The priority and balance across these areas are dynamic and are advised by the Director and center-wide needs.
Lead and manage the Science Communications Group (currently ~15 people) with support from supervisors and functional leads.
  • Establish, manage and evolve the SCG’s strategy to meet the needs of NSIDC’s science research and data management programs, customers, and funding agencies (primarily NASA, NSF, and NOAA).
  • Foster a positive, collaborative, congenial, productive and efficient work environment for SCG and for NSIDC cross-functional teams with SCG members.
  • Champion process improvement in response to changing project goals, user needs, internal workflows, and technologies.
  • Represent the SCG across the organization by understanding and voicing the group's needs and acting as a conduit for feedback from internal and external partners.
  • Evaluate and forecast staffing needs and oversee hiring for the SCG.
  • Provide coaching, performance reviews, corrective action, and termination as needed.
Provide science communications expertise and leadership for the SCG, NSIDC programs, and the broader NSIDC organization.
  • Advise the Leadership Team and others in NSIDC on communications and public affairs issues, and assist in making well-informed decisions.
  • Establish and evolve the vision and goals for NSIDC’s communication strategy to promote NSIDC’s mission and maintain a strong NSIDC image.
  • Establish policies and materials for communication via website, media channels, and events.
  • Develop outreach strategies aligning with NSIDC goals, including workshop development and conference attendance.
  • Engage with CU Media Relations and News, CIRES Communications Manager, and NASA Public Affairs to ensure appropriate coordination and branding and to promote NSIDC visibility within these organizations.
Provide organizational leadership across NSIDC and influence the strategic and tactical direction of the center.
  • Serve as an active member of the NSIDC Leadership Team by participating in team meetings and by supporting high-level strategic and tactical initiatives.
  • Ensure effective communication within the SCG, across NSIDC, and with external stakeholders, collaborators, and funding agencies.
  • Foster teamwork across the organization and manage conflict resolution within the SCG and across NSIDC.
Actively participate in and improve the NSIDC portfolio and project management processes.
  • Serve as an active member of the NSIDC Project Portfolio Pipeline (P3) team which manages the portfolio of projects.
  • Coordinate the scheduling and resource allocation of the SCG to support multiple projects across NSIDC in accordance with the needs of Principal Investigators, project stakeholders, and center-wide priorities.
  • Work with Project Leads, Principal Investigators, and NSIDC financial staff in the development and adherence to project budgets and the requirements of specific awards and projects.
  • Serve as, or assign, a project manager to lead SCG-initiated projects to establish project plans, oversee completion of plans, and report on progress using standard tracking mechanisms.
What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be StatementsBe Collaborative. Be Groundbreaking. Be Boulder.What We Require
  • Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field (Earth science, communications, journalism, technical communications or related field).
  • At least five years of experience in scientific data and scientific communication management.
  • Experience working with teams of scientific researchers.
What You Will Need
  • Experience working in a scientific, technical or academic setting with a diverse set of customers.
  • Experience producing technical reports for the scientific community.
  • The ability to develop and implement comprehensive scientific communication plans.
  • Extensive leadership, management, and supervisory experience.
  • Exceptional written, verbal, and interpersonal skills.
  • A keen understanding of customer service, communication, public affairs, and brand image concepts.
  • Effective collaboration, communication, and negotiating skills.
  • Flexibility and ability to succeed in a dynamic and constantly evolving environment.
  • Ability to recruit, foster, and retain talent.
  • Proven experience and training in project management and facilitation.
What We Would Like You To Have
  • Background in and/or familiarity with Earth Science.
  • Master’s degree in an appropriate field (Earth science, Communications, Journalism, Technical Communications or related field).
Special InstructionsTo apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. CV
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. List of contact information for 3 references who are willing to write a confidential Letter of Recommendation for you upon request.
If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version as an optional attachment.
Position will remain posted until filled. Applications will be accepted as they are received.
Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: J Reeves

Posting Contact Email: [email protected]

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