Science Writer

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Knoxville, Tennessee

Date Posted January 30, 2024
Industry Academia
Specialty Not Specified
Required Education Bachelor's Degree
Telecommute? Hybrid
Job Status Not Specified


The Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, seeks applications and nominations for the position of science writer. The science writer produces written content for multiple platforms and audiences to promote the institution’s highest priority research successes and activity and serves as an integral member of OCM’s Research Communications and Marketing team.

UT is the state’s flagship research university, a campus of choice for outstanding undergraduates, and a premier graduate institution. As a land-grant university, the institution fulfills its access mission through a commitment to excellence in learning, scholarship, and engagement.

OCM is dedicated to advancing the university’s reputation. Staff members support the institution’s mission and goals, promote its successes and achievements, inform and engage its stakeholders, and ensure the integrity of its brand. We craft audience-focused communications based on data, best-practices, and emerging trends. The division comprises several cross-functional teams, employing more than 50 full-time professionals with expertise in design, development, video production, content strategy, feature writing, editing, marketing, media relations, internal communication, and special events.



  • Generates science- and research-related feature stories and news releases for targeted audiences that advance the university’s strategic research goals and objectives.
  • Researches, develops, and writes concise web content for high-profile research-related university websites and web pages, especially for the university's defined research "gateways."
  • Expertly translates scientific studies, jargon, and topics into understandable and compelling content for print and digital media that can be understood by a wide variety of audiences, from the general public to academic peers.
  • Regularly produces content to create awareness among statewide and national (and sometimes international) stakeholders about the university's ground-breaking multidisciplinary work, research institutes, and other contributions that make UT a top research university.
  • Conducts interviews (that may be recorded for public distribution as audio files) with faculty experts to explore their research findings.
  • Follows established OCM processes and workflows including loading content into software systems used for standard review and approval.
  • Proactively identifies new opportunities and story leads for the team to add value or demonstrate thought leadership to campus clients and colleagues based on an up-to-date understanding of key scientific and industry-wide trends.
  • Collaborates with other OCM departments (creative, marketing, digital, video, and events) to proactively execute integrated marketing and communications plans that advance the university's research-related priorities.
  • Develops and maintains professional working relationships with faculty, deans, and administrators in scientific and scholarly areas; consults with them on plans to publicize and promote their research activities and successes to external audiences.
  • Builds and maintains key relationships within the university and in the community, including the scientific staff of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, CNS/Y-12, and other national labs and key industry partners as required to plan for and create content related to high-profile research collaborations and partnerships.
  • Provides support for research- and/or other industry-related events


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

A. Knowledge

  • Working knowledge of communicating with a variety of audiences
  • Working knowledge of traditional and emerging media
  • Solid knowledge of branding guidelines
  • Solid knowledge of AP and/or Chicago Manual of Style guides and rules

B. Skills/Abilities

  • Excellent science writing skills, including the ability to translate technical scientific jargon and findings into accessible language for a general audience
  • Excellent interviewing skills
  • Ability to meet rolling deadlines

C. Behaviors

  • Represents the university in a professional manner
  • Interacts well with campus partners, office staff, and UT administrators
  • Provides and is receptive to feedback and constructive criticism
  • Works independently and in a group setting
  • Desire to protect and promote the university's reputation