Requisition Id 6877


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) invites candidates to apply for a science writer and communications specialist position in the Communications Division to support the Biological and Environmental Systems Science Directorate (BESSD).

BESSD research advances understanding of the natural world and focuses on improving sustainability and U.S. competitiveness in the global bioeconomy. Scientists are developing solutions for pressing societal challenges such as climate change, clean water, hardier crops, biodiversity, and upcycling plastics. Research spans scales from genes to ecosystems with an emphasis on connecting genes to organism traits and behaviors; these connections facilitate the lab’s biodesign activities (e.g., engineering microbes to produce valuable chemicals or bioenergy crops to store more carbon in the soil). ORNL leads large field experiments in the Arctic and the Minnesota peatlands for the Department of Energy. BESSD is home to the Climate Change Science Institute and the Center for Bioenergy Innovation as well as two data centers that house millions of atmospheric and terrestrial measurements from around the globe for DOE and NASA.

Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Be able to understand and write about complex science- and technology-related topics and materials and work with senior scientists and managers to produce timely, interesting, and compelling science and technology articles that readily convey the importance and excitement of the work at ORNL to multiple audiences, including the Department of Energy, scientifically trained researchers and sponsors, BESSD employees, and the public.
  • Write feature articles, science highlights, news releases, website and newsletter content, promotional pieces, internal communications products, executive and governmental communications, and other materials that clearly and effectively communicate research findings, technical developments, key programming messages, and other news and information.
  • Organize information from various scientific and often highly technical sources, including interviews with subject matter experts, and produce written materials in concise language without loss of technical meaning and with meticulous attention to logic, consistency, and accuracy. Collaborate with technical editors to ensure adherence to grammar and style guidelines.
  • Coordinate BESSD’s social media presence by developing content, planning campaigns, posting regular updates, monitoring interactions, and analyzing metrics. Create multimedia content for social media use.
  • Collaborate with the BESSD communications coordinator and other team members as well as Communications Division and Creative Services staff members to provide BESSD with needed support and required products. Serve as the communications coordinator’s backup when needed.
  • Suggest visual material in support of scientific and promotional information needs; work with graphic designers, photographers, and videographers to develop attractive and high-visual-impact products.
  • Work with external media, including science and trade publications, on coverage of BESSD.
  • Comply with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.

Qualifications Required:

  • A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, public relations, English, a science, or other related field.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience producing communications products on science- and/or technology-related subjects for diverse audiences.

Qualifications Preferred:

Communications experience in a national laboratory setting or with DOE staff and experience coordinating social media for organizations are preferred. Technical training or a background in science is a plus. Videography and video editing experience is also a plus.

The successful candidate should have strong scientific/technical reading, editing, and writing skills (will be expected to provide writing samples); the ability to build expertise in the subject matter and be adept at research and analysis; the ability to manage communications projects from concept to completion; excellent attention to detail; the ability to understand, follow, and implement complex instructions; strong organizational skills, including the flexibility to simultaneously handle several assignments; and excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills.

The candidate should possess the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines; the ability to work—both independently and with all levels of researchers and staff—in a team-based environment; and strong skills in solving problems and developing and implementing solutions.

This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email [email protected].

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply. UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.