Director for Science Communication

California, United States
Saturday, 14 December 2019
End of advertisement period
Monday, 10 February 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

The objective of this position is to refine and lead the execution of strategies for telling the story of Stanford’s world-leading physical sciences and engineering research and scholarship. Working with communicators at schools and institutes across campus as well as within University Communications, this position will oversee strategies for end-to-end communication about science and engineering research including multimedia content conception and creation, media relations and distribution across Stanford channels.  

The position supervises University Communications’ Associate Director for Science Communication, Associate Director for Life Science Communication, and has a dotted-line supervisory position for the Woods Institute Writer/Editor. In addition, the position coordinates with communicators from multiple units across campus including the School of Engineering; the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Science; Precourt Institute for Energy; the School of Medicine; and SLAC.  


Leads effort for science communication strategies

Develops, executes and assesses communication strategies for telling stories that illustrate and elevate Stanford’s reputation as a leader in science and engineering research and education. Refines key science and engineering talking points and strategies to communicate complex information to multiple audiences through a wide variety of communication platforms including and social media outlets. Where applicable, participate in the schools’ and institutes’ science communication messaging strategies and hiring decisions.  

Oversees creation and promotion of science-related materials

Working with science and engineering content creators across campus, identify storytelling opportunities and edit resulting news stories, press releases, multimedia packages and other appropriate new and feature materials. Leads a team to identify and help produce multimedia packages to highlight Stanford stories in science and technology areas. Play a key role in deepening the breadth of the community of science communicators through mentoring and guidelines for standards and best practices.  

Lead science-related media relations efforts

Working with the Assistant Vice President for Media Relations, develop and oversee a plan to leverage relationships with key reporters, editors and media. Provide public relations support for audiences that are both internal and external to the university, including on a national and international scale. Provide guidance and media training to faculty who spend significant time in the news.  

Develop and lead special projects

Manage special projects involving cross-campus collaborations such as Nobel Prize coverage, science-related multimedia packages and alternative storytelling initiatives from initial strategy and content development through implementation and measurement. Prepare detailed project schedules and collaborate with editorial, design, production and digital teams to deliver high-quality projects.  

Assist other campus communications efforts

Provides communications support, including news writing and media relations, in the event of campus crisis or emergency. Maintains an ongoing, comprehensive understanding of technology advances that affect the efficient operation of University Communications activities.


  • Bachelor's degree and seven years of relevant experience or a combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute multilevel communication strategies.
  • Demonstrated initiative and creativity, with the balance of characteristics needed to both conceptualize fresh, path-breaking communications ideas and build support for them across a complex institutional structure.
  • Significant experience as a science writer, editor or in public relations at a college, university, news media organization, government agency or other large, complex knowledge-based organization.
  • Knowledge of and experience in the physical sciences is essential.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills.
  • Experience in recognizing and developing science news and feature stories and in communicating them effectively (verbally and in writing) in appropriate styles for radio, television and print media, the Web and social media.
  • Experience in analyzing situations and giving sound professional judgment on news value, strategic communications, public opinion ad media relations.
  • Demonstrated skill in producing engaging content for social media channels, and a proven ability to communicate with science and technology reporters on social platforms.
  • Ability to work collaboratively within the university and with public agencies, universities and organizations around the country.
  • Demonstrated skills in establishing and maintaining productive, credible and ethical working relationships with print and broadcast editors, writers and reporters.
  • Ability to energetically pursue and maintain personal media contacts on a regular basis, to be responsive to requests for information, and to effectively promote campus programs and market story ideas.
  • Demonstrated commitment to principles of community and diversity.  
  • The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities.
  • Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.  
  • Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.  
  • Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4264
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: K
  • Requisition ID:

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