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We're Hiring a Communications Coordinator

The Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) is looking for a Communications Coordinator to join our Washington, DC-based team. 

Note that we are also hiring a Senior Manager of Community and Project Manager. Learn more about our recent team transitions.

CAISE is based at the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) in Washington, DC. The position is full-time, 40 hours per week and is funded through August 31, 2021. The salary range is $40,000–$50,000 per year, contingent on experience and qualifications. ASTC offers employees a comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, disability, and life insurance, and an employer-funded retirement plan.

Download a PDF of the job description.

Application Process

Interested candidates should submit a resume and brief cover letter outlining their qualifications and interest in the position to caise@informalscience.org by close of business, September 16, 2019. See specific requirements and preferred qualifications below. If CAISE determines that you might be a good fit for the role, we will contact you with next steps.

Please put both documents into a single PDF, with your full name and position title in the filename.

If you need assistance or accommodation in the application process due to a disability, you may call us at (202) 783-7200 or email us at info@astc.org.

About ASTC and CAISE

ASTC is a network of 700+ science and technology centers and museums, nonprofits, companies, and other organizations focused on increasing public understanding of—and engagement with—science and technology among people of all ages. ASTC member organizations welcome more than 110 million people each year in 50+ countries where they engage the public in a wide array of scientific and technical topics, including physical, biological, natural, and social sciences; engineering; mathematics; technology; and trans-disciplinary problem-solving. ASTC includes a wide breadth of science and technology centers, natural history museums, children’s museums, nature centers, aquariums, planetariums, zoos, botanical gardens, and other organizations that share a commitment to supporting lifelong science learning, connecting science and society, engaging diverse communities, and partnering to tackle global challenges.

The Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) is an ASTC project dedicated to advancing the fields of informal science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education (ISE) and science communication by supporting and building on the rich diversity of projects supported by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Under a cooperative agreement with NSF funded through August 31, 2021, CAISE provides infrastructure, resources, and connectivity to practitioners, researchers, evaluators, and other professionals working in learning environments that include science centers and museums; zoos and aquariums; science media; youth, citizen science, and community programs; public libraries; festivals and events; cyberlearning and gaming; and a growing variety of other environments.

The CAISE leadership team consists of a principal investigator (PI)/project director based at ASTC in Washington, DC, co-PIs from three academic institutions, and an evaluation firm. CAISE activities include coordinating the work of three task forces, planning and hosting 30–50-person convenings, and organizing biennial 250–300-person PI meetings. These activities are designed to facilitate discussion and identify needs and opportunities for those who design, research, or evaluate informal STEM learning and science communication experiences and settings. A major effort is to collect and curate project descriptions, research literature, evaluation reports, and other resources on InformalScience.org. CAISE also tracks, participates in, and documents field-wide initiatives and engages in a variety of communication, outreach, and field-building efforts.

About the Position

The CAISE Communications Coordinator is primarily responsible for using industry best practices to develop and operationalize an external communications plan for CAISE, with oversight from the Senior Manager of Community.

Responsibilities include communications strategy, management, and implementation (40%), maintenance of InformalScience.org and product development (55%), and other duties as required (5%). Periodic travel (2-3 times per year) may be required.

The Communications Coordinator reports directly to the Project Director and works closely with the Senior Manager of Community.

All CAISE staff are full-time employees of ASTC and contribute to the success of the full ASTC team and organization. CAISE staff salaries are 100% supported by NSF as a part of the current cooperative agreement that is funded through August 31, 2021.

Responsibilities

Communications Strategy and Management (40%)

  • Lead and execute a communications strategy across the project’s online channels, using social media, email, and the blog to communicate with key audiences and increase awareness of CAISE’s resources and activities.
  • Maintain a communications calendar that includes key field events, dates, and deadlines throughout the year.
  • Actively seek out new and creative ways to effectively reach and expand CAISE’s network and audience via online platforms.
  • Track and document website, social media, and newsletter engagement data, in accordance with our documentation and evaluation plan.
  • Create and analyze quarterly reports, set communication performance goals, and propose recommendations to increase online traffic and engagement.
  • Work with the Senior Manager of Community and Project Director to develop and execute a strategy for in-person outreach and collaborations with partners (e.g., writing conference session proposals as needed).
  • Explore strategies to increase the engagement of InformalScience.org members, in collaboration with the Senior Manager of Community.
  • Oversee the work of external contractors, including CAISE’s website hosting firm, copy editor, graphic designer, videographer, and other communications service contracts.
  • Maintain an organized inventory of all communications materials within Google Drive.

