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Senior Instructor/Scientific Writer

University of Colorado
September 29, 2023
Aurora, CO
Job Type
Work Setting


The Research Development Professional (Scientific Writer) in the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is crucial to communicating proposed and/or completed research (e.g., grant proposals, manuscripts) in the DBMI to the scientific community. Research at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and health can be complex to communicate. The Scientific Writer will guide and mentor DBMI faculty, staff, and trainees to convey their research and its importance clearly and effectively to broad scientific audiences. The Scientific Writer will collaborate with DBMI 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 DBMI as needed. In some instances, particularly for large program-style applications, the Research Development Professional will structure and write critical elements to convey the work performed within the DBMI.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with investigators within the Department of Biomedical Informatics 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 DBMI capabilities to support grant applications.
  • For program applications, work with DBMI leadership to design a strategy using DBMI 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 other scientific and medical manuscripts or other documents as appropriate.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with investigators.
  • Administer the Departmental Chalk Talks program to facilitate PI feedback from faculty colleagues and outside investigators on upcoming submissions or ideas.
  • Maintain and share up-to-date information on funding opportunities and priorities, preferences and policies of primary funding sources (e.g., NIH).
  • Clearly and effectively communicate sponsor requirements for NIH, NSF, DOD, and other funding sources.
  • Build and maintain trust and rapport with DBMI faculty and staff as a subject matter expert in scientific writing and related areas.


Minimum Qualifications:

Applicants must meet minimum qualifications at the time of hire. 

  • Ph.D. in a scientific field.
  • 4+ years of professional experience in scientific and medical writing or as a journal editor. 

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).
  • Experience in an institution of higher education or large hospital.
  • Experience working as an independent consultant or medical writer.
  • Experience as a professional editor at a scientific journal.

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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