The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) envisions a more equitable world where forestry and landscapes enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR is a non-profit, scientific institution that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscape management around the world. Using a global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, we conduct innovative research, develop partners’ capacity, and actively engage in dialogue with all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people. CIFOR is a CGIAR Research Center, and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Nairobi, Kenya, Yaoundé, Cameroon, and Lima, Peru.
Consultants for Science Writers
CIFOR’s Communications and 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.
Communications products include research publications, infobriefs, infographics, and videos and articles published on 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.
In addition to writing for Forests News, consultant science writers might receive additional writing and editing assignments related to the broader communications outreach strategy of CIFOR.
Duties and responsibilities
The Science Writer will develop, write and edit content for Forests News under the editorial guidance of the COE Team Leader and the Editor of Forests News, as well as content for the Multimedia Manager.
• 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 COE management (i.e. work on research publications, executive summaries, infobriefs, infographics, etc.)
Education, knowledge and experience
• University degree in journalism, communications, forestry, 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.
To apply, please visit our career site at
To learn more about CIFOR, please visit our website at
Application processThe application deadline is 28 Feb-2017
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.