Science Communications Officer

New York City, New York (US)
Commensurate with experience
March 02 2018
Life Sciences
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Columbia's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute (Zuckerman Institute) brings together a group of world-class scientists, in a state-of-the-art facility, to transform our understanding of the brain and mind. We are conducting pioneering research into how the brain develops, performs, endures and recovers. From effective treatments for disorders like Alzheimer’s and autism to advances in fields as fundamental as computer science, the arts, economics, law and social policy, the potential impact for humanity is staggering.

Reporting to the Zuckerman Institute’s Director of Communications and working in direct partnership with another Science Communications Officer, this role will drive public understanding of neuroscience and promote the extraordinary people and research at the Zuckerman Institute. This is an exciting opportunity for a gifted science writer/reporter with media relations experience. 

We are searching for a science writer with a demonstrated ability and desire to engage media and communicate with non-scientific and non-expert audiences. Start-up environment. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following: 
1. Investigates, conceptualizes, and develops compelling print, web, and newsletter content to explore and explain the work of Zuckerman Institute scientists. 
2. Crafts and executes a media relations and communications strategy to amplify the work of the Institute. 
3. Cultivates and maintains relationships with reporters in print, digital and broadcast media. 
4. Drafts and edits news releases, press materials, op-eds, and letters-to-the editor. 
5. Pitches stories to the media and proactively identifies publicity opportunities to promote Zuckerman Institute research and education programs. 
6. Manages and updates website. 

7. Maintains a media database and performs other related duties and special projects as assigned.


Bachelor's degree and a minimum of four years of related experience is required.  

Advanced degree in the sciences preferred/advanced degree in science journalism or three-to five-years experience (in-depth understanding of neuroscience will be essential for these candidates). 

More than three years of media outreach or press experience preferred. 

The ability to frame stories and issues for the press and a sophisticated understanding of science as it relates to contemporary issues and debates. 

Experience with Drupal or related content management systems; experience using Google analytics to track viewership and as a basis to inform digital strategy is preferred.

Exceptional attention to editorial detail. 

Excellent interpersonal and communications skills, a sense of humor, and a commitment to teamwork. 
Must be flexible, organized, and capable of performing multiple tasks.  

The successful candidate 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.

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