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Communications Specialist

Date: Nov 16, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9522 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks to hire a Communications Specialist to support the Environment, Safety, Health and Quality (ESH&Q) directorate and their efforts to enable efficient execution of the ORNL science missions while protecting workers, the public, and the environment. ​The individual in this position will support communications efforts among ESH&Q staff as well as communications on behalf of ESH&Q to the Lab population, sponsors, and other stakeholders. Primary directorate functions that may require support include Environmental Management, Nuclear and Facility Safety, Occupational Medicine, Radiological Protection, and Worker Safety and Health.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Recommend and implement strategies and best practices to the ESH&Q director and leadership team for communicating complex initiatives and actions to directorate or ORNL staff and/or managers and leadership. Example includes promotion of safety requirements or guidance, such as those related to COVID-19, and operational excellence initiatives. 
  • Work with the ESH&Q director and leadership team to develop an agreed upon communications plan and schedule that aligns with the Lab Agenda and missions of the Laboratory. This includes developing communications strategies and deliverables to reach targeted external audiences and meet their goals. Example includes providing strategic communications support for the Lab’s initiative to improve R&D work planning and control processes. 
  • Maintain a regular cadence of engagement with the ESH&Q leadership in order to share communications priorities and feedback and modify as necessary.
  • Coordinate with the Legal Directorate, the Lessons Learned Coordinator, and the Enforcement Coordinator to communicate summaries of incidents and occurrences.
  • Collaborate with Communications peers when efforts and/or messages overlap or pertain to the same audience. 
  • Work with ESH&Q delegates as well as members of the IT and Communications divisions to ensure ESH&Q websites are adequate, effective, up to date, and aligned with ORNL web design standards.
  • Work with Communications staff to ensure external ESH&Q inquiries are documented and tracked to closure.
  • Write or work with others to write about (or promote through events and/or learning opportunities) topics of interest and relevance to ORNL employees, keeping the Safe Conduct of Research (SCoR) Principles at the forefront of topics. Content includes ORNL Today stories, the Keeping SCoR newsletter and other content for employee consumption.
  • Benchmark other national laboratories and industry leaders to bring new communications ideas and solutions forward to the ESH&Q Leadership Team.
  • Collaborate with Creative Services to secure writing and editing support and adhere to ORNL grammar and style standards.
  • Suggest visual material in support of scientific and technical information needs. Work with designers, illustrators, photographers, and videographers to develop attractive and impactful visual products.
  • Comply with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of ORNL’s core values and ethics.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree in communications, English, or a related field
  • At least 5 years of experience
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience working with senior leaders and managers
  • Strong written communications skills
  • The ability to prioritize and meet deadlines, work independently and with all levels of management, researchers, and staff in a team-based environment; learn new information quickly; understand, follow, and implement complex instructions; and manage projects from concept to completion.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A master’s degree in communications, business, English, or a related field and 5 – 10 years of experience.
  • Experience working within ESH&Q fields of work.
  • Expertise in change management and/or organizational development
  • Experience in a DOE laboratory and/or with a corporate organizational effectiveness program.
  • Excellent attention to detail; good facilitation and presentation skills; strong organizational skills, including the flexibility to simultaneously handle several assignments; excellent communication skills; strong skills in solving problems and developing and implementing solutions; and demonstrated expertise in Microsoft Office and Adobe products.


Benefits and Relocation:

UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details. For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


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.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville