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Senior Instructor / Scientific Writer

University of Colorado
June 21, 2024
Job Type
Work Setting
Remote / Home-based


The Research Development Professional (Scientific Writer) in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology (I&M) at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is crucial to communicating proposed and/or completed research (e.g., grant proposals, manuscripts) in I&M to the scientific community. The Scientific Writer will guide and mentor I&M faculty, staff, and trainees to convey their research and its importance clearly and effectively to broad scientific audiences. The Scientific Writer will collaborate with I&M principal investigators (PIs) to design a communication strategy for their research and implement the strategy through grant proposals, manuscripts, and other scientific and medical documents. The research development process includes assisting faculty to outline, revise, and develop grant proposals, crafting and refining specific aims, and responding to critiques from peer review. The Scientific Writer provides specialized support and consultation in the preparation of research grant proposals within the I&M as needed. In some instances, particularly for large program-style applications, the Scientific Writer will structure and write critical elements to convey the work performed within the I&M.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with investigators within the Department of Immunology and Microbiology to develop, write, and revise basic, translational, and clinical research grant proposals for NIH, NSF, DOD, foundations, and other funding agencies.
  • Provide constructive feedback to investigators to improve clarity, logic, and persuasiveness of grant proposals.
  • Advise investigators on best strategies to convey significance, impact, and innovation of their research plan and align with sponsor requirements.
  • Consult with investigators in responding to critiques for grant proposal resubmissions and manuscript submissions.
  • Maintain documents that describe I&M capabilities to support grant applications.
  • For program applications, work with I&M leadership to design a strategy using I&M capabilities to craft a responsive, impactful application and work with the application PIs to implement this strategy in the form of a proposal.
  • Work with investigators to develop scientific and medical manuscripts or other documents as appropriate.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with investigators.
  • Maintain and share up-to-date information on funding opportunities and priorities, preferences and policies of primary funding sources (e.g., NIH).
  • In collaboration with the pre-award and post-award teams, clearly and effectively communicate sponsor requirements for NIH, NSF, DOD, and other funding sources.
  • Build and maintain trust and rapport with I&M faculty and staff as a subject matter expert in scientific writing and related areas.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis in Immunology or Microbiology.
  • 15+ years of professional experience in scientific and medical writing, especially for grants and peer-reviewed manuscripts. 
  • Experience assisting others to communicate their research effectively.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and effectively communicate topics of research outside their area of expertise.
  • Proven track record of identifying multiple funding source options suited to the research and choosing the appropriate one to be successfully funded.
  • Expertise in guiding others through the manuscript writing process.
  • A publication history of 15+ manuscripts to a variety of journals.
  • Contributed to multiple funded grant applications.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in a quantitative discipline.
  • Formal or structured training in providing effective academic writing support.
  • Familiarity with grant proposals to major federal funding agencies (e.g., NIH, NSF).
  • Demonstrated ability to understand the areas of interest for the various institutes and centers of the NIH.
  • Experience in an institution of higher education or large hospital.
  • Experience working as an independent consultant or medical writer.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent critical analysis skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Able to quickly acquire working knowledge regarding a variety of scientific, medical, and other academic fields.
  • Able to establish effective collaborations with faculty investigators in various disciplines.
  • Able to meet deadlines, including organizing multiple tasks with varying and/or overlapping deadlines.
  • Experience assessing and conveying the impact of scientific work to a scientific audience.
  • Experience providing respectful, individualized, constructive feedback to experts in an academic setting.
  • Membership in professional organizations (e.g., NORDP) is desirable.
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