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Magazine Science Writer (Communications Specialist 3)

Company: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Location: Los Alamos
Posted on: November 23, 2022

Job Description:

What You Will Do

As a science writer for the Laboratory's flagship science publication, 1663 magazine, you will join an established small team to help execute communications strategies at one of the world's most prestigious and innovative multidisciplinary research institutes, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

1663 is a print and online magazine that is part of the Laboratory's Communications and External Affairs-Technical Editing and Communications (CEA-TEC) group. 1663 presents to a science-oriented audience the Lab's scientific and technological accomplishments and initiatives in a scientifically accurate, reader-friendly, visually stimulating format. Responsibilities of this position include investigating and proposing interesting content, contributing well-researched, well-written articles, editing articles for technical and linguistic quality, working with staff graphics designers to develop attention-grabbing and informative graphics, working to a distinct production schedule, managing magazine distribution, and upholding high quality standards.

1663 covers scientific and technical content in greater depth than most other press. Our writers are expected to communicate with the Laboratory's top scientists and subsequently both understand and convey their research to a science-literate (but otherwise non-expert) readership.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

Technical Knowledge

In this role, you will need a strong understanding of a large, diverse set of scientific disciplines and a commitment to continuously learn new material. You will be expected to independently research, translate, and write engagingly about complex scientific and technical concepts. You will have the ability to interface and communicate with Lab staff at all levels and work with a team to conceive, plan, and develop appealing, graphically illustrated, easy-to-read and understand, scientifically accurate articles. To be successful, you will have expert knowledge of English grammar and rhetoric, technical editing, and writing and demonstrated experience following style guides.

Communication Skills

In this role, you will need excellent written and oral communication and interpersonal skills. You will have the ability to interact effectively with team members, contributors, and other stakeholders in building trust, gaining consensus, and resolving conflict. The successful candidates will have demonstrated experience with problem solving, customer service, and the ability to remain courteous and professional under pressure. You will be expected to interpret and communicate complex information so that it can be understood by varied audiences. You will need sound judgment concerning what makes appropriate magazine content with respect to the balance between content that is formal and rigorous and content designed to be attention grabbing or relatable. You must have demonstrated experience with clear, grammatically correct, high-quality magazine-style writing.

Project Management

Successful candidates will have a demonstrated track record of meeting strict deadlines with simultaneous attention to quality and detail. In this role, you will need to have the ability to work effectively under pressure and balance multiple tasks of varying lengths and priorities as a member of a team. You will be able to maintain respect for the time and external responsibilities of the magazine's various contributors-including scientists, artists, and photographers-while still driving their contributions to keep up with the magazine's production schedule.

Problem Solving & Research Skills

Must have excellent problem-solving skills and attention to detail. You must have demonstrated experience and ability to independently research, translate, and write engagingly about complex technical concepts and the demonstrated ability to successfully plan, organize, lead, and monitor team efforts to completion.


This position requires the ability to obtain a DOE "Q" clearance, which typically requires US citizenship.

Education and Experience

Position requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum eight years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Graduate degree or postgraduate coursework may be desirable.

Desired Qualifications:

STEM Degree

An advanced degree in physics, chemistry, materials science, or another scientific field is preferred and will set you apart from other candidates.

Location: This position will be located in Los Alamos, NM. with the potential for a hybrid work arrangement (partially onsite/partially offsite) from a location within 2 hours ground commute of this location. Reporting onsite will be periodically required. Hybrid is at the discretion of management and can change at any time with appropriate notice.

COVID Vaccine:

The COVID vaccine is mandatory for all Laboratory employees, on-site contractors, and on-site subcontractors unless granted an accommodation under applicable state or federal law. This requirement will apply to those working on-site, those teleworking, and all new hires.

Position commitment:

Regular appointment employees are required to serve a period of continuous service in their current position in order to be eligible to apply for posted jobs throughout the Laboratory. If an employee has not served the time required, they may only apply for Laboratory jobs with the documented approval of their Division Leader. The position commitment for this position is 1 year.

Note to Applicants:

Along with your CV, submit a cover letter addressing your qualifications and experience related to the requirements of the position. Additionally, two science-writing examples on different technical subject must be submitted.

Do you have questions about this job? Email the 1663 editor, Eleanor Hutterer, at to learn more .
Where You Will Work

Located in beautiful northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. Our generous benefits package includes:

PPO or High Deductible medical insurance with the same large nationwide network

Dental and vision insurance

Free basic life and disability insurance

Paid childbirth and parental leave

Award-winning 401(k) (6% matching plus 3.5% annually)

Learning opportunities and tuition assistance

Flexible schedules and time off (paid sick, vacation, and holidays)

Onsite gyms and wellness programs

Extensive relocation packages (outside a 50 mile radius)
Additional Details

Directive 206.2 - Employment with Triad requires a favorable decision by NNSA indicating employee is suitable under NNSA Supplemental Directive 206.2. Please note that this requirement applies only to citizens of the United States. Foreign nationals are subject to a similar requirement under DOE Order 142.3A.

Clearance: Q (Position will be cleared to this level). Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter. This position requires a Q clearance which requires US Citizenship except in extremely rare circumstances. Dependent upon position, additional authorization to access nuclear weapons information may be required that may or may not be available to dual citizens depending upon the circumstances.

Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.

New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing. Although New Mexico and other states have legalized the use of marijuana, use and possession of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. A positive drug test for marijuana will result in termination of employment, even if the use was pre-offer.

Regular position: Term status Laboratory employees applying for regular-status positions are converted to regular status.

Internal Applicants: Regular appointment employees who have served the required period of continuous service in their current position are eligible to apply for posted jobs throughout the Laboratory. If an employee has not served the required period of continuous service, they may only apply for Laboratory jobs with the documented approval of their Division Leader. Please refer to Policy Policy P701 for applicant eligibility requirements.
Equal Opportunity: Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or preference, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to or call 1- option 1.Employment StatusFull Time

Keywords: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Santa Fe , Magazine Science Writer (Communications Specialist 3), Advertising , Los Alamos, New Mexico

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