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Technical Writer and Editor

Date: Jan 13, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4844 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) invites candidates to apply for the position of technical writer and editor in Creative Services, Communications Division, to support the Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD). This individual will report to the technical communications manager in the ORNL Communications Division and be matrixed to the NScD Communications team.


Breakthroughs in medicine, energy, technology, and industry follow advances in the understanding of materials. ORNL is the home of one of the most powerful techniques exploring the nature of materials and energy—neutron scattering. NScD operates two neutron scattering user facilities for the the US Department of Energy (DOE), the reactor-based High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and the accelerator-based Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). Neutron scattering studies use a beam of neutrons impinging on a material sample to study the structure of materials and the dynamics within them.


This individual will work closely with NScD’s communications coordinator, chief operating officer, associate laboratory director, and scientists and researchers to write, edit, and otherwise help produce reports and documents for internal and external audiences under tight deadlines. This position will assist in carrying out the mission of communicating NScD’s impactful scientific research, projects of distinction, and safe and reliable operations of ORNL’s neutron sources.


Major Duties/Responsibilities

  • Understand and write about complex science- and technology-related neutron sciences research and programs, primarily for official or technical audiences.
  • Work with scientists, managers, and other staff to produce materials that readily convey the importance of the work at NScD to multiple audiences, including DOE, scientifically trained researchers and sponsors, scientific peers, industry partners, and visitors.
  • Work with directorate staff and management to produce regular (e.g., quarterly, annual) status reports, plans, metric analyses, and other deliverables for sponsors.
  • Edit documents, reports, and other written material for content, consistency, clarity, grammar, and syntax to ensure compliance with customer requirements and ORNL, sponsor, or publisher guidelines.
  • Organize information from various sources, including interviews with subject matter experts and attendance at workshops and meetings, and produce written materials in clear, concise language without loss of technical meaning and with meticulous attention to logic, consistency, and accuracy.
  • Suggest visual material in support of scientific and technical information needs. Work with designers, illustrators, photographers, and video producers to develop attractive and high-visual-impact products.
  • Revise complex written material without loss of technical accuracy and with meticulous attention to logic, consistency, and audience appropriateness.
  • Develop strong working relationships with researchers and consult with them on formats and methods that will most effectively communicate with their intended audiences.
  • Establish—in consultation with the NScD communications coordinator, NScD leadership, and NScD researchers and customers—priorities and schedules for meeting deadlines. Schedule and coordinate complex projects. Monitor and stay within assigned budgets for these activities.
  • Oversee and coordinate efforts of teams assigned on larger projects, working with formatters, graphic artists, photographers, and printers to ensure professional quality and adherence to budgets and schedules.
  • Advise customers on usage, style, format, methods, and document preparation and production.
  • Understand and apply ORNL publications standards and styles or external (e.g., journal) guidelines. Adhere to DOE publishing requirements.
  • Learn and implement ORNL’s and the Communications Division’s standards.
  • Comply with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.


Qualifications Required


  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in scientific and technical writing, English, or a science
  • At least 5 years of experience producing documents on science- and/or technology-related subjects for diverse audiences or an equivalent combination of education and experience


Qualifications Preferred


  • Master’s degree in scientific and technical writing, English, or a science
  • Proven scientific/technical reading, writing, and editing, as demonstrated by writing and editing samples
  • Excellent command of standard American English style and usage and standard style guides (e.g., Chicago Manual of Style, ACS Style Guide)
  • Thorough understanding of effective scientific communication; aptitude for resourceful management of tasks and projects; ability to work with a diverse range of subject matter experts to develop effective documents; and experience writing, editing, and proofing scientific and technical documents, including journal articles and government reports
  • Excellent attention to detail; ability to understand, follow, and implement complex instructions; strong organizational skills, including ability to simultaneously handle multiple assignments; excellent verbal communication skills; and good facilitation and presentation skills
  • Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines; strong interpersonal skills; ability to work both independently and with all levels of researchers and staff in a team-based environment; and aptitude for solving problems and developing and implementing solutions
  • Ability to build expertise in complex subject matter and adeptness at research and analysis
  • Firm grasp of standard business computer software (e.g., Microsoft Office applications, especially Word and Excel; Adobe Acrobat)
  • Writing and editing experience at a scientific organization, national laboratory, or other DOE facility/office
  • Technical training or a background in science


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