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Science Writer

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Dec 17, 2022

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Health Sciences
Organization Type

Job Details

The mission of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research, and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees, and the public.

The primary purpose of the Science Writer position is to develop, oversee, and manage the submission of institutional and/or collaborative science grant proposals for new funding applications of diverse scope and progress reports for grant continuation. The incumbent will provide pre-award support for grant wring and development; review and develop requests for proposals, program announcements, and award document terms and conditions to ensure compliance and alignment. Knowledge of biological sciences will be applied to translate medical, scientific, and technical language into easily understood concepts.

Using extensive data analysis, interpretation, and presentation skills the incumbent will provide feedback on the most effective ways to display data and supporting graphics for grant documentation. Program management will include collecting and maintaining required records for grant-supported programs/centers and performance metrics to evaluate and measure productivity/success. The incumbent will work collaboratively, actively cooperating, and supporting the grant development team and research investigators to ensure timely submissions and successful funding of applications.

Proposal Development (50%)

1. Will develop an outline of all required proposal components as described in the relevant Program Announcement.
2. Will create templates tailored to the submitting PI's proposal, with detailed instructions and suggestions, which may include:

o Pre-Application Meeting Materials

o Letter of Intent

o Budget: Allowable costs, salary cap, Indirect costs, MTDC, Inclusion of clinical o trials, Subcontracts, Budget Justification

o Abstract/Summary

o Specific Aims

o Research Plan

o Subcontract Consortium Agreement

o Common Proposal Components:
§ Key Personnel Biosketch,
§ Facilities and Other Resources,
§ Use of Animals,
§ Humans Subjects Protection,
§ Inclusion of Women and Minorities,
§ Inclusion of Children,
§ Select Agent Use,
§ Authentication of Reagents

o Internal and External Advisory Board

o Letters of Support, Institutional, Core Resources, Collaborators

o Inclusion of Cores

o Data collection for Overview (institutional, cancer specific, populations, minorities, etc.)

o Progress reports for competitive renewals

o Publications and PMCID numbers

o Clinical Trial Enrollment Tables

o Graphics, Tables, Diagrams

Proposal Project Management (25%, each project > $5M, 6-10 major sections per project, >1000 pages per project)
General Administration of Proposal Development and Submission Using a Parent Announcement, PAR or RFA for Federal, State or Foundation grants, will outline a complete proposal development strategy with timeline.

1. Will interact with PIs and PI staff by email, phone, and in-person meetings to manage the entire proposal development and submission process.
2. Will oversee the MDACC institution-specific pre-grants process including faculty certifications, salary waivers and online proposal building (ie, Coeus or RCTS)
3. Will oversee the completion of relevant funding agency online submission process (ie, ASSIST,, CPRIT- ARS) in cooperation with the Office of Sponsored Programs or Office of Research Administration.

• Proposal Review (20%)
  1. Will debrief faculty who serve on team science study sections to garner expertise in current review criteria being applied if the opportunity arises.
  2. Will review all documents for clarity of science, inclusion of PAR-required information, and image and table quality. Focus of review will include:

o Abstract/Summary

o Specific Aims

o Research Plan
§ Significance
§ Innovation
§ Approach
§ Preliminary Data (or Progress Report)
§ Possible Outcomes

o Gender equality, data disassociation

o Budget Justification

o Response to Reviewers, Introductions for Resubmissions

o Uses EAB/IAB or other colleagues for feedback

o Critical review based on PAR instructions to reviewers

o Review and edit for proper English grammar and punctuation, and formatting

o Any Other Duties as Assigned

PhD in one of the natural sciences or related field or Medical degree.

Three years in oncology research to include two years writing and submitting grant/science proposals.

Preferred: In-depth experience writing about science for both technical reviewers and the public as well as writing science proposals for government agencies including the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
• Experience working in a scientific research environment. Understanding of the role of research and grant funding in a major research university setting
• Proven ability to write and submit successful grant applications, particularly large collaborative science grants
• Proven program planning and management of projects. Excellent organizational skills and ability to prioritize multiple projects. Ability to complete work and meet established deadlines in an accurate and timely manner, and to manage short and competing deadlines
• Experience with planning and leadership of operational and research/development initiatives. Demonstrated management skills with the ability to maintain focus and to operate in an organized and effective manner in an environment that may have rapidly shifting demands and priorities

It is the policy of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by institutional policy or by federal, state or local laws unless such distinction is required by law.


The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. It was named the nation's No. 1 hospital for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report's 2023 rankings. It is one of the nation's original three comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute.

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