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Senior Scientific Writer

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December 29, 2020
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Job Description

As a Senior Scientific Writer, you will work with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders to craft, edit, and revise clear and thoughtful communications to support our clients.

As a Senior Scientific Writer, you will work with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders to craft, edit, and revise clear and thoughtful communications to support our clients. To do this, you will communicate scientific information with clear and professional content on websites, social media, and other forms of communication.

Position Overview

  • Location: National Science Foundation; Alexandria, VA – Client-site
  • Position Information: Full-Time, Regular, and Exempt
  • Supervisory: No
  • Vacancy: Multiple Opening
  • Security Level: Ability to perform on federal contracts which includes successful completion of SF85, SF85P, SF86, or similar form to pass a background investigation [Reference].
  • Travel Required: This position requires occasional local travel (Washington, D.C. area) for work-related meetings
  • Relocation Expenses: No relocation expenses may be authorized for this position

Job Description

Ripple Effect is looking for a Senior Scientific Writer with strong editing skills to support our clients. The ideal candidate will work well within a matrixed team environment—knowing how to work with creatives as well as scientists and researchers—and be able to effectively connect with stakeholders to assess priorities and objectives. The applicant must also be willing to learn new topic areas to be able to write and edit content as needs evolve.

What you’ll do

  • Develop communication strategies, media engagement strategies, digital engagement strategies, and delivery methods for messages that speak to issues of national significance
  • Develop communications products to advance and promote our clients aligned with relevant public affairs strategies
  • Plan, draft, and develop communications plans and engagement strategies to address a variety of complex scientific research topics to help the government develop unified strategies to enhance various aspects of the agency's mission
  • Develop content that articulates, interprets, and explains important, complex, and potentially controversial programs and research findings
  • Write/edits products including fact sheets, social media posts, podcast and video scripts, webpages, graphics, reports, media advisories, press releases, research news, brochures, and other related communications
  • Conduct research using internal and external sources to write and edit content for a variety of communications channels, including print, web, and digital
  • Provide the government with expertise in measuring attitudes and actions among the general public and use findings to improve, refine, and enhance campaigns and other deliverables
  • Write/produce articles, agreements, white papers, web content, research news, and other publications related to science topics of interest to a variety of stakeholders, translating concepts and ideas into clear language
  • Gather, develop, and check the accuracy of information by research and by interviews with subject-matter specialists and program officials
  • Collaborate with scientists and public affairs personnel in the preparation and review of social media and web content, providing technical writing guidance and feedback on format and content
  • Perform other duties related to the core functions of the role


Minimum Education and Experience

  • B.S. degree in professional writing, journalism, communications, or related field or 4 years of professional experience; and
  • 3 years of experience with distilling complex and/or technical subjects into plain language for a diverse range of audiences

Basic Requirements

  • Ability to create content in plain language
  • Ability to work with virtual teams (use of intranet and instant messenger to communicate)
  • Ability to perform substantive editing of complex technical documents and plain language content
  • Ability to edit materials as directed to meet client needs
  • Excellent grammatical/punctuation skills
  • Advanced knowledge of MS Word
  • Ability to work productively and collaboratively in SharePoint to accomplish tasks

Skills that set You Apart

If you don’t have all of the skills below, don’t be discouraged—no resume paints a complete picture of a person. There’s a good chance you’re more wonderful than you think, so please apply!

  • 5 or more years of professional experience
  • Hybrid communications experience—you’re as comfortable building long-term digital strategies as you are turning around a rapid press release or talking points
  • A keen business sense—you’ve worked in a scientific industry and/or political environment previously, are comfortable with communicating technical information in plain language for lay audiences
  • Knowledge of 508 compliance Experience with government consulting
  • Proficiency in editing scientific reports appropriate for both print and web publication
  • Strong working knowledge of references such as the GPO, AMA, and Chicago style manuals

What Makes a Successful Rippler?

This job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required to be successful in the role. Other duties may be assigned to help make our clients successful and achieve our company goals. We have designed the introductory period to convey company core values and clear expectations of your role.

  • You pay attention to the details. Anything worth doing is worth doing right, every single time. So you stay organized, meet commitments and deadlines, work efficiently, and always check your work.
  • You communicate clearly. You consider your audience and take care to get your points across professionally and concisely, both in writing and when speaking to others. You’re comfortable interacting with clients, coworkers, and stakeholders, and respect everyone’s perspective.
  • You work independently. You know how to manage competing deadlines on multiple simultaneous projects, and can adapt when you need to re-prioritize. When you’re stuck, you take initiative to find resources, and you’re comfortable asking for help when you need it.
  • You’re eager to learn. You have a track record of learning new things, especially programs, technology, and processes. You embrace change, and if you can’t find a teacher, you teach yourself. Once you learn something new, you are excited to evaluate it and teach it to others.

Company Background

Ripple Effect provides professional consulting services and exceptional talent to federal, private, and non-profit clients to support some of the most crucial policies and programs that shape our nation. Our multi-disciplinary team, across communications & outreach, research & evaluation, policy & program management, and strategic staffing domains, empowers us to build common sense, tailored solutions that make our clients successful, no matter their challenges. Ripple Effect is a diverse and inclusive environment, full of bright, insightful, and intentional people who value and reward adaptability, lifelong learning, and authenticity.


Total Rewards

We reward our employees for their contributions to our mission in many ways, from competitive pay and exceptional benefits, to a range of work/life programs based on employment classification. Benefit offerings may include:

  • Health Benefits – Medical, Dental, and Vision
  • Life, long-term disability, and other insurance products
  • Health and Wellness Programs
  • Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts
  • Retirement 401K program
  • Profit sharing and bonus program
  • Paid and unpaid leave
  • Performance & Professional development
  • Flexible schedules and remote work arrangements

Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, age, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other reason prohibited by law in provision of employment opportunities and benefits;

EOE/M/F/Vet/Disabled employer;

Employment eligibility will be verified using E-verify;

Applicants may be asked to participate in assessments during the interview process as described in our Informed Consent Policy; and
Applicants will not be reimbursed for any expenses associated with the interview process or relocation.

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