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Communications Specialist, National Isotope Development Center

Date: Apr 28, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7490 


The National Isotope Development Center (NIDC), within the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is seeking an experienced communications specialist to increase the visibility of US Department of Energy Isotope Program (DOE IP) products and activities on a national and international scale. This position will report to the Science Communications Manager in the Communications Division. 

The NIDC serves as an interface with the user community and manages the coordination of isotope production across the program facilities at Argonne, Brookhaven, Idaho, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories. These facilities produce stable and radioactive isotopes in short supply using reactors, accelerators, and other methods.

As the communications specialist for the NIDC, managed by the DOE IP, this staff member will oversee communications and outreach activities across the program. The successful candidate will use numerous forms of media to increase awareness of available isotope products, technical services, and R&D capabilities including those housed within its network of national laboratories and partner universities.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Understand and explain complex science- and technology-related topics and work with senior scientists and managers to produce compelling products that readily convey the importance of the work of the DOE IP to multiple audiences, including DOE, congressional staffers, scientifically trained researchers and sponsors, industry partners, and the public. 
  • Cultivate relationships with each DOE Isotope Program site office to ensure representation across the organization.
  • Develop and write outreach materials including newsletters, brochures, email communications, web content, exhibit booth displays, presentation materials (PowerPoint slides, posters, banners, etc.), fact sheet content, talking points, video scripts, new releases and features, and other materials. These products will clearly and effectively communicate products and services, research findings, technical developments, key programming messages, and other news and information. The successful candidate will be expected to produce written materials in clear, concise language without loss of technical meaning and with meticulous attention to logic, consistency, and accuracy. 
  • Route content through appropriate technical and clearance review processes, typically consisting of researchers, group leaders, program managers, technical editors, NIDC, and/or DOE IP staff; use ORNL’s RESolution Publications system as necessary.
  • Maintain the NIDC website ( with technical support from ORNL Web Services; contribute to continuous improvements of the overall design, layout, features, etc., to enhance user experience. Analyze website metrics to optimize site usability.
  • Prepare NIDC email blasts for 2,000+ subscribers on roughly a weekly basis, with input from colleagues. 
  • Manage the preparation of the NIDC monthly report to DOE IP headquarters
  • Manage the DOE Isotope Program Communications Working Group, leading efforts to increase communication efficiency and information from program sites to the NIDC and DOE IP headquarters.
  • Lead NIDC and DOE IP branding efforts. 
  • Manage vendor displays and coordinate NIDC presentations at domestic and international conferences and other events. Plan, coordinate, and execute special events, community outreach, and other programs. Provide onsite support for events and conferences as needed.
  • Develop an NIDC social media presence, beginning with Twitter, by developing content, planning campaigns, and identifying new channels for social media promotion.
  • Cultivate and manage relationships with media representatives. 
  • Suggest visual material in support of scientific and promotional information needs. Assist in creation of multimedia content for web, social media, and other uses. Work with graphic designers, photographers, video producers, and reproduction staff to develop attractive and high-visual-impact products. 
  • Work cooperatively with management and peers in Communications to provide high-quality, cost-effective support for NIDC. Learn and ensure adherence to DOE and ORNL styles and standards. 
  • Comply with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements. 
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics. 


Basic Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, journalism, public relations, English, or a science-related field.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in communications and outreach support for a scientific or technical organization, marketing or public relations firm, or similar entity. 
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a “Q” security clearance.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally to scientific conferences at least two times per year.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Communications experience in a national laboratory setting or with DOE staff and experience using social media for organizations are preferred. Technical training or a background in science is a plus. 
  • The successful candidate will have strong scientific/technical reading, editing, and writing skills; excellent attention to detail; the ability to understand, follow, and implement complex instructions. The candidate should also possess strong organizational skills, including the flexibility to simultaneously handle several assignments; the ability to manage communications projects from concept to completion; and excellent verbal and interpersonal communication skills. 
  • The candidate should be able to build expertise in the subject matter and be adept at research and analysis; possess the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines; have good facilitation and presentation skills; be able to work—both independently and with all levels of management, researchers, and staff—in a team-based environment; and have strong skills in solving problems and developing and implementing solutions. The candidate should have demonstrated expertise in Microsoft Office and Adobe products.
  • The candidate should provide at least three examples of previous communications and outreach work when applying for this position. 



Moving is stressful and expensive, and UT Battelle offers a wide range of relocation benefits for individuals and families to make it easier to come and work here. If you are invited to interview, please ask your Recruiter about relocating with ORNL. 


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

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