Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Durham, NORTH CAROLINA

Duke University:

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.


As part of the Nicholas School Marketing & Communications team and working closely with the Associate Dean of Marketing & Communications (AD) for Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, the Senior Science Writer will develop, integrate and coordinate messaging in a unified voice across all communications platforms and serves as the lead writer for the Dean and the chief science writer for the school.

Prepare and write articles and feature stories highlighting research done within Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, for distribution through Nicholas and Duke communications channels to the lay public, media and other targeted audiences including alumni and prospective students.

Develop and maintain working relationships with faculty and students within the Nicholas School and at Duke, publicizing and promoting their research for internal and external audiences.

Cultivate and maintain professional contacts and affiliations with news editors, reporters and outlets at the local, regional, and national levels, to facilitate and promote the dissemination of news and publicity in areas relevant to science and research related to the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. 


40% Senior Writer at NSOE:

  • Write or oversee the production of all news releases, news tips, op-eds, media pitches, video releases, and other materials targeted to mainstream electronic and print media, and implement their distribution and any subsequent outreach.
  • Working with NSOE and related faculty, track upcoming papers, coordinate with school and department communicators, meet with researchers, and coordinate release plans
  • Serve as senior writer for DukeEnvironment, a biannual digital magazine.

30% Dean’s Communications:

  • Write and oversee the Dean’s Weekly Updates, assuring that the information conveyed is accurate and timely and equitably acknowledges achievements of faculty, staff, students and alumni from all three academic divisions.
  • Draft speeches, talking points, briefings and other documents for the dean for a variety of audiences.
  • Act as the lead liaison with the Faculty Council to explore ways to spotlight Nicholas School research that supports the dean’s goals and the school’s messaging.

20% Strategy/Media Training:

  • Along with NSOE MarComs team, contribute to the generation of strategic content using innovative new mechanisms to widely transmit knowledge created by NSOE faculty and students to key audiences. Use analytics to track and qualify results.
  • Work closely with the AD and the NSOE MarComs team to develop a comprehensive communication strategy for the school, including an annual calendar and timetable for implementing key components of the strategy.
  • Work closely with the Associate Dean to analyze yearly assessments of the schools digital and written assets and develop proactive plans for the creation of new written assets.
  • Track all media coverage and produce quarterly reports that provide quantifiable metrics of placement totals and types.
  • Provide media training to faculty, staff and students as needed.

10% Liaison with Central Duke and other Duke collaborators:

  • Serve as liaison with Duke University’s central news office.
  • Manage the creation/ submission of content (written, images, video, graphics, etc.) to university channels, including Duke Today, the Duke Daily, and Duke Magazine.
  • Coordinate with the Duke news and communications office, multi- disciplinary areas and other on-campus communications entities, for the dissemination of news stories/communications efforts to the Duke University campus, regional, national and international stakeholders

Other duties, as assigned.

Must hold a bachelor or master degree, preferably in Journalism, English, Communications, or a science field. 


Work requires five years of directly related science writing experience, preferably working in a research/academic institution. 


Requested Skills

Solid writing and editing skills; interpersonal communication skills; time management.


Minimum Qualifications

Must hold a bachelor or master degree. Preferably in Journalism, English, Communications, or a Biomedical science field.


Work requires five years of directly related writing experience. OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE Preferably working in a biomedical research/academic medical institution.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

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