Scientific Communications Specialist

University of Pennsylvania

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Scientific Communications Specialist

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Scientific Communications Specialist

Job Profile Title
Communications Specialist

Job Description Summary
The Gene Therapy Program (GTP) is entering a new era of unprecedented opportunity with the great potential to reshape the face of medicine as we know it. Our discoveries have set the stage for successful treatments and possibly even cures for devastating genetic diseases.

The laboratory of Dr. Jim Wilson, at GTP of the University of Pennsylvania, has been a leader in the development of innovative vector technology for close to three decades. We have emerged as the “go-to” organization for public and private partners, who want to participate in the gene therapy space. Currently, we are positioned to lead another round of vector innovation and establish pre-clinical and clinical proof-of-concept in therapeutic applications of in-vivo genome editing.

Continuation of all GTP positions is contingent upon funding.

Job Description

Due to continued growth of our program, we are searching for a new Specialist, Scientific Communications to provide impeccable scientific and technical communications support for manuscripts and publications, GTP Director needs, communications workshops, abstracts and conference presentations, varied written and illustrated content across the ~300 person Gene Therapy Program and Orphan Disease Center, and specific administrative needs.

As a Specialist, Scientific Communications, you will work in a Communications Team to provide outstanding technical, editorial, and creative design support across a dynamic organization. You will work closely with senior leaders at the GTP/ODC, including Research Directors, in order to develop professional content ready for publication and distribution. Fundamental aspects of the position include:

(1) Manuscript and Publication Support: Format documents, direct manuscript workflow and approvals, liaise with journal staff, maintain records, prepare weekly reports for the GTP Director and others, copyedit, provide feedback to new authors (e.g. graduate students), review proofs, develop template resources for scientific writing, assist first authors with figure preparation.
(2) GTP Director Support: Create custom illustrations, edit movie clips, prepare slides, polish presentations, complete prize nominations and other narrative documents, and assemble grants.
(3) Workshops and Communications Development: Design and deliver instructional workshops for technical & scientific writing and specific software resources.
(4) Abstracts and Conference Presentation Support: Direct abstract and presentation workflow and approvals, maintain records, organize centralized abstract submission for large conferences, liaise with conference staff, copyedit submissions as needed and develop template resources for posters and slides.
(5) GTP/ODC Varied Support: Develop informational content (infographics, brochures, standard program slide decks, etc), design special event media, and draft press releases as necessary.
(6) Communications Administrative Support: Staff translational weekly research mtg, research/implement new software relevant to Communications Team needs. For assigned programs and processes, execute data collection and analysis to support continuous improvement, implement and maintain organizational records, develop professional organizational messaging.

Qualified candidates will have a record of communication excellence, teamwork, and strong background in the biological sciences.


Master's degree in the Life Sciences is required. PhD is preferred.
Technical expertise to comprehend and manage complex scientific information and the technical writing skills to transform this information into accurate, understandable publications is required.
Previous experience with submission of scientific manuscripts or grant writing / editing is required.
Experience to include a minimum of 2-3 years of experience as a copy editor, proofreader, or technical writer (preferably in the healthcare/medical/pharmaceutical/publishing industry) is preferred.
Experience in graphic arts is preferred.
Experience designing and running instructional workshops is preferred.
Fluency with Microsoft Office (including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel), Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and/or Photoshop), Adobe Acrobat, bibliographic software required.
Ability to learn and implement new communications software and technology required.
Proficiency with EndNote, Qualtrics, Smartsheets preferred.
Must be a strategic thinker with excellent organization, written and verbal communications skills as well as strong interpersonal skills, diplomacy, technical accuracy, and ability to work productively as a team member.
Ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a diverse and close-working team in a fast-paced, executive-level setting requiring initiative, strong organization, attention to detail, adherence to critical deadlines, analytical skills, flexibility, sound judgment, and the prioritization of multiple demands.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Perelman School of Medicine

Pay Range
$50,684.00 - $91,232.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

To apply, visit

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Welcome to the University of Pennsylvania! Penn is the largest private employer in Philadelphia and is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation.  

Across our 12 highly-regarded schools, more than 25,000 students, and more than 4,000 faculty members, we become one university: a wide-ranging, ever-changing community that draws its strength from a multitude of races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, historical traditions, ages, religions, disabilities, veteran status, interests, perspectives, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Penn carries on the principles and spirit of its founder, Benjamin Franklin: entrepreneurship, innovation, invention, outreach, and a pragmatic love of knowledge. Franklin's practical outlook has remained a driving force in the university's development. To learn more, visit About Penn



As engines of knowledge and new ideas, universities have the unique potential to define the future rather than be defined by it; to pioneer change rather than merely manage it. To do so requires a plan both visionary and pragmatic. The Penn Compact 2022 motivates community members to innovate, be radically inclusive, and positively impact their local, national, and global communities. 


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Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class. 


To learn more about Diversity and Inclusion at Penn visit: 




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