Science Writer and Editor Consultant CLOSED

Information and Communication

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a nonprofit, global research organization dedicated to advancing human well-being, environmental conservation and equity.

We conduct research that enables more informed and equitable decision making about the use and management of tropical and sub-tropical forest landscapes. We help policy makers and practitioners shape effective policy, improve the management of tropical forests and address the needs and perspectives of people who depend on forests for their livelihoods. Our multidisciplinary approach considers the underlying drivers of deforestation and degradation which often lie outside the forestry sector: forces such as agriculture, infrastructure development, trade and investment policies and law enforcement.

CIFOR is looking for a

Science Writer and Editor Consultant


The consulting Science Writer and Editor will work across a range of mediums and topics to turn out compelling, innovative and high-quality communications materials designed to help translate CIFOR’s high-caliber research into meaningful, real-world impact.

Already known for its innovation, ambition and reach, CIFOR’s communications program is looking to develop and use world-class, cutting-edge science communications to inform policy globally, regionally and nationally in Asia, Africa and Latin America. We have the funding and passion to achieve this bold vision, along with the infrastructure, technical and regional communications experts, and desire to experiment.

What we need now is a dynamic, creative and self-directed Science Writer and Editor to take the freedom and resources we offer and make it happen – whether it involves writing blog stories, writing a speech for a head of state, finessing a factsheet, traveling to the field with a multimedia crew to produce story packages, or conceptualizing an animated info-graphic.

The ideal candidate will:
• Be an avid reader of science and environmental literature and issues – someone who genuinely enjoys engaging with scientists and the topics they research
• Have a passion for storytelling and connecting with audiences
• Have a strong editorial background, able to identify the most compelling and appropriate stories and methods for telling them, whether tried-and-true, emerging or experimental
• Be a world-class writer and editor, who can turn their hand to any kind of material with great effect and due respect for academic rigor
• Be able to come up with and develop ideas for communicating science for impact, and be open to and excited by new possibilities
• Have a rich, varied body of work that demonstrates the ability to think across multimedia platforms, to experiment with new media and to never sacrifice quality or accuracy
• Be a dynamic go-getter with loads of initiative and an adventurous spirit.

Duties and responsibilities

• Conceptualize, write and edit science communications materials for research projects, themes, outputs or events, with particular attention to climate change and sustainable development, in collaboration with CIFOR scientists, partners, Outreach Manager, and Regional Communications Coordinators.
• Write and edit materials, ensuring that all outputs are high quality and accurate.
• Coordinate a small team of freelance writers and editors for CIFOR’s Forests News blog.
• Liaise with other members of the Information and Communications Group in producing and publishing work.

Education, knowledge and experience

• Advanced University degree in communications, science (e.g. biophysical sciences, social sciences, political sciences, economics, etc.) or a related field. (A Bachelor’s degree in the same fields may be acceptable provided that the candidate has more than five years of experience in similar work.)
• At least 5 years’ experience in producing high-quality communications materials across a range of mediums (samples to be requested)
• Demonstrated interest in science and environmental issues and ability to grasp new material quickly
• Demonstrated ability to write and edit English across multiple styles and formats at a high level (better than average native speaker)
• An awareness of visual effects of media and design, to be able to brief multimedia teams is preferred
• Fluency in English. Other languages an advantage.
• Ability to manage multiple projects and competing priorities

Personal Attributes and Competencies

• Be willing to travel internationally
• Be able to work effectively with minimal day-to-day supervision

Terms and Conditions

• This is a Consultancy position. CIFOR offers competitive remuneration, commensurate with skills and experience.
• The appointment is for 12 months.
• The duty station will be at CIFOR Headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia.

Application process

We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.