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Job Details

Requisition Number 16-0281
Post Date 10/5/2016
Title Senior Science Writer
City Baltimore
State MD

The Space Telescope Science Institute is the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the science and mission operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope. The Office of Public Outreach produces products and services that are the backbone of the news, education, and public outreach efforts for the missions. The achievements of the office helped to make the Hubble Space Telescope one of the most universally recognized scientific endeavors.

The Office of Public Outreach is seeking an Online Science Writer to research subject matters, compose articles, craft stories, and provide editing support for a variety of electronic- and print-based publications. Publications will serve a range of audience types and will range from feature articles and multimedia scripts to simple tag-lines and copyediting. Special emphasis is placed on translating complex ideas and jargon into lay terms, helping people to understand and be engaged by astronomy and the sciences.

Candidates must be adept at understanding scientific principles and have the ability to interview scientists. Must have experience writing for web-based platforms, with a strong understanding of responsive architecture, including Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Must be enthusiastic about astronomy and the sciences.

Responsibilities include:

• Develop strategies and concepts for conveying scientific information and principles to various audiences

• Translate scientific data, complex concepts, and technical jargon into lay terms

• Develop and refine online and print materials

• Interview astronomers and technical personnel to collect information

• Copy edit materials for grammar, content and clarity

• Work with content experts to review work for errors

• Work in a iterative manner with project team

• Occasionally serve as project lead

• Research trends in the collection and reporting of science results



Candidates require a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in communications, journalism, astronomy, or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Creative Skills:

• Proven writing abilities

• Outstanding organizational skills

• Have the capacity to understand complex information

• Understanding of voice and tone

• Understanding of style guides

• Interest in astronomy and have working knowledge of theories and practices within the field

Technical Skills:

• Has the ability to create non-linear forms of writing to fit the dynamic web style, including SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

• eBook experience is a plus

Collaborative Skills:

• Excellent customer service skills; proactive, collaborative, and responsible 

• Outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written

• Ability to communicate through multiple channels with various audiences at every level of understanding

• Outstanding organizational skills, including the ability to plan, manage, and execute multiple tasks within schedule and scope

• Ability to contribute as part of a team and build consensus by actively listening, and giving and receiving constructive feedback

• Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, with an attention to detail

• Ability to adhere to established standards and practices, proactively communicating progress of projects and maintaining an archive of work

Interested candidates are requested to complete an on-line application through our website at and attach ONE PDF including a cover letter and resume in the "Resume Upload Section." Please include job # 16-0281 in the filename. Campaign will stay open until the position has been filled.

STScI sees the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in our desire to create a first-rate scientific community. We reflect that deep commitment in strongly encouraging women, minorities, veterans and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities.

Veterans, disabled or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at EOE/AA/M/F/D/V

  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information.
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