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Senior Science Communications Officer

Job ID: 149635
Category: Marketing/PR/Development
Work Type: FT
Location: Philadelphia, PA, United States
Date Posted: Aug 25, 2022
Work Schedule: 8:30AM-5:00PM, M-F | Hybrid

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Penn Medicine is dedicated to our tripartite mission of providing the highest level of care to patients, conducting innovative research, and educating future leaders in the field of medicine. Working for this leading academic medical center means collaboration with top clinical, technical and business professionals across all disciplines.

Today at Penn Medicine, someone will make a breakthrough. Someone will heal a heart, deliver hopeful news, and give comfort and reassurance. Our employees shape our future each day. Are you living your life's work?

Job Summary:

  • Working as part of a team of media relations professionals and other Communications staff and with limited supervision, the Press Officer writes and distributes internal and external communications materials and generates media placements in regional and national media outlets on advances in cancer clinical care and biomedical research and health care innovation efforts underway at Penn Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Key areas of responsibility include:

    • Maintains consistent contact with appropriate members of the Penn Medicine community (including senior leadership and members of the faculty and staff) to track and execute media-worthy activities in assigned beat areas.
    • Forges and maintains relationships with influential members of the media to monitor and respond to their interests and needs and leverage Penn Medicine news opportunities.
    • Writes press releases, blog posts, and news articles for internal publications to promote high-profile institutional news and happenings.
    • Secures placement of news stories about Penn Medicine faculty, patients, and research in the regional and national print, broadcast, and online media, on both a proactive and reactive basis.
    • Conceptualizes and collaborates on online and social media dissemination of information – including video and photo assets – to the press and various health care constituencies and the public.
    • Works closely with colleagues in Marketing and Development, as well as those leading business and communications efforts in labs, centers, and institutes, to cross-promote institutional priorities.
    • Collaborates with philanthropic groups and funding organizations in both the public and private sectors to provide communications support for marquee Abramson Cancer Center initiatives.
    • Interfaces with Penn Center for Innovation colleagues on cancer-related research, development, and commercialization partnerships with industry. 


  • Covers, writes about, and disseminates clinical, programmatic, education, and/or appointment news for cancer-related departments, divisions, labs, programs, centers, etc.
  • Develops a rich content expertise in cancer communications, including research and clinical trials, requiring a deep understanding of high-level scientific concepts and approaches, as well as interaction with external collaborators, such as funding agencies and cancer professional organizations and societies.
  • Builds relationships and trust with members of the faculty and staff and encourages collaboration.
  • Maintains confidential information at all times.
  • Contributes ideas and written and multimedia content for the Communications department's internal communications and publications. Works with other members of the Communications team and with the Senior News Director to publicize special news and institutional developments for cancer disciplines.
  • Develops and participates in promoting special events that advance the reputation and achievements of Penn Medicine to the media, as well as to the thought-leader community.
  • Handles media inquiries in a timely fashion and participates in a regular rotation of Press Officer on-call coverage.
  • Represents a professional and positive image of Penn Medicine to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Represents Penn Medicine at national and local professional scientific meetings and groups.
  • Demonstrates good judgment in assessing stories for potential newsworthiness.

Education/Experience Required:

  • BA Degree in English, Journalism or Communications or biological/health sciences.
  • 5 years of experience in public relations/communications/journalism or a combination of communications plus science/medicine experience at a professional level.


  • MA Degree
  • 3 years of experience in public relations/communications/journalism.

  • Experience placing or writing stories in the regional/national media.
  • Experience using social media and multimedia storytelling platforms.
  • Experience working with advocacy and professional associations.
  • Experience working in a complex, highly matrixed environment.
  • Health care experience.

Skills/Abilities Required:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practice of biomedical research and clinical care.
  • Experience in translating technical information into language accessible by media and the lay public.
  • Must be ambitious and a self-starter.
  • Ability to be flexible and work under pressure.
  • Work independently and as a team player.

We believe that the best care for our patients starts with the best care for our employees. Our employee benefits programs help our employees get healthy and stay healthy. We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits program that includes one of the finest prepaid tuition assistance programs in the region. Penn Medicine employees are actively engaged and committed to our mission. Together we will continue to make medical advances that help people live longer, healthier lives.

Live Your Life's Work

We are an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. Candidates are considered for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, familial status, genetic information, domestic or sexual violence victim status, citizenship status, military status, status as a protected veteran or any other status protected by applicable law.

   Current UPHS employees must apply HERE
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