Director of Communications

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Chicago, ILLINOIS
Job Type: FullTime


BSD PED - Section Administrator: Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation - Pediatric Cancer Data Commons (PCDC): Data Analyst

About the Department

The Biological Sciences Division’s ‘Data for the Common Good’ (D4CG), is a rapidly growing team of experts in medicine, clinical research, public health, data standards, data infrastructure and programming, data governance and international data sharing. Headquartered in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago, Data for the Common Good works to connect and share disparate data sets in order to alter long standing research paradigms and enable the study of new research questions that drive cures. Its signature flagship project, the Pediatric Cancer Data Commons (PCDC), houses the world’s largest set of clinical data for pediatric cancer, uniting clinical data from across five continents for almost all types of pediatric cancer. Leveraging its expertise in establishing data commons, Data for the Common Good is expanding to create similar infrastructure across other rare diseases, including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and adult cancers, as well as a university-wide initiative called the Sociome, a scalable and extensible infrastructure and architecture that will ultimately assemble, quantify and organize the entirety of social context experienced by every individual. This at-will position is wholly funded by contractual grant funding, which is renewed under provisions set by the grantor of the contract. Employment will be contingent upon the continued receipt of these grant funds and satisfactory job performance.

Job Summary

The D4CG Director of Communications is a critical role within this dynamic and growing organization. Working with the leadership team, s/he drives D4CG’s re-branding from its former identity as the Pediatric Cancer Data Commons, including the articulation of mission, vision, values, position and aspirations. The person holding this position will develop a consistent presence across all media, outreach tools, educational activities, educational programming, and drives internal communications. The primary goals for this position are to increase visibility of the work of D4CG, namely building communities, platforms, and ecosystems that maximize the potential of data to drive discovery and improve human health. The result of this work will be increased partnerships with investigators and organizations committed to contributing data to commons to increase understanding, increased philanthropic opportunities, greater recognition of the relevance and value of D4CG work.
This position is eligible for an alternative work arrangement.


  • Develops the communications priorities of D4CG in concert with the strategic planning, fundraising and other central activities of the organization. 

  • Conceives and executes the marketing and branding plan for the organization. 

  • Creates and executes events that engage and expand core audiences. 

  • Creates strategies and plans, develops and disseminates information designed to keep the public informed of the organization's programs, accomplishments, or point of view.  

  • Plans, develops, and implements the D4CG communications strategy and content including, but not limited to, presentations, social media, annual reports, website, webinars, podcasts, blogs, infographics, and other engagement activities with key stakeholders.  

  • Collaborates with the leadership, technical and project management teams to implement strategic activities and communications needs. 

  • Designs and applies principles of communications and creative design to engage D4CG key stakeholders including clinicians, patients, survivors and families, foundations, and other staff within the division, university, and our stakeholder communities. 

  • Makes contributions to the media interface including writing press releases, planning and organizing media coverage for major events and crafting responses to sensitive or controversial issues. 

  • Solves moderate to complex problems relating to the writing, preparation and/or delivery of information from or about the unit.  

  • Performs other related work as needed. 

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications  



  • Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Writing, or similar field. 



  • In-depth experience using Adobe InDesign, WordPress, social media, and customer relationship management and newsletter software. 

  • In-depth experience designing, writing, and proofreading programmatic content such as annual reports, educational webinars, and websites. 

  • Experience writing, tailoring, proofreading, and disseminating complex scientific content for different audiences (clinicians, patients and families, donors, etc.) via different media. 

  • Experience writing and/or editing scientific manuscripts. 

  • Experience designing and implementing program-wide communications strategy and initiatives. 

  • At least basic experience in HTML or CSS web editing. 


Preferred Competencies  

  • Familiarity with clinical trials process, bioinformatics, and healthcare technology and databases. 

  • Ability to distill complex and technical scientific content for various audiences in a creative, meaningful, and relatable manner. 

  • Understanding and familiarity with key stakeholders in rare disease research communities. 


Working Conditions   

  • This position is eligible for an alternative work arrangement. 


Application Documents  

  • Resume (required) 

  • Cover letter (required) 

  • Writing sample (required) 

When applying, the document(s) MUST  be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward .
The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.


Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.


We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.


All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.


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