Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Communications Partner- Physical and Computational Sciences in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 310327

Directorate: Communications & Information Technology

Division: Communications

Group: S&T Communications

Job Description

The Invitation

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to collaboration and work–life balance. Dynamic, adaptable people come to PNNL to work smarter and work together on high-impact projects and initiatives for the U.S. Department of Energy and many other sponsors. They focus on meaningful work, innovation, and outcomes. At PNNL, you’ll find a positive, fast-paced environment and excellent benefits including pension, matching 401(k), tuition reimbursement plans, health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. This position is located at PNNL’s main campus in eastern Washington State, an area known for its outdoor recreation, thriving wine industry, and affordable cost of living.

The Opportunity

PNNL’s Communications Division is focused on delivering stellar customer service, counsel, and communications strategy to leaders across the lab. We’re currently seeking a highly proactive and strategic Communications Partner to guide and oversee the communications strategy, coordination, and production of deliverables for our Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate (PCSD or the “client”). This directorate performs fundamental research in applied math, data science, computer science, materials science, catalysis science, geochemistry, chemical physics, analytic chemistry, and separations chemistry.

As a Communications Partner, you will form and nurture collaborative relationships with your client to develop a keen understanding of their audiences and goals and better understand the importance and impact of their work. Working with your client, you’ll ensure that each communications project or product is aligned with the Laboratory’s mission, vision, and communications strategy; is appropriate for the intended audience; stimulates a preferred action; and meets your client’s budget, goals, and expectations. You will also suggest strategies, objectives, and tactics that continually evolve the quality and impact of the client’s communications efforts.

In this role, you will also advise on, develop, and/or implement the communications strategy for the DOE’s Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs), PNNL’s Institute for Integrated Catalysis (IIC), the PCSD-related Joint Institutes, and other initiatives and lab objectives related to PCSD.

The Ideal Candidate

If you are known for excellent customer service and have extensive experience building and implementing communications strategies– particularly related to computational research, advanced/high performance computing, mathematics, data science, or physical science – we want to connect with you! Specifically, we’re looking for candidates who will combine and leverage their knowledge of communications and science to develop and implement creative and compelling approaches that will resonate with our audiences. Ideal candidates will also be excellent planners and project managers who enjoy collaborating with researchers.


(Percentage splits are approximate)

As an Account Executive/Primary POC aligned to Physical and Computational Sciences (90%):

  • Serve as the main Communications Division POC for PNNL’s Associate Lab Director (ALD) for Physical and Computational Sciences and their direct reports in Mission Development, Advanced Computing, Mathematics, and Data, Physical Sciences, and at the Joint Institutes

  • Leverage and maintain subject matter familiarity in the scientific fields of PCSD; use this to identify and put forward PCSD’s best stories

  • Maintain a keen understanding of PCSD audiences and stakeholders including funding sponsors, scientific associations, external collaborators, trade media, and others with whom we want to amplify our impact

  • Provide executive communications support to the ALD

  • Provide communications planning and campaign development

  • Provide communications project management, including fulfillment of communications collateral, campaigns, storytelling efforts, etc. for PCSD

  • Using project management/workflow software, originate work and collaborate with Communications Division managers to ensure that resources are allocated to complete the project or product

  • Oversee day-to-day production details, ensuring quality and on-time delivery of all components

  • Take the lead in problem solving to expedite the work

  • Accept accountability for final signoff of communications materials, approving quality and fit-for-purpose of each deliverable

  • As needed, provide high-level tactical support (writing documents and letters, drafting presentations, etc.)

  • Participate in PCSD team meetings to assess communications needs and opportunities; facilitate conversation/brainstorming

  • Build relationships with PCSD researchers; integrate successfully to assure a healthy relationship and ongoing collaboration between Communications and PCSD

  • See that PCSD subject matter is represented on PNNL social media channels; brainstorm opportunities and coordinate efforts with the Social Media team; write and vet posts as needed

  • Continually review and improve PCSD’s website content; initiate the production of new pages or content; manage updates in accordance with Communications Division practices

  • As required, submit materials through processes required for external release

As a Member of PNNL’s Communications Division (10%):

  • Serve as the primary liaison between PCSD and the Communications Division

  • Demonstrate exemplary customer service

  • Report regularly to the Communications Manager and Director of Communications on the communications projects, priorities, and initiatives related to PCSD

  • Collaborate with fellow Communications Partners and colleagues throughout the Communications Division to develop and deliver impactful, strategic, and measurable work

  • Attend and contribute to Communications Division staff meetings

  • Recommend new approaches, policies, and procedures to effect continual improvement

  • Advocate for strategic communications processes and results-oriented tactics

  • Other duties as assigned by manager

Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree in communications, marketing, advertising, public relations, computational science, computing, mathematics, physical science, or similar

  • Seven (7) years of related experience; or advanced degree plus Four (4) years of related experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Strong customer service orientation with exceptional attention to detail and follow through

  • Proven excellent written, oral, interpersonal, and project management skills

  • Proven track record of effective collaboration with and strategic support for researchers that includes offering counsel and building strategic communications plans

  • Subject matter familiarity and a natural interest in the scientific fields of computational research, advanced/high performance computing, mathematics, data science, and physical science.

  • Familiarity with the needs and mission relevance of PCSD’s sponsoring agencies, including the DOE Office of Science Basic Energy Sciences and the DOE Office of Science Advanced Scientific Computing Research

  • Established contacts with major scientific publications, editors, bloggers, and influencers covering the scientific fields of computational research, advanced/high performance computing, mathematics, data science, or physical science

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. If you are offered a position at PNNL and are currently a participant in a foreign government talent recruitment program you will be required to disclose this information before your first day of employment.

Directorate: Comm & Information Technology

Job Category: HR/Legal/Communications

Group: S&T Communications

Opening Date: 2020-01-17

Closing Date: 2020-03-06