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Science Communications Manager

  • Requisition no: 513170
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Manhattanville
  • School/Department: Zuckerman Institute
  • Grade: Grade 13
  • Categories: Commun/PR/Editorial, Pubs/Printing/Graphic Design, Marketing/Sales
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: Commensurate with experience

Position Summary

Columbia's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute brings together world-class scientists 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, and social policy, the potential impact for humanity is staggering.

Reporting to the Director of Communications, the Science Communications Manager drives public understanding of neuroscience and digital engagement to promote the extraordinary research at the Zuckerman Institute. The incumbent will develop compelling news and feature stories and other content to explain complex science with clarity, veracity and editorial sophistication for a science-curious public. The successful candidate will have a breadth of experience using digital strategies and media relations to engage non-expert audiences and bring creativity, innovation and energy to the role.

This is an exciting opportunity for a talented science writer/reporter with a demonstrated ability and desire to engage the media and online audiences.


Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

• Identify, write and promote dynamic print, web and newsletter content to explore and explain the work of Zuckerman Institute scientists and programming.

• Craft and execute tailored communications and media relations strategies to amplify the work of the Institute.

• Draft and edit news releases, press materials, talking points and other content for a range of internal and external audiences. Pitch and report incisive stories that are timely and relevant to non-experts.

• Manage social media accounts and promote shareable, authentic content, incorporating SEO expertise and strong editorial judgment.

• Cultivate relationships with reporters and pitch stories to the media. Proactively identify publicity opportunities to earn coverage in influential media outlets.

• Curate and manage the website, bringing an imaginative and strategic vision to maximize our impact on various digital platforms. The development of quantitative and qualitative strategies to assess targeted audience growth and engagement will be an important aspect of the position.

• Establish and maintain strong professional relationships with Columbia faculty (including Nobel laureates), administration and colleagues across different departments and the university.

• Engage public information officers from partner institutions to amplify and coordinate media and promotion efforts.

• Performs other related duties and special projects as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

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

Preferred Qualifications

  • 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).

  • Experience working as at a research institution or university 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.

  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite, Canva or other digital and design programs 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.

Other Requirements

  • Please attach two (2) writing samples to the application.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Applications open: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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