Reporting to the team lead, the Science Writer documents the many ways NASA missions and research lead to cutting-edge innovation and new products that benefit the public. The Writer must be adept at conveying scientific research and technical details in a clear and compelling way to non-scientific audiences.
Writing feature articles for publication—on the Spinoff and NASA webpages as well as in a variety of print products—is the primary duty of the position. The writer will also contribute multimedia content to, and develop strategy for, the program’s social media accounts.
Other work may include writing marketing materials for NASA’s patent portfolio, as well as contributing copy for brochures, flyers and presentations.
For Spinoff articles, the science writer interfaces with a broad array of sources, ranging from NASA scientists and engineers to company executives and marketing/public relations personnel. The writer finds and advances story leads, conducts interviews, drafts articles, gathers appropriate imagery, and guides his or her articles through a vetting process at NASA. The writer also reworks article content in a variety of formats, including shortened summaries, PowerPoint Presentations, and the like.
Essential Duties and Job Functions
· Writes feature-length science articles using information researched from technical publications and internet resources, manufacturers’ promotional material and advertising campaigns, and interviews with manufacturers and NASA sources.
· Performs independent research using NASA publications and websites, technical documents, company materials, and other trustworthy sources to verify facts and enrich his or her understanding of the subject matter.
· Verifies technology transfer with NASA field centers and company representatives.
· Coordinates with the graphic designer on design, layouts, and image selection for Spinoff and other publications.
· Collaborates with the Spinoff team and works independently to develop new materials such as posters, flyers, brochures, etc., for NASA clients.
· Proofreads and edits materials written by other Spinoff writers.
· Attends technical trade shows and conferences to obtain story leads and vendor contacts.
· Assists editor in keeping Spinoff website, database, and social media fresh and up to date.
· Responds to inquiries from NASA and the public regarding spinoff technologies.
· Participates in spinoff- and technology-transfer-related marketing events sponsored by NASA.
Work is typically sedentary in nature and performed in an office setting. The incumbent should be able to sit for extended periods of time using a computer and perform work well despite occasional ambient noise from coworkers. Occasional travel is required to attend meetings and conferences or to staff exhibit booths, which may require standing and talking with people for an extended period of time. The position includes flexibility in work schedules, including telecommuting.
*You are REQUIRED to attach a Cover Letter with your resume.Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
· Experience working in the publishing environment, which may include magazines, journals, newsletters, books, brochures, posters, etc.
· Experience interviewing sources with a range of backgrounds, including highly technical fields.
· Ability to understand and work with complex technical information from a variety of engineering and scientific fields and translate it into smooth prose for a broad, educated lay audience.
· Strong editing and proofreading skills.
· Outstanding oral and written professional communication skills.
· Ability to multi-task duties and projects, particularly the ability to manage several deadlines effectively and prioritize work.
· Above all, must be an excellent writer, editor, and communicator.
· At least two years of experience in writing and publication development, including experience writing articles under tight deadlines and interviewing sources from a range of backgrounds.
· Excellent research and writing skills, including the ability to communicate technical concepts to nontechnical audiences.
· A willingness and enthusiasm to learn about NASA’s current and historical missions and research efforts, as well as a range of technological and scientific topics.
· Intermediate skills with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and an ability to learn advanced tools and techniques.
· US citizen.
· Bachelor’s degree or higher, particularly in English, journalism, or communications.
· Experience with current industry standards for design in print and online publications.
· Knowledge of social media tools and marketing strategies.
· Experience with software tools to create short videos and/or GIFs for social media.
· Familiarity with desktop publishing.