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University at Albany Science Communications Specialist in Albany, New York

Location: Albany, NY Category: Professional Posted On: Wed Dec 8 2021 Job Description:

The Science Communications Specialist is responsible for creating a wide range of published content and communication strategies for general audiences as well as for technical scientific audiences. The incumbent will highlight the strengths and scientific achievements of The RNA Institute and publicize these achievements through outreach activities. The RNA Institute's Scientific and

Corporate Advisory boards have strongly advised The RNA Institute to adopt strong scientific outreach strategies at technical conferences and in scientific publications as a critical action to build the Institute's reputation and effectively fulfill its mission. The Science Communications Specialist will play a lead role in executing this charge, including serving as scientific liaison with outside groups and industry partners to facilitate collaborations, increase fundraising efforts, and promote knowledge and awareness of the RNA Institute.

The Science Communications Specialist will be a professional with strong communication skills and experience, coupled with a background in research in biology, chemistry or a closely related field to ensure the requisite expertise to communicate scientific information to both technical and general audiences. The incumbent will work with the Director, Associate Director, Administrative Manager, and Institute members to develop and implement a robust science communications plan, develop fundraising opportunities and collaborations with outside groups for Institute faculty to diversify their funding portfolios, and effectively communicate achievements to current and prospective funding agencies. The incumbent will report to the Administrative Manager and work in close collaboration with him/her/them to contribute scientific expertise to the broader Institute communications plan. In addition, the incumbent will assist with administrative tasks in the RNA Institute as needed. The position will support the overall vision of the Institute to make significant contributions towards understanding the role of RNA in fundamental biological processes, developing RNA as a tool for science, and harnessing this knowledge to improve human health.


  • Help define and implement The RNA Institute's communication strategy

  • Draft communications products to promote scientific achievements of The RNA Institute and affiliated faculty to scientific and technical audiences, including,

  • Press releases

  • Annual Institute Reports

  • Articles for the RNA Institute website and University Communications and Marketing department

  • Lay summaries of scientific articles and grants

  • Social media posts highlighting research achievements

  • Represent The RNA Institute at scientific conferences to present research and scientific achievements in poster sessions and talks, network with academic and industry representatives to identify areas for collaborative research, and lay the groundwork for new grant and industry fundraising opportunities

  • Build the recruitment pipeline for The RNA Institute and affiliated departments by coordinating and participating in faculty, student and staff outreach to regional Universities through regular engagement events, including talks, posters and networking

  • Act as scientific liaison with outside groups, including industry, to facilitate potential collaborations with RNA Institute faculty and develop educational and scientific programs

  • Identify and communicate funding opportunities for RNA Institute faculty and staff

  • Draft grant applications for RNA Institute funding and provide support for Institute staff and faculty grant applications

  • Contribute to fundraising strategies for the Annual Symposium and other Institute events by communicating with industry and sponsor staff to articulate RNA Institute assets and scientific capacities

  • Help to coordinate scientific outreach events and run science stations for external audiences

  • Spearhead the RNA Institute's Undergraduate Summer Fellowship program, including evaluating applications and coordinating mentorship

  • Support the staff and affiliated faculty of the RNA Institute with administrative tasks as needed

    Job Requirements:


  • Degree in Biology, Chemistry, or a closely related field from a college or university accredited by a U.S. Department of Education or internationally recognized organization. Master's or PhD is degree strongly preferred.

  • Strong background or training in communications

  • 5 + years' experience communicating scientific concepts to both technical and nontechnical audiences

  • 5 + years' experience supporting research in RNA or RNA-related science. A publications record is preferred.

  • Demonstrated ability to liaise with Industry and donors to cultivate funding opportunities and translate these opportunities into the development of grants

  • A strong record of success in developing grants in relevant fields

  • Demonstrated effectiveness in organization, planning, and prioritization of multiple skill sets

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • Applicants must address in their applications their ability to work with a culturally diverse population.

    Additional Information:

Professional Rank and Salary Range: Senior Staff Assistant, SL3

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