Academic Communications Officer
Columbia's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute brings together an extraordinary group of scientists and scholars to pursue the most urgent and exciting challenge of our time: understanding the mind and brain.
The Zuckerman Institute is searching for a full time Academic Communications Officer to support the scientific community at the Zuckerman Institute through clear, consistent, and regular internal communications. Reporting to the Zuckerman Institute’s Executive Director / Chief Operating Officer, with a dotted line to the Director of Scientific Programming, the Academic Communications Officer is responsible for developing internal communications strategies, procedures and presentations that keep Zuckerman Institute faculty, labs, administration and the Columbia community informed about both operational news and exciting scientific discoveries.
The successful candidate evaluates and improves strategies for internal communications — whether memos, emails, newsletters, digital signs or other media channels. The Academic Communications Officer must possess a demonstrated ability to craft clear, informative communications aimed at a variety of audiences ranging from research staff to faculty to University leadership. Working closely with the Executive Director and the communications team, the Academic Communications Officer regularly seeks opportunities to promote the extraordinary science at the Zuckerman Institute to internal / external audiences.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Develops an internal communications strategy that facilitates the flow of information among our researchers and staff, supports senior leadership, and enhances the Institute’s external communications.
- Writes, edits and researches communication materials across multiple platforms, including the creation of regular internal newsletters, written announcements, and briefing materials for the Office of the Executive Director.
- Develops strategies, recommendations and procedures to promote and provide updates about the work of the Zuckerman Institute to faculty, labs, administration and the Columbia community, including establishing a regular schedule and vetting system.
- Understands the communication needs of the diverse internal scientific and academic audiences and determines the most effective ways to deliver timely, incisive information.
- Liaises with administrative offices — including Operations, Human Resources, Finance, and Scientific Resources — to collect information and deliver effective communications to the broader Zuckerman community.
- Employs project management skills to properly track deadlines and serves as an expert in organizing communication processes to ensure communications remain efficient and productive while maintaining high standards.
- Manages and maintains the content for the internal website, updating information on a consistent basis in support of the Institute’s mission.
- Performs additional special projects and other duties as assigned.
A Bachelor’s degree in basic life sciences or related field required. Advanced degree, such as PhD preferred. At least three (3) years of communications/writing experience. Must possess scientific background. Working knowledge of HTML and Drupal, or general familiarity with content management systems is preferred. Design experience, especially with Adobe Creative Cloud (InDesign and Photoshop) preferred.
Demonstrated ability to transform complex information — including scientific, technical language — into easy-to-understand informational content.
The successful candidate will excel as a writer, editor, and internal communications professional, must be flexible in nature, have a sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization. Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality.