Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Scientific and Technical Communications Professional in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 310287

Directorate: Communications & Information Technology

Division: Communications

Group: Content & Quality Group / Document Architecture and Copyediting Team

Job Description

Scientific and Technical Communications partners with the SME and draws on a substantial knowledge of particular research programs and activities to develop informational materials and to select and present information in a form and at a level suitable for the intended audience. These information materials may be for internal or external dissemination at the local, national, and international levels, and may include internal reports and publications; research protocols; education materials; summaries of research programs, reports of research findings, and news articles. Assignments often involve writing or editing for electronic media, and may include highly visible communications projects. These positions require substantial knowledge and expertise of highly technical and/or scientific concepts, taxonomies and terminologies pertinent to the partner or project they support. The positions require skill to analyze intended target audiences and present the information gathered in both lay-terms and technical terms. The position also requires knowledge of publishing practices, standards, and technologies for the media used.

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 integration. Dynamic, adaptable people come to PNNL to work smarter and to work together on high-impact projects and initiatives for the U.S. Department of Energy and many other sponsors. PNNL staff members focus on meaningful work, innovation, and impactful 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. PNNL, located in eastern Washington State, is known for its outdoor recreation, thriving wine industry, and affordable cost of living.

The Opportunity

Help fortify the Document Architecture and Copyediting team by providing on-demand copyediting and quality control services for PNNL’s Creative Services team. In this role, you will work for the Document Architecture and Copyediting team but be co-located with a busy group of graphic designers working under tight deadlines. Products you will edit include, reports, posters, presentations, fliers, awards, brochures, and much more. These are, in many cases, PNNL’s most highly visible products and must be error-free.

You will also verify that our communications products are aligned with the Laboratory’s mission, vision, and communications strategy; are appropriate for the intended audiences; and stimulate a preferred action.

The Ideal Candidate

If you are a top-notch copyeditor, we want to connect with you. Specifically, we’re looking for candidates who have a knack for identifying grammar, spelling, logic, and style errors on the fly. Because you will be mainly editing products built in design software, relying on robust software-based grammar and spelling features will not always be an option. Creativity, speed, and attention to detail will be paramount.

Authority and Accountability

  • Understands and collaborates with the specialized teams in the division, primarily with Creative Services, but also with Project Communications, Content Editing, Digital Media, and Science Writing.

  • Remedies grammatical, typographical, capitalization, citation, and punctuation errors.

  • Checks facts and statistics to verify that the copy is accurate and correct.

  • Works with Creative Services team members, often on the fly and with little notice, to proofread documents and suggest changes.

  • Edits on paper, on screen, and in software including, but not limited to, Word, PowerPoint, InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

  • Assures accuracy of language and compliance with writing style and format guidelines.

  • Standardizes and assures consistent tone, style, and format appropriate to each deliverable.

  • Checks and formats bibliographic references in collaboration with other team members and researchers.

  • Alters word choice, acronym usage, and punctuation to clarify meaning, but maintains the intent of the writer; makes stylistic suggestions.

  • Fosters collegial relationships with PNNL writers, editors, project managers, and internal partners.

  • Checks that quotes are accurate and that quotes and illustrations do not infringe upon copyrights.

  • Verifies that quotes, illustrations, tables, and data are correctly referenced within the document.

  • Verifies that correct standard or boilerplate language is included.

  • Assures that copy meets layout and format requirements (e.g., a journal article is formatted to comply with the target journal’s submission requirements).

  • Uses appropriate tools and software to notify writers and editors of necessary changes (e.g., tracked changes in Microsoft Word and comment tool in Adobe Acrobat).

  • Suggests ways highly technical language can be rephrased to be more direct, readable, and easily understood by end users.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Excellent writing and editing skills, including the ability to proofread content for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and style.

  • Strong copyediting skills and the ability to apply various style guides (e.g., Chicago Manual of Style and AP Stylebook).

  • Advanced Microsoft Office skills including creation and use of templates, content controls, forms, building blocks, and styles.

  • Demonstrated ability to produce large and complex documents using Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat in a collaborative and deadline-driven environment.

  • Advanced EndNote skills for creating, maintaining, and using reference libraries.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage and complete multiple activities of varying complexities while adhering to strict deadlines.

  • Strong research skills for fact-checking, background, and reference checks.

  • Experience with content management systems, knowledge management systems, and advanced document processing tools; demonstrated ability learning new technologies and applications.

  • Intense focus on and commitment to detail and accuracy of work.

  • Demonstrated ability to work in a self-directed manner in a highly dynamic, collaborative, and professional environment.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree plus 3 years of experience or advanced degree.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, communications, or a science relevant to PNNL’s research.

  • Three (3) years of related experience providing document architecture support, copyediting, or technical editing of various deliverables (e.g., technical reports, procedures, journal articles, grant proposals, flyers, scientific posters, websites, and PowerPoint presentations).

  • A demonstrated portfolio of specific projects and expertise in application of state-of-the-art technologies relevant to content and quality.

  • Demonstrated expertise in the Microsoft Office Suite (i.e., template use and creation, form creation, advanced document design capabilities).

  • Demonstrated expertise in EndNote and the management of large EndNote libraries.

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: Doc. Architect & Copy Editing

Opening Date: 2020-01-07

Closing Date: 2020-01-21