Consultant Science Writers CLOSED

Communication and External Relations

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

Consultant Science Writers


CIFOR's Outreach team produces a range of science communications materials based on CIFOR's global research on forestry, climate change, bioenergy, biodiversity and other topics. Producing these materials involves working with scientists to translate complex scientific findings into styles and formats accessible to a broad readership.
The cornerstone of this communications strategy is Forests News, the blog of the Center for International Forestry Research.
Forests News has amplified the reach of CIFOR's work like no other medium. In just a few years, Forests News has become a crucial resource for researchers, journalists, academics, policy-makers and students. Through a strong and growing social media presence, Forest News promotes CIFOR's research work.
The bulk of the articles for Forests News are written by a small team of consultant science writers working remotely on an intermittent and freelance basis. CIFOR is now looking to enlarge this team by recruiting 3-4 world-class science writers to work on a freelance basis from anywhere.

Duties and responsibilities

The Science Writer will develop, write and edit content for Forests News under the editorial guidance of the Outreach Manager and the Editor of Forests News.

• Write feature articles for Forest News. Typically this involves taking complex academic and/or scientific research and creating well-written, accurate articles for the blog. The articles normally always include one or more interviews with the research authors.
• In collaboration with CIFOR staff, generate ideas for articles and stories on climate change and forestry for publication online and elsewhere
• Attend conferences and field research sites in Africa, Asia and Latin America, as required, and contribute content for Forests News.
• Other writing or editing tasks relevant to CIFOR's mission may be requested by ICG management.

Education, knowledge and experience

• University degree in communications, science (e.g. biophysical sciences, social sciences, political sciences, economics, etc.) or a related field.
• At least 5 years' experience in science communications or journalism (samples to be requested)
• Fluency in English. Other languages will be an advantage.

Personal Attributes and Competencies

• 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. Have a rich, varied body of published work.
• 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.

Terms and Conditions

• This is a consultancy position. CIFOR offers competitive remuneration commensurate with skills and experience.
• This work can be done anywhere globally.

Application process

The application deadline is 14 Jul-2015.
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.