The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is seeking an experienced research communications professional for its open Publications Editor position. This is a rich and challenging opportunity for a versatile writer/editor and exceptional project and people manager who will hold primary responsibility for conceptualizing, writing, editing and art-directing the Foundation’s Core Publications Suite of five annual publications (newsletter, annual report, backgrounder, impact statement and Year in Review) as well as a wide range of print and digital content across a mix of marketing channels and aimed at a diverse audience of donors, patients/families and researchers. This role will work closely with senior leadership across Marketing & Communications as well as manage writers/communications strategists.
This role is appropriate for a seasoned, unflappable contributor who works well individually and as part of a team in a fast-paced, high-volume environment. Candidates must demonstrate a proven track record of crafting persuasive, clearly written material, capturing a range of authorial voices and tones, guiding publications strategy, and successfully juggling multiple priorities and deadlines.
The successful candidate will be a holistic dot-connector who not only brings exceptional writing and editing skill but is equally energized by the opportunity to pitch and develop new communications strategies in a fast-changing environment, as well as to responsively act on content needs assigned by others.
On a day-to-day basis, the Publications Editor will be required to produce a high volume of accessible, engaging content and correspondence focused on the Parkinson’s community and the Foundation’s scientific programs to speed a cure. Responsibilities include:
- Work with internal stakeholders to conceptualize, write, edit and oversee production of the Foundation’s core suite of publications (two print newsletters, science-driven annual report, impact statement, backgrounder, year in research recap), and other collateral/publications as assigned
- Manage high-performing writers/communications strategists to provide editorial guidance and to direct efforts on publications and across a range of science-driven marketing & communications programs and products for both patient/family and researcher/clinician audiences
- Build relationships with internal stakeholders and lead on editorial needs in support of research programs, such as Requests for Proposals, grant/project summaries, web copy for new research programs, and the like
- Write and edit a monthly digital newsletter to researchers and clinicians working in Parkinson’s and allied neuroscientific pursuits
- Create/oversee fresh and engaging content as needed for digital and non-digital publications — researcher profiles, general or breaking Parkinson’s news, research participation opportunities, business of science analysis, research event recaps, etc.
- Write for the Web as needed; own responsibility for continual updating and refreshing of research-related areas of MJFF web properties
- Write and edit emails, white papers, contribute scientific messaging to press releases and other materials as requested in support of the overall research program
- Create event-related materials for community events and research conferences including but not limited to programs and guides, PowerPoint presentations and emails.
Desired skills and experience:
- Superior and distinctive writing ability demonstrated through 12-15 years of relevant, progressively responsible science writing and strategic messaging experience in health care or scientific research
- Strong editing skills and fastidious attention to detail. Impeccable grammar, spelling and language facility
- A thorough working knowledge of all aspects of print production; ability to shepherd print publications from concept through design, layout and delivery
- Excellent project management, including proactive and independent development of work plans, timelines and budgets
- Strong people management skills; willingness to mentor and develop talent
- Excellent research news judgment
- Ability to quickly produce high-quality work under pressure
- Comfort in a data-driven, analytical environment
- Ability to initiate and manage relationships with internal and external partners at all levels
- Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
Additionally, the ideal candidate will possess the following personal attributes:
- Strong analytical skills and well-developed business acumen
- Natural relationship management instincts; savvy for gaining buy-in from various stakeholders
- Innate ability to think creatively and champion innovative concepts into action plans and output
- Commitment to excellence; willingness to go above and beyond
- Positive outlook and high energy
- Roll-up-your-sleeves, get-it-done attitude
- Comfort in a rapid-growth and change-oriented setting
- Experience in science communications (for example, working in the communications or news office of a research institute or university) or, at minimum, strong interest in biology and neuroscience
- Intellectual curiosity and a broad range of interests
Finalist candidates will be asked to take a writing and/or editing test.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is known for its optimistic, problem-solving approach to Parkinson’s drug discovery/development, and has an established organizational voice — a tone of excellence (high-quality journalistic inquiry that is authoritative but never arrogant), simplicity (while avoiding oversimplification of technical material), directness (speaking plainly and never sugar-coating) and authenticity (never overpromising, never biased). The Publications Editor will be expected to work to absorb this voice and quickly begin to incorporate it in his/her writing.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) was founded in 2000 with one clear objective: finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD) in our lifetime. The Foundation applies extraordinary scientific, business and media assets to this singular focus — thus creating a unique and dynamic organization. Since inception, MJFF has quickly grown into the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s disease research worldwide, having funded more than $900 million in research projects in academic and industry labs worldwide to date. We exist to put ourselves out of business, so we deliberately hold no endowment or excessive reserves, but spend what we raise quickly and efficiently; 88 cents of every dollar spent goes directly to research programs. Today, the Foundation has about 160 full-time employees.
We work aggressively to support the entire Parkinson’s therapeutic development enterprise by de-risking specific therapeutic approaches and developing and distributing fieldwide tools, in order to seed and support a robust pipeline of new treatments for patients. Achieving our mission requires that we inspire the engagement of all Parkinson’s stakeholder groups — industry and academic researchers, clinicians, data scientists, policy makers, and most important, people and families living with Parkinson's. In service of this mission, the Marketing & Communications team works to leverage the Foundation’s tremendous research achievements and highly respected brand identity in service of our mission to speed better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation strongly encourages applications from individuals who will contribute to our efforts to build and support a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. Diversity may refer to characteristics including, but not limited to, race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic circumstance, geographic background, ability and disability, political ideology and age.