The Columbia University Department of Systems Biology conducts interdisciplinary research focused on investigating biological complexity (http://systemsbiology.columbia.edu). Our community of nearly 30 laboratories includes both experimental and computational scientists who use systems perspectives to study biology across a wide range of domains, including cancer biology, bioinformatics, evolutionary biology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience, regulatory genomics, structural biology, synthetic biology, virology, and other fields. Our interests span basic science, technology development, and translational applications aimed at improving human health.
We are seeking a creative, versatile, and motivated Communications Officer to document and promote our research, educational programs, and other activities on the web, in print, and through other media. This exciting opportunity offers a front row seat on a dynamic, rapidly developing research field and the chance to work closely with an innovative and collegial community of investigators. The primary focus of the Communications Officer's efforts will be to raise the profile of the Department of Systems Biology, particularly with the goal of recruiting talented graduate students and postdoctoral scientists who will become future leaders in research, technology, and education.
The Communications Officer will work in close consultation with our faculty to identify, document, and promote key findings, accomplishments, awards, and activities internally across the University and to the wider public.
She or he must be an outstanding science writer/editor capable of understanding scientific papers and lectures and explaining them clearly to non-specialists.
The ideal candidate will possess a wide range of skills, including experience with website editorial management and maintenance, print and digital graphic design, and other interests and capabilities that would be assets to our communications efforts.
The Communications Officer must take initiative to identify and follow through on communications opportunities, collaborating well with our faculty and other staff at Columbia University, and consistently delivering high-quality results.
Researching and writing articles, announcements, and press releases covering the Department's research, achievements, awards, grants, educational programs, and other activities.
Maintaining the Department's website. On a regular basis, this involves gathering and posting basic information such as upcoming events, new publications, faculty and staff profiles, courses and shared resources,. It also involves setting general editorial strategy for building a portfolio of articles, graphics, and other content that together provides an accurate, well-rounded, up-to-date, and compelling representation of the Department.
Working closely with the Department's IT team and an external website developer to oversee top-level efforts to improve the website's usability, incorporate new content modules and features, and address technical problems that might arise.
Adhering to and maintaining a consistent and professional visual identity for the Department across our communications platforms. This includes conceiving and designing print and digital collateral such as newsletters, brochures, and posters; managing the development of our library of photographic and graphic assets; and creating and maintaining a PowerPoint slideshow to promote the Department's news across campus.
Collaborating with communications colleagues at Columbia University Medical Center and at Columbia's Morningside campus to generate media interest and coverage of the Department's activities and discoveries.
Assisting in communications within the Department, including producing a quarterly e-News and other initiatives to promote a shared sense of community and mission among our faculty and staff.
Working closely with the Department Chair on tasks related to communications or promoting faculty development, outreach, student and postdoc recruitment, and fundraising.
Perform other related duties as needed.
Bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of education and experience; either in a scientific field or in writing/communications/journalism, and have at least four years of related experience in scientific and/or higher-ed communications.
A Master's or higher degree.
Extensive writing and communications experience in a relevant scientific field such as biology, chemistry, bioinformatics, physics, or mathematics, and have several years of post-graduate writing experience.
Experience working for a scientific journal or experience in the public relations or communications field in a university, not-for-profit, or a corporate environment.
Technical expertise with website hosting, architecture, and development, while is not necessary, a familiarity with these topics and experience working on website development projects.
A portfolio showing the ability to produce quality print and digital publications.
An ability to learn, understand, and summarize technical information quickly, and to write about science and technology in a clear, structured, articulate, and persuasive manner for both scientific and lay audiences.
Superior editing and proofreading skills, including an ability to maintain and enforce consistent style.
Experience using online content management systems such as Drupal, WordPress, and Squarespace, as well as a basic knowledge of HTML.
Command of Microsoft Office tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) as well as desktop publishing software for image editing and print design (Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat).
Strong oral and interpersonal skills, ideally including experience working in an academic environment.
Ability to conceive, initiate, and manage communications projects from start to finish, multi-task, prioritize, and meet deadlines in both collaborative and independent settings.
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.
Internal Number: 506021
About Columbia University
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.