Senior Science Writer, Donor Relations

Posted On: May 17, 2013

Media-Related Job

Media Organization: Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Company Description


Job Description

Job Description
Job ID: 22996
Date Posted: 12/18/2012
Location: 10 Brookline Place, Brookline
Job Family: Development
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
FLSA Status: Exempt

Job Summary

Located in Boston, Dana Farber Cancer Institute brings together world renowned clinicians, innovative researchers and dedicated professionals, allies in the common mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. Combining extremely talented people with the best technologies in a genuinely positive environment, we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all ages; we conduct research that advances treatment; we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers; we reach out to underserved members of our community; and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.

Since its inception, Dana-Farber has placed a unique emphasis on all forms of research relevant to the eradication of cancer while, at the same time, providing both cutting-edge and highly compassionate comprehensive patient care. This distinguished model is absolutely necessary and very expensive. As a result, hundreds of thousands of donors entrust Dana-Farber with more than $160 million in philanthropic gifts every year. Science Writers translate the latest accomplishments from our outstanding group of investigators into compelling narrative reports that update donors on the impact of their gifts.

Our team of Science Writers is a key link between our dedicated oncologists, scientists, fundraisers, and donors who comprise the wide Dana-Farber community. Science Writers take complex information and communicate it clearly, concisely, and accurately to explain key concepts to Institute donors. As a Science Writer, you interpret some of the foremost challenges in cancer care and research in order to convey scientific insights that are both deep and broad.


• Thoroughly research and understand all aspects pertaining to a broad portfolio of complex reports that spans multiple areas of cancer research and care as well as new strategic priorities at Dana-Farber. This includes reading, analyzing, and interpreting scientific papers, results from clinical trials, and content from technical lectures.
• Skillfully conduct interviews with some of Dana-Farber's most established scientific leaders and cancer care professionals to elicit new perspectives, scientific context, specific accomplishments, incremental and major results, direct quotes, ideas on how to approach the report, names and contact information of other people to interview, and more.
• Plan and write long-form compelling reports that convey the impact of philanthropic giving. Work closely with frontline fundraisers to develop appropriate tone, content, and donor approach.
• Write and edit reports in a timely fashion to meet specified deadlines.
• Review for scientific accuracy in the work of other science writers on the writing team. Assist other writers to formulate detailed concepts, convey research findings, and prepare written interpretations of data and other information for a primarily lay readership.
• Deliver presentations at writers' team meetings about scientific writing trends, news, research, and events; or lead scientific tutorials on technical concepts.
• Function as a contributing writer for speaking points, scientific briefs, proposals, and marketing collateral, as needed.
• Conduct interviews with frontline fundraisers, donors, and faculty, and write short donor profile stories celebrating new major gifts for the donor newsletter, Impact;
• Actively update internal tracking systems to document information pertaining to interview subjects, the status of research studies, unusual situations, helpful sources, editorial reviews, and more.
• Assume other duties as necessary.

Job Qualifications

Doctorate degree in biology, chemistry, or related field preferred. Advanced degree in science writing or scientific journalism required. Eight or more years of experience in science writing required.


The Senior Science Writer must be able to express ideas clearly and logically and should love to write. Curiosity, a broad range of knowledge, and perseverance also are necessary. The Senior Science Writer must first understand the science, and then translate that knowledge accurately into a form that is both interesting and intelligible to the donor. A proven ability to work both collaboratively and independently, and produce high-quality work on deadline is required. The Senior Science Writeris comfortable managing multiple projects, priorities, and deadlines. Strong customer-service orientation to understand and assist a wide range of internal stakeholders is required. The Senior Science Writermust commit to the highest standards of customer service and professionalism.


This is a full time position. Monday - Friday 8:30 - 5:00. Some weekend and evening hours may be required.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an Affirmation Action/Equal Opportunity Employer - committed to diversity and inclusion in our workforce.

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