PNNL Careers

S&T Communications Partner, Physical and Computational Sciences

RICHLAND, WA
HR/Legal/Communications


Job Description

Job ID: 307229
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job Description

The Invitation

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to collaboration and work–life balance. Dynamic, adaptable people come to PNNL to work smarter and work together on high-impact projects and initiatives for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and many other sponsors. They focus on meaningful work, innovation and outcomes. At PNNL, you’ll find a positive, fast-paced environment and excellent benefits including pension, matching 401(k), tuition reimbursement plans, health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State, an area known for its outdoor recreation, thriving wine industry and affordable cost of living.

The Opportunity

Help build and implement a strategy that communicates PNNL’s extraordinary work in the Physical and Computational sciences! The S&T Communications group – within PNNL’s Communications Division – is a newly formed team focused on delivering stellar customer service, counsel and communications strategy to leaders across the Lab’s Science and Technology mission areas. We’re currently seeking a highly proactive and strategic S&T Communications Partner with experience in project management to guide and oversee the communications strategy and coordination of deliverables for the Lab’s Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate (PCSD). This directorate performs fundamental research in applied math, data science, computer science, materials science, catalysis science, geochemistry, chemical physics, analytic chemistry, and separations chemistry. This is a unique role for a strong communicator who also has extensive experience leading scientific or technical communications strategy. While the candidate will be responsible for representing the breadth of the research performed in the directorate, we are focused on a candidate with expertise related to computational research, advanced/high performance computing, mathematics or data science.

As an S&T Communications Partner, you will form and nurture collaborative relationships with senior executives to develop a keen understanding of their audiences and goals. Working with your partners and fellow communications staff, you’ll ensure that each communications project or product is aligned with the Laboratory’s mission, vision and communications strategy; is appropriate for the intended audience; stimulates a preferred action; and meets the partners’ budget, goals and expectations. You will also suggest strategies, objectives and tactics that continually evolve the quality and impact of the Laboratory’s communications efforts.

In this role, you will also develop communications strategy and tactics for the DOE’s Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs), PNNL’s Institute for Integrated Catalysis (IIC), PNNL’s Center for Advanced Technology Evaluation (CENATE) project and other Directorate initiatives.


The Ideal Candidate

If you are a strong communicator who also has extensive experience leading scientific or technical communications strategy – particularly related to computational research, advanced/high performance computing, mathematics or data science – we want to connect with you! Specifically, we’re looking for candidates who will combine and leverage their knowledge of communications strategy and computational science to develop and implement creative and compelling approaches that will resonate with our audiences. Ideal candidates will also be excellent planners and project managers that can work effectively in a matrixed organization to move ideas from concept to implementation.

Authority and Accountability

As a Counselor, Strategist and Primary Point-of-Contact:
• Build and maintain outstanding relationships with researchers and leaders within PCSD including staff who work in computational research, advanced/high performance computing, mathematics, data science, physical science and materials science.
• Leverage and maintain knowledge of the subject matter and trends in the scientific fields of computational research, advanced/high performance computing, mathematics, data science, physical science and materials science.
• Maintain a keen understanding of the audiences related to the PCSD research including funding sponsors, scientific associations, external collaborators, trade media and other stakeholders with whom we want to amplify our impact.
• Create and maintain editorial calendars; anticipate and leverage major communications efforts for PCSD.
• Prepare and/or lead presentations.

As a Project Manager:
• Work with partners and internal teams to ensure that each communications project or product is aligned with the Laboratory’s mission, vision and communications strategy; is appropriate for the intended audience; stimulates a preferred action; and meets the partners’ goals and expectations.
• Using project management/workflow software, originate projects and collaborate with Communications Division managers to ensure that resources are allocated to complete the project or product. Oversee day-to-day production details related to each project or product as needed, ensuring quality and on-time delivery of all components.
• Organize and review any currently available content at the start of each project or product. Serves as facilitator and scheduler of the project.
• Send drafts, proofs or staging links to partners, receive their changes and feedback, mark up proofs using appropriate notations and pass along feedback to appropriate team members. Clearly convey feedback respectfully, in writing and orally.
• Take the lead in problem solving with partners and fellow communications staff. Look for opportunities to improve and enhance communication and service to partners.
• Accept accountability for final signoff of communications materials, approving quality and fit-for-purpose of each deliverable.
• Lead and participate in team meetings at key points during production.
• As needed, provide high-level tactical support (writing documents and letters, drafting presentations, etc.).

As a Senior Leader in PNNL’s Communications Division:
• Report regularly to the Associate Lab Director, the Science and Technology Communications Manager and to the Director of Communications on the communications efforts related to the lab’s physical and computational sciences divisions/projects/initiatives.
• Represent the Communications Division at researchers’ team meetings.
• Lead segments as appropriate at Communications leadership team and all-staff meetings.
• Recommend new approaches, policies and procedures to effect continual improvement.
• Advocate for strategic communications processes and results-oriented tactics.
• Demonstrate exemplary customer service.


Equal Employment Opportunity

PNNL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer that is committed to hiring a diverse, talented workforce. EOE Disability/Vet/M/F/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity. Staff at PNNL must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States.


Preferred Qualifications

• Established contacts with major scientific publications, editors, bloggers and influencers covering the scientific fields of computational research, advanced/high performance computing, mathematics, or data science.
• Familiarity or comfort serving as a spokesperson and interacting with media.
• Experience formulating media outreach plans or social media plans.
• Familiarity with project management software.
• Active professional society membership and roles.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Understanding of and experience in communicating the scientific field of computational research, advanced/high performance computing, mathematics or data science.
• Ability to understand and support a scientific mission for DOE Office of Science and related funding organizations.
• Experience interacting with and understanding the needs and mission relevance of sponsoring agencies, including DOE Office of Science Basic Energy Sciences and DOE Office of Science Advanced Scientific Computing Research; ability to integrate their wants, needs and preferences into communications strategy.
• Keen understanding of current challenges, opportunities and trends in the scientific fields of computational research, advanced/high performance computing, mathematics or data science.
• Proven track record of effective collaboration with and strategic support for senior executives that includes offering counsel and building action-oriented communications strategies.
• Demonstrated success developing and implementing strategic communications plans and principles.
• Strong customer service orientation and comfort and familiarity working with scientists, engineers, programmers and researchers.
• Excellent written, oral, interpersonal and project management skills with the creative talent to refine complex technical scientific content into short, crisp, clear and impactful messages; experience leading, overseeing and/or editing the work of other communicators.
• Experience building communications strategy for major events and initiatives.


Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 307229
Directorate: Communications and Information Technology
Division: Communications
Group: Science and Technical Communications


Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's degree in communications, marketing, public relations, English, journalism, computing, engineering, or similar plus 7 years of related experience; or advanced degree plus four (4) years of related experience.