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Become A Science Writer

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Working As A Science Writer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $82,350

    Average Salary

What Does A Science Writer Do At Johns Hopkins University

* Providing research support for the content development as well as stylistic and substantive editing of documents and presentation materials.
* Conducting reference- and fact-checking as well as preparation of evidence tables to ensure that documents and presentations are well-organized, well-written, and adhere to appropriate conventions of standard written English and standard medical writing.
* Conduct literature searches as needed, assisting authors with the identification and selection of scientific and medical literature relevant to documents in preparation.
* Development, production, and publication of posters and presentations for scientific meetings, journal articles, and book chapters while adhering to International Congress of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines.
* Coordinate and manage committee conference calls and correspondence to facilitate timely, efficient, and accurate production of materials.
* Shepherd drafts through all stages of review and approval, which will include peer review, consumer review, interagency review, PI approval, and authorship approval.
* Assemble and write scientific project proposals and other materials in coordination with department fundraising staff.
* Proofread all materials to ensure that they match approved copy exactly and that the format, organization, alignment, and spacing of copy and graphics are consistent and adhere to established standards for print and electronic publication.
* Maintain accurate and timely records to track progress of multiple projects and deliverables.
* Provide regular updates for faculty members and project leadership at JHU.
* Plan and deliver presentations to faculty, staff and leadership as needed.
* Other duties as assigned

What Does A Science Writer Do At Brown University

* With a special emphasis on the life sciences, develop news coverage of the teaching, research and service missions of the University, including guiding and supporting writers in other units across the University in contributing effective news coverage.
* Develop ideas, research tips and employ excellent writing skills to develop news and feature stories that also may serve as press releases for other news organizations.
* Contribute to the University’s internal news bureau by using the full range of tools to disseminate news coverage, including posting stories to the University’s news site, coordinating with other campus offices for posting on relevant websites and in newsletters, and conferring with colleagues developing content for social media.
* Communicate regularly with key faculty, staff, administrators and communications partners on campus to coordinate the dissemination of news and information about faculty and students working in the life sciences.
* This includes working closely with the Division of Biology and Medicine, the School of Public Health, Brown Institute for Brain Science, and other departments and centers in the life sciences.
* In a partnership model with other campus communicators, serve as a liaison, guide and editor for other writers across campus to guide the development of news stories that may contribute to Brown’s news operation.
* Working in cooperation with the Web Strategy team, contribute knowledge of the life sciences to multimedia projects that convey key University messages.
* Participate in and complete special projects, as assigned by directors and project supervisors in the Office of University Communications, and inform supervisors of workload to determine proper balance of competing priorities.
* Serve as a media relations officer and adviser to units across Brown for attracting national and local media coverage of significant scholarship, research and initiatives in the life sciences.
* Maintain the University’s relationships with appropriate reporters and editors who cover the life sciences, proactively pitching stories to journalists, and develop and maintain lists of journalists with specific interest in news within the areas of the life sciences for ease of distribution.
* Provide media support for major University events (lectures, symposia, public conferences, etc.) that are likely to be of interest to the general public.
* This includes major events hosted by the University or student organizations with speakers or topics in the life sciences.
* Guide faculty with such media-related activities as writing op-eds and proactively seek opportunities to place faculty experts in news media, including through the University’s broadcast studio.
* Help provide preparation to faculty and administrators in the life sciences who will participate in news media interviews.
* Assist University departments, campus offices and student groups in development of communications approaches and materials, including providing strategic guidance, support and assistance in developing the most effective modes of editorial content spanning key print and digital communications.
* Working in close collaboration with design staff and members of the Web Strategy team, guide campus clients in developing and finalizing content for a range of strategic print and electronic documents, including brochures, journals, programs, annual reports, certificates, invitations, websites and a full range of electronic communications.
* Using a service-based approach, develop relationships with campus clients to establish routine schedules for working collaboratively on new and recurring projects.
* Working in cooperation with the Web Strategy team, assist in developing, shaping, refining and/or editing website content for client websites to ensure sites follow University editorial style and usability standards.
* Take a deadline-driven role in working with the Web Strategy team to shape and review publications documents to meet communications objectives, standards for content consistency and guidelines for editorial style before such documents are approved for print or online publication.
* Help serve as a liaison for freelancers developing editorial content, particularly in the life sciences.
* Make time for story planning and professional development, and integrate coordination of duties to help achieve overall Communications goals, including regular and frequent reports to appropriate directors and semi-regular engagement with the AVP for Marketing Communications on client-based projects.
* Update projects in appropriate logs and databases.
* Inform editor of workload to determine proper balance of competing priorities.
* Reserve time for creative thinking and planning.
* Identify and request appropriate professional development.
* Qualifications
* A college degree is required.
* Advanced degree preferred 

* Minimum five years of professional experience in science and/or health journalism, public affairs, and/or media relations required
* Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing news coverage plans
* Excellent writing and editing skills, including proficiency in Associated Press writing style 

* Demonstrated ability to research information, conduct effective interviews and write well and quickly 

* Experience using computing tools for conducting research on the Internet, for communicating by
e-mail, for writing documents that are properly formatted in appropriate templates, and maintaining appropriate story databases

