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Communications Specialist and Writer

Date: Jun 18, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7877 


The Communications Division at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory seeks a communications specialist and writer with project coordination experience to support external and internal communications for the US ITER project and the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate (FFESD). This role will interface with experts in a variety of project and R&D activities in fusion and nuclear energy, including: the international ITER project, fusion technology and engineering, plasma physics, advanced reactor designs, nuclear fuels and fuel cycles, and modeling and simulation for nuclear systems. The directorate also supports a number of public-private partnerships to advance deployment of new technologies in the private sector.


The successful candidate will be a talented writer and deadline-driven content producer who is prepared to learn and adapt to directorate and project priorities. Flexible thinkers are appreciated and will have many opportunities to develop original content in this environment. The communications specialist will be expected to create a variety of compelling external and internal-facing products about the project and FFESD’s science and engineering. The communications specialist will work closely with the US ITER and FFESD communications team, US ITER and FFESD technical leads, central ORNL communications, and other support organizations to achieve key outcomes.


About our team: We value working smarter and building efficiencies, sustaining organizational trust in our communications, active learning, multicultural and international perspectives, applying our special talents for the good of the whole, and evolving our approaches to meet target audiences with accessible, accurate products. The successful candidate will embrace collaboration and problem-solving in a team setting and be able to contribute diverse skills and original ideas to enhance communications impact. Professionalism and a commitment to support an inclusive team environment is essential.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Develop and execute original communications products to inform prime audiences (Department of Energy and other sponsors, project partners, R&D communities, industry partners, internal ORNL audiences).
  • Research, write, and produce articles, newsletters, digital stories, presentations, videos (see below for details), reports, educational outreach materials, and other content to highlight US ITER, fusion and fission progress, and impacts of all.
  • Collaborate with US ITER and Fusion and Fission Energy and Science communications and technical experts, ORNL communications, and other related ORNL areas to achieve project success.
  • Assist in the production of video and multimedia content, including creating the storyline and working in coordination with video producers, graphic artists, digital media staff, information technology services, and others to support multiplatform storytelling.
  • Contribute content ideas for social media channels and websites.
  • Support timely responses to DOE, partner, and media requests as needed.
  • Provide other writing and event support to directorate and ORNL communications leadership.
  • Occasional domestic and international travel may be required.


Qualifications Required:

Bachelor’s degree, plus 5 years of experience in professional communications related to research, energy, science, or engineering. Equivalent education and experience will be considered. Candidates will be expected to share a portfolio of their work.


Qualifications Preferred

  • At least 10 years of experience in professional communications.
  • Master’s degree, preferably in a research field.
  • Substantial experience writing and producing public and internal communications products in an R&D or research-oriented setting or in the industrial energy sector.
  • Proven communications project coordination experience.
  • Excellent written and interpersonal skills; familiarity with a variety of publishing, production, and design software; and proficiency in the use of social media and content management systems.
  • Self-motivation and commitment to supporting US ITER, FFESD and ORNL priorities while maintaining integrity of communications content and messaging.
  • Creativity, attention to detail, and skills required for planning, coordinating, and producing effective communication products.
  • Ability to balance multiple demands and perform professionally under pressure.
  • Interest in nuclear energy, fusion and fission R&D, physics, engineering, and energy policy is helpful.
  • International work or experience is a plus.
  • Experience with DOE, national laboratories, or research universities is a plus.


Work Directions and Interfaces:

This position will report through the ORNL Communications Division, Creative Services, Science Communications team; it will be matrixed to the FFESD communications coordinator and US ITER communications lead and will engage routinely with FFESD and US ITER staff. The FFESD communications coordinator and US ITER communications lead will have direct input regarding the incumbent’s job performance as well as assignments and priorities. This is an on-site position located in Oak Ridge, TN.


Benefits at ORNL:  

UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.   



Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. 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

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.


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