At the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI), we envision a world powered by sustainable and reliable energy that is affordable and accessible to everyone. As the home of collaborative energy research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we connect and empower researchers to help solve one of the world's greatest challenges: developing sustainable alternatives to meet society's ever-growing need for power, fuels, and chemicals. One major research program within WEI is the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), a U.S. Department of Energy-funded Bioenergy Research Center whose mission is to create biofuels and bioproducts that are economically viable and environmentally sustainable.
Our job, as the WEI communications team, is to learn about the work being done by WEI scientists, engineers, and staff, and help share those stories with journalists, our funding agencies, and the public. We are searching for a science writer to help us showcase WEI's research and outreach programs and the people behind them.
As a science writer, you would be joining a creative and collaborative team of communicators and share responsibilities for finding and pitching stories, writing stories, editing, and media relations. You would also research, write, and edit content for internal and external communications projects and work with other team members to help develop marketing materials.
Working with the communications director, you would plan and set goals for our editorial content and determine the newsworthiness of potential stories. You will often work on a wide variety of stories/projects at once. You'll also be editing the stories of other writers on the team, so a sharp eye for accuracy, punctuation, grammar, and style is helpful.
We are looking for someone who is curious and likes to ask questions and dig into things they don't understand. Someone who is passionate about learning. Someone who has heard about something scientifically amazing and thought, "I need to tell someone about this!" Someone who is passionate about telling stories driven by people, ideas, and discoveries.
If that describes you and you're excited about the job and joining our team, we would love to see your application.
Develops and drafts communication content and assists in the execution of the communications strategy in support of unit communication goals.
10% Monitors reach and effectiveness of communication campaigns, projects, and initiatives
20% Plans editorial content according to established goals and objects
10% Communicates with stakeholders to verify requests and identify editorial resources
45% Writes, edits, and publishes content for various communication projects and marketing platforms to align with strategic initiatives and established communication campaigns
10% Provides project management and execution of communications programs, initiatives, and tactical plans
5% Participates in collaborative activities to promote an equitable, diverse, and inclusive WEI community and foster a culture that welcomes, celebrates, and supports everyone.
Institutional Statement on Diversity:
Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background - people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.
Preferred Bachelor's Degree or two years of relevant professional experience. Candidates with a background in journalism, public relations, communications, or scientific fields related to energy and environmental research are especially encouraged to apply.
Required Qualifications: - Demonstrated ability to write engaging, clear, and accessible content about complex topics for a non-technical audience. - Evidence of excellent writing, editing, fact-checking, and proofreading skills.
Preferred Qualifications: - Strong interviewing, news writing, and editing ability and experience. This includes creating news content for multiple platforms and in a variety of formats including press releases, profiles, feature stories, and Q&As, and the willingness to adapt. - A strong news sense and ability to search out and prepare stories that are relevant to the public and the media. - The ability to work with reporters to answer media requests, connect them with research experts, and pitch news stories to media outlets. - Experience with multimedia storytelling through audio, video, and/or photo is a plus. - Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team-based environment. - Curiosity and a passion for science and learning. - Cultural competency and the ability to communicate effectively in a culturally sensitive manner with both individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds. - Demonstrated success of advancing equity, promoting diversity, and practicing inclusion. - Commitment to the goals of the Wisconsin Energy Institute, UW-Madison, and higher education.
This position requires some work to be performed in-person, onsite, at a designated campus work location. Some work may be performed remotely, at an offsite, non-campus work location.
Appointment Type, Duration:
Minimum $51,700 ANNUAL (12 months) Depending on Qualifications
We strongly encourage applications from candidates who foster and promote the values of diversity and inclusion.
Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring their eligibility to work in the United States (i.e. a citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, a foreign national authorized to work in the United States without need of employer sponsorship) on or before the effective date of appointment.
How to Apply:
To apply for this position, click the Apply Now button (jobs.wisc.edu, search for PVL #266301).
Applicants will be prompted to upload a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples.
Cover letter: Don't use it to describe your job history. Tell us about the unique aspects of your personal and professional history that make you the right person for this job. Keep your cover letter to one page or less.
Writing samples: Submit two examples of original, news-style stories (written or multimedia) produced by you. These do not need to have been published formally, nor do they need to be about science, but they should demonstrate your ability to communicate complex subjects effectively to people who are not experts on these subjects. The uploaded documents should contain the writing samples rather than a link to your writing samples online. These samples will be a significant consideration for the search committee, so submit the work that you think best demonstrates your talents.
Employment will require a criminal background check. It will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.
The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7).
The University of Wisconsin–Madison has been a catalyst for the extraordinary since its founding in 1848. Our students, staff, and faculty partake in world-class education and conduct prolific research that solves real-world problems. Our guiding principle is the Wisconsin Idea, a commitment to outreach that creates a better future for our state, our nation, and the world. We value the contributions of each person and recognize that diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation.