Job Information

University of Utah Science Writer in Salt Lake City, Utah


Open Date 12/15/2022

Requisition Number PRN33246B

Job Title Communications Editor

Working Title Science Writer

Job Grade F

FLSA Code Professional

Patient Sensitive Job Code? No

Standard Hours per Week 40

Full Time or Part Time? Full Time

Shift Day

Work Schedule Summary

VP Area U of U Health - Academics

Department 01527 - Genetic Science Learning CTR

Location Campus

City Salt Lake City, UT

Type of Recruitment External Posting

Pay Rate Range 47600 to 90400

Close Date

Open Until Filled Yes

Job Summary

Join the award-winning team that develops the most popular science education site on the internet! The Genetic Science Learning Center ( GSLC ) seeks a Science/Health Writer who shares our passion for education, and our vision of universal science and health literacy that empowers individuals to make informed decisions for themselves, their family, their community, and our planet.

The Science/Health Writer must have strong scientific knowledge, writing skills, and a passion for translating complex science and health information. They must have a demonstrated ability to work from technical material (like primary research articles) to produce non-technical pieces in the engaging, accurate, and plain-language style for which GSLC is known. The writer will produce video scripts, text for multimedia pieces and other interactive content as well as copy for web pages and print pieces. Thus, demonstrated creativity collaborating with artists to produce captivating yet scientifically accurate materials that hold attention in K-12 classrooms, with patients, or with the public is a big plus.

Please include with your application:

· a cover letter that describes your experience relative to this position;

· your resume;

· a writing portfolio of at least 3 writing samples, preferably for multimedia/video, K-12 classrooms, or patient/public-focused.

About the Genetic Science Learning Center ( GSLC ) at the University of Utah: Our mission is “making science and health easy for everyone to understand.” We are best known for our freely-availableLearn.Genetics ( andTeach.Genetics ( websites which are used in virtually every country and constitute approximately one-third of the annual traffic through The materials on our sites are primarily funded to target middle and high school students and teachers and the public, and also are used widely at the university/college level.

Although genetics is in our name, we work in all areas of life science and other scientific fields. This includes developing health-related materials such as interventions that are tested in clinical trials, patient education, and clinical trials recruitment materials.

Our projects require a collaborative, team-based approach from planning through writing, materials production, and testing with end users. Our current staff of 16 includes science writers, curriculum developers, graphic and multimedia artists, videographer, music composer/sound engineer, web developers, educators, and science education researchers/evaluators.


· Identify science and health content that will be engaging and of interest to the focal audience; in our work, this is most commonly K-12 students, patients, caregivers, and other members of the public

· Identify peer-reviewed scientific papers from the primary literature that are relevant to a particular writing project, read them, think critically about the contents, and select content that is appropriate to translate for the focal audience for a particular project

· Creatively translate complex science and health concepts into plain language that is appropriate for the focal audience

· Write copy for a range of content types, including multimedia scripts, online interactives, web pages, and print pieces in ways that pique and engage the user’s interest

· Work with our in-house team of illustrators, animators, interactive content developers, and videographers to develop creative ways of visualizing complex science and health concepts in order to facilitate understanding; imagine, communicate and mock-up visuals for these modalities; review draft visualizations for science and health accuracy

· Iteratively and willingly revise content based on team, end-user, advisor, and/or client feedback

· Rigorously fact-check all work

· Collaborate and problem solve with an eye on continuous improvement

· Participate in regularly-scheduled project and team meetings

· Track effort on projects; adapt effort to fit budget requirements and meet deadlines; provide time estimates to support management’s budgeting for new projects

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in area of specialty and 4-6 years of experience in the field or in a related area, or equivalency is required.


· In-depth life science and/or health knowledge gained through a bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. degree in biology or a health-related field, working in a science lab or a science-related company

· Formal training in science/health writing such as through a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism or Mass Communication and Media Studies, or a Master’s degree in science writing

· Willingness to engage with emotionally-challenging health issues and topics

· Experience talking with researchers and healthcare providers to learn from their expertise and translate it for patients and the public

· Demonstrated creativity in writing engaging prose about science and/or health

· Excellent organizational skills; demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects on multiple timelines and of multiple scales

· Demonstrated ability to communicate and work as a member of cross-functional teams, including with people in a variety of roles on both internal and client teams

· Able to clearly present your work and ideas to others

· Able to advise others on content, focus, depth of scientific content and/or appropriate visuals for a particular audience (for candidates with an advanced level of experience)

· Strong copyediting skills

· Experience using MS Office products, including Word, Teams, Outlook, Project, and PowerPoint

Type Benefited Staff

Special Instructions Summary

Please include with your application:

· a cover letter that describes your experience relative to this position;

· your resume;

· a writing portfolio of at least 3 writing samples, preferably for multimedia/video, K-12 classrooms, or patient/public-focused.

Additional Information

The University of Utah values candidates who have experience working in settings with students from diverse backgrounds and possess a strong commitment to improving access to higher education for historically underrepresented students.

Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with University policy and Utah state law. Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to individuals with disabilities.

The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate based upon race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information, or protected veteran’s status. The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that it operates, as required by Title IX and 34 CFR part 106. The requirement not to discriminate in education programs or activities extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, to the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, or both.

To request a reasonable accommodation for a disability or if you or someone you know has experienced discrimination or sexual misconduct including sexual harassment, you may contact the Director/Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action:

Director/ Title IX Coordinator

Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action ( OEO /AA)

135 Park Building

Salt Lake City, UT 84112


Online reports may be submitted at

For more information:

To inquire about this posting, email: ( or call 801-581-2300.

The University is a participating employer with Utah Retirement Systems (“URS”). Eligible new hires with prior URS service, may elect to enroll in URS if they make the election before they become eligible for retirement (usually the first day of work). Contact Human Resources at (801) 581-7447 for information. Individuals who previously retired and are receiving monthly retirement benefits from URS are subject to URS’ post-retirement rules and restrictions. Please contact Utah Retirement Systems at (801) 366-7770 or (800) 695-4877 or University Human Resource Management at (801) 581-7447 if you have questions regarding the post-retirement rules.

This position may require the successful completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen.