Science Writer at the University of Washington

Job role insights

  • Date posted


  • Closing date


  • Hiring location


  • Offered salary

    $5,416 - $6,250/month

  • Career level


  • Qualification

    Bachelor Degree

  • Experience

    1 - 2 Years


Salary: 75% of $5,416 - $6,250 per month

Shift: First Shift

Notes: As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please visit our website, and click here.

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state, and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem-solving skills, and dedication to building stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities, and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits, and natural beauty.

Washington Sea Grant (WSG) has an exciting part-time (.75 FTE) professional staff temporary opportunity for a Science Writer who is proficient at writing and editing scientific and public interest materials for diverse media and audiences.

Housed within the UW College of the Environment, WSG is part of a national program network focused on marine and coastal research, education, and outreach. The Science Writer will report to the Assistant Director for Communications (Communications Director) and serve as a key member of WSG’s collaborative communications team. The successful applicant will play a central role in establishing the voice and tone for communications to connect WSG programs to key audiences, proactively creating internally coherent products that accurately and effectively deliver WSG’s message. The Science Writer must be a communications professional who enjoys writing and editing on a kaleidoscope of topics and is versatile enough to distribute outreach materials at a local community event one day and complete a federal progress report the next.

Position complexities:

Working with the Communications Director and WSG management team, the Science Writer establishes and maintains regular contact with WSG outreach and education specialists and funded scientists, writing news releases and features for local, regional, national, and international news outlets. As part of a full-service communications team, the Science Writer plays an important role in meeting federal reporting and information requirements and writing and editing technical and general content for Sea Grant publications, including newsletters, promotional literature, and program documents for dissemination to a variety of audiences.

Position dimensions and impact on the University:

WSG is a unique UW unit with federally designated responsibilities to provide scientific and technical information on the Washington State marine environment to Washington residents, businesses, and resource managers at all levels of government. As part of the WSG Communications team, the Science Writer has the potential to connect with thousands of individuals and serve as a university voice locally, regionally and nationally.

WSG is a unique unit within the UW College of the Environment, with federally designated responsibilities for all of Washington to support ocean-related projects. WSG serves the state and the region by engaging the public in activities that promote ecosystem health, educating students of all ages, and encouraging science-based solutions to marine issues. The role of the Science Writer is integral to this activity.

WSG maintains a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by valuing diverse perspectives, and enhancing cultural understanding. This commitment is guided by the Washington Sea Grant 10-year Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Roadmap, a living document endorsed by the full leadership and staff that established an ambitious set of goals for the organization. WSG operationalizes its goals using a multi-pronged approach such that DEI is woven through the fabric of all staff work. Many of the strategic goals in the DEI Roadmap are pertinent to WSG’s communications activities and involve incorporating DEI more thoroughly into communications products and maintaining an office culture that is welcoming and inclusive. The Science Writer will play a role in ensuring that these areas of transformation are consistently represented in products produced by communications.

Duties and Responsibilities

Content Writing/Editing 50%

  • Write and compile required annual reports of program accomplishments that document research and outreach activity to federal entities.
  • Write edit and collaborate on science-based publications resulting from WSG research projects, symposia, workshops, and partnership activities, including blog posts, feature stories, media releases and other publications, such as strategic plans and flyers for outreach events.
  • Provide copyediting and proofreading on a range of publications including reviewing and editing scientific and technical manuscripts; provide recommendations for improvement and informed judgment on appropriate content, media and distribution outlets.
  • Serve as primary editor of WSG’s blog, monthly email newsletter and Sea Star Magazine, working with the Communications Director to develop an annual editorial calendar and writing and editing content covering current research and events. Project Coordination 50%
  • Assist the Communications Director in mentoring and guiding WSG Science Communications Fellows. Coordinate media relations and maintain media contact list and monthly pr summary sheets. MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
  • Bachelor’s Degree with four years experience in writing and technical editing. Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
  • Demonstrated written and oral communication skills and a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences, including scientists, agency officials, educators, reporters and the public.
  • Demonstrated ability to accurately and clearly translate scientific and technical information for non-scientists, particularly in areas applicable to ocean and coastal issues.
  • Capacity to manage demanding workflow and competing deadlines, and initiate and complete projects independently and within deadlines.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment with a diverse staff population and a wide range of personalities.
  • Proficiency with Apple operating systems (Mac), Microsoft Office, mailchimp, and website content management systems (preferably WordPress).
  • Contribution to maintaining a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, by valuing diverse perspectives, enhancing cultural understanding, and supporting equal access to programming that facilitates sound, place-based decision-making based on relevant traditional and local knowledge. DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS
  • Masters Degree in communications, environmental or marine sciences or other related discipline and two years of professional experience in writing and technical editing.
  • A commitment to the goals and mission of Washington Sea Grant. CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
  • This is an 8 month temporary position.
  • The person in this position must maintain regular office hours, consistent with WSG workplace guidelines. Workload demand will require periodic evening and weekend hours. The ability to travel locally, regionally, nationally and internationally is required.
  • Appointment to this position is contingent upon obtaining satisfactory results from a criminal background check. Application Process: The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, among other things, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

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