[Closed, Swindon] NERC, Science Writer, ??19.5-23.1k, closed 31 Oct 2012

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science Writer
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Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail NERC – SO Innovations and Communications
Reference Number IRC68051
Location Swindon See on Map
Salary £19540 – £23150
Date Posted 17 October 2012
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 31 October 2012
Interview Date 21 November 2012

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funds world-class science in universities and our own research centers that increases knowledge and understanding of the natural world. The work of NERC covers the full range of atmospheric, earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic sciences.


The Science writer will report to the Science news manager, writing science news stories for NERC’s public-facing website, Planet Earth Online (PEO). The post-holder will support the press office function by helping to draft press releases and monitoring coverage of NERC science in the media.


The post-holder will work closely with NERC Communications team colleagues and others across NERC as necessary to help identify news and PR opportunities to promote both NERC and the research it funds.


The post-holder will provide support to colleagues within the communications team by managing the NERC database of experts and contributing to other resources dedicated to administering the press office function effectively.


The post-holder may be required to support the Digital communications manager by collating Google Analytics metrics on both PEO and NERC corporate websites, and contributing to NERC’s social media engagement, eg Facebook, Twitter.


Applications are handled by the RCUK Shared Services Centre; to apply please visit our http://www.topcareer.jobs/ to view the full job description and person requirements and complete an online application quoting reference IRC68051. If you are unable to apply online please contact us on 01793 867003. Closing date for applications:  31 October 2012.



To write science news stories for Planet Earth Online (PEO), to support the press office function by drafting press releases and monitoring coverage.


1. Write news stories for PEO, based on recently published NERC-funded research.

2. Assist the press office in drafting press releases, briefing notes and statements.

3. Contribute to monthly communications horizon scanning meetings, as appropriate, to develop ideas for press/news channels and to help identify opportunities to promote NERC science using key channels.

4. Provide information to relevant people about events and activities taking place across NERC collated from NERC databases

5. Regularly monitor and record media coverage of NERC science (using specialist PR software and Google alerts).

6. Regular reporting of website metrics using Google Analytics.

7. Manage the NERC database of experts

8. There could be some evening or weekend working depending upon the nature of some stories in the press.

9. There may be some travel within the UK to visit researchers and pull together information for news stories


Job requirements


Educated to degree level or equivalent or have previous relevant experience

Ability to learn quickly

Evidence of good written and oral communication skills.

Evidence of strong  interpersonal skills with ability to work with colleagues at all levels

Excellent attention to detail

Ability to identify newsworthy story, and communicate key points in plain English

Evidence of good written skills using plain English and identifying key messages

Interest in the aims and objectives of NERC



Degree or equivalent in science

Qualification in journalism or science communication

‘Political’ awareness – able to understand wider context within which the Research Councils operate.

Experience of working in a media organisation/working with journalists/organising press conferences

Experience of using social media for business purposes

Experience of working in the public sector

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