Open Science Communications Specialist, A&S Communications

Req ID:  28821
Date:  Feb 27, 2020
Location:  Durham, NC, US, 27710
Personnel Area:  UNIVERSITY

Duke University:

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

Job Overview

The Science Communication Specialist is responsible for planning and producing a variety of marketing and communications content about scholarly activity, student opportunities, and advancing an inclusive culture in three distinct and highly-ranked Natural Science departments of the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences: Mathematics, Physics and Statistical Science.

The person in this role will work closely with college and departmental leadership to develop and execute communications strategies that advance departmental and divisional goals. The specialist will advise on which communication channels best suit the target audiences, develop clear and compelling messaging that promotes action and understanding by those audiences, and manage the regular dissemination of information that advances strategic goals through numerous channels.

All work will be conducted in partnership and consultation with communication colleagues in Trinity College and University Communication.

Work Performed

Brand and Channel Management (50 percent)

  • Manage and make sustainable improvements to the primary content channels for assigned departments, including but not limited to departmental websites, social media, print materials, and electronic newsletters
  • Lead a comprehensive update and migration of website content, in particular, to a new iteration of Trinity College’s content management system and template design
  • Launch and maintain and/or strategically eliminate departmental channels as needed, based on goals and priorities
  • Uphold the visual identities of Duke, Trinity College, and assigned departments in all promotional materials

Content Creation (40 percent)

  • Routinely create, collect and edit content that encourages engagement for both internal-to-Duke and external audiences that reflects faculty and student achievements, funding news, new hires, visiting faculty, interesting courses, events and lectures, etc.
  • Translate scientific research and discoveries into language that demonstrates impact and can be understood by a variety of lay audiences
  • Identify opportunities where thought leadership and expertise from faculty or students might be featured in university-level communications and beyond
  • Maintain photo and video archives for each department

Relationship Management/Client Relations (10 percent)

  • Build relationships with faculty and staff in each department and develop a thorough understanding of strategic goals, priorities and culture
  • Manage relationships and deadlines with external vendors or contractors as needed
  • Work closely with Trinity College of Arts & Sciences communications colleagues, University Communications, and others at Duke to ensure sharing of content across the university, with media, and with the public

Skills Required

  • Ability to work independently with limited oversight
  • Ability to balance competing priorities and consistently deliver high quality work, on time and on budget
  • Strong writing and editing skills, accompanied by a commitment to attention to detail
  • Some degree of scientific literacy, whether from education or experience
  • Knowledge of good design principles and an ability to mock up and execute on basic design projects
  • Experience with a content management system such as Drupal or WordPress preferred
  • Experience with InDesign, Photoshop and other Adobe Creative Suite programs preferred

Minimum Qualifications


Work requires the ability to perform creative writing and related activities such as conducting interviews and research, and copy editing normally acquired through attainment of a bachelor's degree in Journalism, English or a related discipline.


Work requires two years of directly related writing experience. OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essential job functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

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