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Science Writer, NScD

Date: Jun 3, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8380 

This position is located on-site at our facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.



Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) invites candidates to apply for a science writer position in the Communications Division to support the Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD).


NScD operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States’ highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source. Together these facilities operate more than 30 neutron instruments for materials science research, carrying out approximately 1,200 experiments each year in the physical, chemical, materials, biological, and medical sciences for more than 1,200 visiting scientists. HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation. Both facilities are funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES). In conjunction with the University of Tennessee, NScD also operates the Shull Wollan Center—a Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences.


This job is based on the ORNL campus in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and is full-time onsite.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Be able to understand and write about complex science- and technology-related topics and materials and work with senior scientists and managers to produce timely, interesting, and compelling science and technology articles that readily convey the importance and excitement of the work at ORNL to multiple audiences, including DOE, BES, scientifically trained researchers and sponsors, NScD employees, and the public.
  • Write feature articles, science highlights, news releases, website and newsletter content, promotional pieces, internal communications products, and other materials that clearly and effectively communicate research findings, technical developments, key programming messages, and other news and information.
  • Organize information from various scientific and often highly technical sources, including interviews with subject matter experts, and produce written materials in concise language without loss of technical meaning and with meticulous attention to logic, consistency, and accuracy. Collaborate with technical editors to ensure adherence to grammar and style guidelines.
  • Coordinate NScD’s social media presence by developing content and posting regular updates.
  • Collaborate with the NScD communications coordinator, other members of NScD, Communications, and Creative Services to provide NScD with needed support and required products.
  • Suggest visual material in support of scientific and promotional information needs; work with graphic designers, photographers, and videographers to develop attractive and high-visual-impact products.
  • Work with external media, including science and trade publications, on coverage of NScD.
  • 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, journalism, public relations, English, a science, or a related field.
  • A minimum of 2 years of experience producing communications products for general audiences

Preferred Qualifications:

Communications experience in a national laboratory setting or with DOE staff and experience coordinating social media for organizations are preferred. Technical training or a background in science is a plus. 

The successful candidate should have strong scientific/technical reading, editing, and writing skills (will be expected to provide writing samples); experience writing about science and/or technology-related subjects for general audiences; the ability to develop a good understanding of the scientific and technical areas addressed by NScD and researchers using the facility; excellent attention to detail; the ability to understand, follow, and implement complex instructions; strong organizational skills, including the flexibility to simultaneously handle several assignments; and excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills.


The candidate should possess the ability to develop content for multiple platforms, including social media and web; prioritize and meet deadlines; the ability to work—both independently and with all levels of researchers and staff—in a team-based environment; and strong skills in solving problems and developing and implementing solutions.


Relocation:  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.


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