InformalScience.org Maintenance and Content and Product Development (55%)

  • Regularly update InformalScience.org with new and relevant content, including news, conferences and events, key publications, and new members, in coordination with the Senior Manager of Community.
  • Consistently produce content for the CAISE blog and identify CAISE resources to feature, working closely with the Senior Manager of Community on content curation.
  • Support the Senior Manager of Community and Task Force Manager (contractor) in updating key online resources for InformalScience.org and in producing resources developed by the CAISE Research and Practice Task Force.
  • Contribute to CAISE’s annual Year in Informal STEM Education report.
  • Work with the Project Director and Senior Manager of Community to redesign and maintain InformalScience.org, building on an existing strategic plan.
  • Develop and execute a communications plan for the public launch of the redesigned website.
  • Create CAISE brochures, handouts, presentation slide templates, and other collateral, and refresh designs as needed.
  • Ensure that all print, digital, and online communications are copy edited and consistent with the CAISE messaging and style guides, updating guides and creating new templates as needed.
  • Ensure that accurate and up-to-date documentation of standard operating procedures for website maintenance and monitoring is in place.

Other (5%)

  • Assist with annual, interim, and final reporting, as well as presentations to NSF.
  • Contribute to the use of efficient processes and clear communications across the organization to ensure that day-to-day operations are performed with the highest levels of accountability, productivity, consistency, and integrity.
  • Participate in ASTC staff meetings, events, annual conference, and other activities.
  • Carry out other duties as assigned, time permitting, and as mutually agreed upon.

Experience and Skills

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the essential functions of the position.

Required

  • Minimum of 2-3 years of experience in a communications or digital marketing role, planning, writing, editing, and producing communications on a variety of platforms.
  • Exceptional written communication skills and demonstrated ability to convey stories and messages through clear and concise writing.
  • Ability to develop a variety of products—web pages, social media posts, blog posts—attuned to appropriate audiences.
  • Excellent oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated expertise with an email marketing platform.
  • Ability to set and meet goals around engagement for target audiences.
  • Experience managing or coordinating multiple projects.
  • Familiarity with online content management systems.
  • Intermediate proficiency with Google Analytics and willingness to grow skills.
  • Experience with Google Drive applications, including Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
  • Close attention to detail.
  • Fluency in written English.

Preferred

  • Interest in informal STEM education or science communication.
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite for document layout, graphic design, or photo editing.
  • Experience with webinars and video conferencing software, particularly GoToWebinar or Adobe Connect, and Zoom.
  • Basic video editing skills, and experience managing a videographer.
  • Experience with Drupal.
  • Experience working in or with nonprofit organizations.
  • Ability to work with a small team.

ASTC Commitment to Diversity, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Equity

ASTC values and celebrates the rich diversity that makes up the teams and organizations we serve and the broader communities we engage around the world. At the root of science, technology, and innovation are fundamental values that ASTC embraces: a commitment to seek out and engage a diversity of ideas, perspectives, backgrounds, disciplines, knowledge systems, and approaches; and an evolving practice of accepting, valuing, and celebrating contributions, discoveries, and novel solutions, regardless of their source. We bring these values to bear across our work, and we seek teammates, board and committee members, and partners who hold diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity as foundational and essential values. If all people are welcomed, respected, and included in our work, if everyone has access to opportunity to pursue their aspirations, and if all people can participate fully and actively in creating and building the future, our association, our members, and our global society will be more equitable, prosperous, just, and resilient.

ASTC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy status (including childbirth, lactation, and related medical conditions), gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, age, disability status, marital status, parental status, military service, veteran status, or any applicable legally protected characteristics.

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range is $40,000–$50,000 per year, contingent on experience and qualifications. ASTC offers employees a comprehensive benefits package, including health, dental, disability, and life insurance, and an employer-funded retirement plan.

Download a PDF of the job description.

Posted by James Bell