* Experience developing effective messaging tailored to audiences
* Ability to sustain and build rapport with stakeholders
* The life sciences writer represents the University in a very public way, speaking with authority to local, regional and national media about Brown, its research and its academic programs.
* The writer also is a collaborator and guide on effective communications, and must cultivate understanding of communications strategy among faculty and administrators in campus units.
* The writer will need to be a person of diplomacy, poise and confidence, qualities that come from a well-developed understanding of the University and its people.
* The writer is expected to work occasional nights and weekends, aligned with special events that occur at times during the academic year.
* Applicants must submit an application that includes a cover letter, resume with employment history and three published work samples: news release, feature article/profile, and an announcement or news release reflecting "breaking news" written on deadline.
* Candidates selected for interviews on campus will be required to complete a writing and editing exercise.
* All offers of employment are contingent upon a criminal and education records check satisfactory to Brown.
* Recruiting Start Date:
* Job Posting Title:
* Writer for the Life Sciences
* Department:
* News & Editorial Development
* Grade:
* Grade 10
* Worker Type:
* Employee
* Worker Sub
* Type:
* Regular
* Time Type:
* Full time
* Scheduled Weekly Hours:
* Submission Guidelines:
* Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified.
* Applications are not kept on file for future positions.
* Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.
* Still Have Questions?
* If you have any questions you may contact employment@brown.edu.
* EEO Statement:
* Brown University is an E
* Verify Employer.
* Brown University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community; as an EEO/AA employer, Brown considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.
* Welcome!
* Founded in 1764, Brown is a leading institution for education, discovery, and global intellectual progress as well as one of the largest employers in Rhode Island.
* Working at Brown brings more than just a paycheck and generous benefits; it offers an opportunity to contribute to a greater good.
* Join us in supporting the pursuit of knowledge and individual growth that defines higher education and enriches our community

What Does A Science Writer Do At Columbia University

* Writing, revising and editing of grant proposals.
* Conducting research and compiling information as needed.
* Generating compelling, accurate, and appropriate content to reflect the research strategy.
* Working with multiple investigators with different writing styles to create well-written grant proposals.
* Working with a team of scientists and administrators to meet tight deadlines for proposal submissions

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How To Become A Science Writer

A college degree is usually required for a position as a technical writer. In addition, experience with a technical subject, such as computer science, Web design, or engineering, is important.


Employers generally prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, or communications. Many technical writing jobs require both a degree and knowledge in a specialized field, such as engineering, computer science, or medicine. Web design experience also is helpful because of the growing use of online technical documentation.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some technical writers begin their careers as specialists or research assistants in a technical field. They eventually develop technical communication skills and assume primary responsibilities for technical writing. In small firms, beginning technical writers may work on projects right away; in larger companies with more standard procedures, beginners may observe experienced technical writers and interact with specialists before being assigned projects.


Many technical writers need short-term on-the-job training to adapt to a different style of writing.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some associations, including the Society for Technical Communication, offer certification for technical writers. In addition, the American Medical Writers Association offers extensive continuing education programs and certificates in medical writing. These certificates are available to professionals in the medical and allied scientific communication fields.

Although not mandatory, certification can demonstrate competence and professionalism, making candidates more attractive to employers. It can also increase a technical writer’s opportunities for advancement.


Prospects for advancement generally include working on more complex projects and leading or training junior staff. Some technical writers become self-employed and produce work on a freelance basis.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Technical writers must be able to take complex, technical information and translate it for colleagues and consumers who have nontechnical backgrounds.

Detail oriented. Technical writers create detailed instructions for others to follow. As a result, they must be detailed and precise at every step so that the instructions can be useful.

Imagination. Technical writers must be able to think about a procedure or product in the way a person without technical experience would think about it.

Teamwork. Technical writers must be able to work well with others. They are almost always part of a team: with other writers; with designers, editors, and illustrators; and with the technical people whose information they are explaining.

Technical skills. Technical writers must be able to understand highly complex information. Many technical writers need a background in engineering or computer science in order to do this.

Writing skills. Technical communicators must have excellent writing skills to be able to explain technical information clearly.

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Science Writer jobs

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Science Writer Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Hindi

  • Russian

  • Irish

  • Chinese

  • German

  • Japanese

  • Urdu

  • Arabic

  • Navajo

  • Tamil

  • Korean

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Science Writer

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Science Writer Education

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Real Science Writer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Science Writer, Sfari.Org Simons Foundation New York, NY Jan 01, 2015 $90,000
Science Writer Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cold Spring Harbor, NY Oct 01, 2011 $63,036
Science Writer/Instructor The University of Arizona Tucson, AZ Sep 12, 2015 $60,000
Science Writer The University of Arizona Tucson, AZ May 01, 2015 $52,061
Senior Science Writer & Press Officer University of Rochester Rochester, NY Jan 08, 2015 $50,331
Senior Science Writer & Press Officer University of Rochester Rochester, NY Aug 01, 2015 $50,331
UA Science Writer The University of Arizona Tucson, AZ May 01, 2012 $50,274
Science Writer National Academy of Sciences Washington, DC May 22, 2010 $49,608 -
Senior Science Writer University of Rochester Rochester, NY Aug 01, 2012 $48,000
UA Science Writer The University of Arizona Tucson, AZ Jan 12, 2010 $48,000

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Top Skills for A Science Writer


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Top Science Writer Skills

  1. Website Content
  2. Press Releases
  3. Medicine
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage website content through application of HTML, including writing and posting articles for distributor base.
  • Produced more than 200 AP press releases and feature articles on a variety of science topics.
  • Edited and produced the publication, Transitions, an adolescent medicine magazine for physicians and other health care professionals.
  • Highlighted research achievements in reports to Congress and responded to Congressional inquiries on NIH policy and research.
  • Revised and edited four science articles to produce clear, direct documents conveying the authors meaning.

Top Science Writer Employers

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