Director of Communications

Cambridge, Massachusetts (US)
Grade R
August 29 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Director of Communications



To lead development and creation of a broad strategic communications and outreach plan to advance the goals of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT.


  • Will develop and execute a comprehensive Institute communications strategy in support of the Institute Director, faculty, scientists, and staff regarding all Institute communications.
  • Oversee communications in all media (e.g. web, print, email, video, PowerPoint), through the Institute’s major channels (e.g. newsletters, presentations, brochures, reports, website, social media), both internal and external communications, and for various audiences, including the general public, donor bases, and the scientific community. 
  • Collaborate with Picower Director on writing/editing/designing communications, including drafting reports, preparing public and donor presentations, and detailing talking points for press interviews.
  • Increase Picower and faculty visibility through the development, writing, editing, coordination, and submission of faculty prize and association nominations.
  • Partner with Director of Development on communicating funding needs in effective ways, including development-oriented materials, presentations, speeches, and outreach.  Provide scientific and writing support for philanthropic outreach that may include brochures, flyers, stewardship reports, and proposals.
  • Participate in the strategic planning and outreach for the Aging Brain Initiative and other initiatives including organizing group projects, increased press attention, and mass mailings.
  • Develop, consult on, and manage group proposals and reports for scientific grants.
  • Provide consultation and editorial support for program activities including reports, guideline development, and other outputs.
  • Give presentations and tours to support the Institute’s public relations and visibility with non-philanthropic visitors.
  • Help develop scientific and communications content for large scientific, fundraising, and external events.  Play advisory and implementation role regarding content, speaker list, and promotional and event materials.
  • Frequently attend internal events to keep updated on the latest research and disseminate to the leadership team.  Provide research and translation support.
  • Provide coverage support for development and administrative duties as needed.  Other related duties as required.


This position will report to the Director, Picower Institute.


This position will direct the work of vendors.


Within the Picower Institute, the individual will work closely with the Director of the PILM, faculty, scientists, and staff.  At MIT, s/he will work closely with the MIT News Office, MIT Communications Initiatives team, MIT’s Resource Development Communications Office, MIT’s Campaign Office, School of Science Communications Director, and other communications professionals in similar positions at MIT.  Outside of MIT, s/he will work with contract writers, designers, videographers, other vendors, scientific funding and prize agencies, and professional contacts at popular journals and other news outlets. 


  • A Bachelor’s degree in Communications or a related field is required. A Ph.D. in neuroscience or related field is preferred.
  • A minimum of 7 years of experience in communications and/or public relations.
  • Must possess a broad interest in neuroscience and be able to discuss a wide range or projects with intelligence and enthusiasm.
  • Outstanding writing, editing, interpersonal, and verbal communication skills required.
  • Excellent managerial and organization skills required.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, work collaboratively, and manage changing and conflicting priorities required.

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