The Office of Strategic Communications designs and executes integrated communications strategies to protect and enhance Vanderbilt's local, national and international reputation, and positions the university as one of the world's leading academic research institutions across a variety of digital and traditional channels.
Reporting to the Director of Planning and Content within Vanderbilt University's Division of Communications, the Senior Specialist, Science Communications is responsible for developing and implementing external communications plans and tactics that enhance Vanderbilt University's reputation and advance the university's mission as a premier academic research institution. With a focus on the university's scientific research, this position will leverage storytelling expertise, gather news, create and implement communications plans, develop messaging, write stories and coordinate dissemination of stories to external and internal audiences.
The Senior Specialist will proactively build relationships with faculty and staff and will collaborate with peers within the Division of Communications, including the media relations, social media, and video teams.
Duties and Responsibilities
Provides communications support for the School of Engineering, Vanderbilt's innovation center (The Wond'ry), Technology Transfer and Natural Sciences (physics, chemistry, psychology, earth and environmental sciences and biological sciences).
Supports the university's strategic communications goals through building and maintaining relationships with faculty and administrators across the university conducting scientific research to identify compelling narratives/storytelling opportunities and opportunities to join the national conversation.
Advises deans, directors, faculty, and staff on local and national external communications opportunities for their programs and research.
Develops and implements integrated communications plans and multimedia story packages that promote Vanderbilt University's faculty, staff, students, research and resources to a wide variety of audiences.
Researches, plans, writes and edits content for Vanderbilt University's external channels, including Vanderbilt.edu and Research News; uses data to evaluate the content's impact
Assists Vanderbilt faculty with editorial contributions to The Conversation, Futurity and other partner media channels.
Assists the video team with story development and production and plans photography coverage as needed.
Follows industry-related news and generates ideas to amplify content.
Plans and maintains editorial calendar.
Works closely with partners across the Division of Communications to coordinate communications efforts and ensure consistent cross-channel messaging.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Profile of an Ideal Candidate
A Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher educationis necessary. However, a Master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education is preferred.
Five years of experience in communications, journalism or related field is necessary.
An ability to demonstrate excellent news judgment and an excellent sense of what is appropriate for the brand. Excellent interview, research and writing skills.
Self-starter with ability to independently design and execute on communications priorities.
An ability to collaborate with Division of Communications colleagues and communicate comfortably with various internal audiences outside of the Division of Communications such as faculty and staff.
Experience and comfort working in a deadline-driven environment of multiple projects and quick turn-around requirements.
Utmost adherence to confidentiality and business ethics; demonstrated outstanding judgment and discretion.
Willingness to work irregular hours, as needed.
Communications planning and strategy experience.
Fluency with social media and web content.
Demonstrated understanding of the university's mission, values, goals and priorities and an ability to ensure that all are considered in developing communications strategies.
Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.
Internal Number: 1902241
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.