Sr. Science Writer, Peptide Biology Laboratory, Dr. Alan Saghatelian
Salk Institute for Biological Studies

La Jolla, California

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about 1 month ago

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Job Info

<p><strong><em>The Opportunity:</em></strong></p><p><strong><em>Melding the principles of directed evolution and engineering to rationally design novel biological devices &mdash;macromolecules, viruses, and cells &mdash; that transform the detection and treatment of diseases ranging from genetic syndromes to cancer, inflammation and infectious disease.</em></strong></p><p><strong>The Need:</strong>&nbsp;We now know the underlying genetic and molecular targets that cause many devastating diseases, such as, cancer, inflammation and infection. Yet we grapple with a frustrating challenge: for most of these diseases, there are no effective treatments, much less cures. We desperately need new therapies that overcome the limitations of traditional small molecule drugs.&nbsp; To conquer disease, we need medicines that are as biologically sophisticated as the diseases themselves.</p><p><strong>Our Approach:&nbsp;</strong>Design is the ultimate test of understanding; to engineer new life, the defining act of creativity. The aspirations of the Redesigning Biology and Medicine Initiative are to explore new frontiers by combining Big Data, engineering and synthetic biology to create transformative medicines. We are developing therapeutic processing units (TPUs) that are assembled from libraries of DNA modules and synthetic gene circuits into viral, cellular and microbial medicines that sense and target disease with unprecedented selectivity and potency. &nbsp;Our initial focus is on cancer, inflammation, vaccines and gene therapy.</p><p><strong>Why you?</strong></p><p><strong>We are looking for a singular individual who can work together as part of an interdisciplinary team in translating foundational discoveries and transformative therapies into landmark papers and multi-million-dollar research funding. This will require an ability to understand, synthesize and simplify complex ideas into foundational principles described in technically correct but memorable and compelling prose. The ideal individual will be a world class scientist and master storyteller who can convey verbally and visually science at the frontiers between fields and translating these discoveries into text-book contributions and transformative therapies.</strong></p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong>"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."<br /><strong>--Benjamin Franklin</strong></p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong>"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."<br /><strong>--Albert Camus</strong></p><p>"Words are a lens to focus one's mind."<br /><em>-&nbsp;</em><strong>Ayn Rand</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>POSITION SUMMARY</strong></p><p>Serves in a lead and advisory role to plan and execute science writing activities.&nbsp; Edits complex content, written and multi-media, for grant proposals, peer-reviewed publications, patents, reviews, collaborative agreements and communications, leveraging expertise in delivery to a technical and scientific audience. This position will serve as a collaborator with Principal Investigators (PIs) Drs. O&rsquo;Shea and Saghatelian and an intermediary to help grant and paper writing with lab members pertaining to new frontiers in cancer, virology, structural biology, synthetic biology, imaging, molecular biology and biotechnology. The ideal candidate is responsible for editing and coordinating the written content -technical and stylistic- together with associated figures for papers and grant proposals with the lab members and faculty.&nbsp; As assigned, this position will work with teams within the groups to plan and manage projects, including scientific projects. The position will act as a mentor for the career development and critical skill building needed for trainees at all levels as related to papers and grants. The ideal candidate must be able to meet proposal submission deadlines and funding goals, relate scientific and strategic goals to individual grant opportunities, and remain informed about information technologies, research trends, and research development within the PI&rsquo;s areas of focus as well as other research institutions, universities and government entities within the field. &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS</strong></p><p><strong>(45%) Proposal Development</strong></p><ul><li>Facilitates and executes the scientific writing and development of research proposals from ideation to submission.</li><li>Researches, writes, edits, and reviews grant proposals and supporting documents/figures in collaboration with faculty.</li><li>Stays up to date on related scientific areas of research.</li><li>Provides project management for proposal development by establishing and coordinating milestones, internal deadlines, meetings, e-mail reminders, calendar updates, etc., to ensure timely submission.</li><li>Tracks all aspects of proposal development; conducts outreach to selected external stakeholders, team members, and sponsors; and provides specialized services to enhance the competitiveness of submissions.</li></ul><p><strong>(45%)&nbsp;Peer-Reviewed Publications</strong></p><ul><li>Facilitates research projects by working with investigator teams to plan for a successful manuscript, including deadlines and working with trainees to develop skillsets in this critical area.</li><li>Works closely with faculty and researchers in translating scientific/research concepts into appropriate language for publication. Writes, edits, and reviews critical sections of a manuscript.</li></ul><p><strong>(10%)&nbsp;Project Management</strong></p><ul><li>Facilitates and executes the management of scientific projects by working with investigator teams to plan for a successful completion of projects.</li><li>Helps plan the resource utilization on projects, including Salk scientists, and external resources to make sure projects get done in a timely manner.</li><li>Works closely with faculty and researchers in planning experiments including alignment of resources across projects.</li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>EXPERIENCE</strong></p><p><strong>Required</strong></p><ul><li>Minimum of 8 years of related experience in scientific writing, including published papers and funded grant proposals.</li><li>Demonstrated excellent publication record.</li><li>Journal editor experience.</li><li>Leadership and mentorship of diverse teams in related areas.</li><li>Experience writing stylistically compelling and grammatically correct documents.</li><li>Experience working with diverse stakeholders and translating world beating science into elegant prose and landmark papers.</li><li>Experience effectively managing multiple projects, priorities, and deadlines.</li><li>Experience writing and coordinating interdisciplinary research proposals and papers with multiple collaborators.</li><li>Demonstrated experience in researching, writing and submitting grant applications.</li><li>Demonstrated experience reading and interpreting funding agency program announcements or requests for applications and development of proposals in compliance with agency requirements.</li><li>Experience applying advanced analytical skills in researching and analyzing scientific research issues. Experience with and knowledge of scientific research design and methods, and strong ability to interpret and evaluate research results (i.e. data analysis, statistics, etc.). Ability to codify ideas into coherently written manuscript and/or proposal.</li></ul><p><strong>Preferred</strong></p><ul><li>Experience with personnel and team management.</li><li>Experience leading scientific projects.</li><li>Experience with Papers and software for managing references/bibliographies.</li><li>Experience with Adobe software suite (Photoshop, Illustrator) and PowerPoint to facilitate the preparation of figures.</li><li>Experience with organizing data, references, and text into easily accessible and shared folders for grants and papers.</li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>EDUCATION</strong></p><p><strong>Required</strong></p><ul><li>Ph.D. in biological sciences.&nbsp;</li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>SKILLS AND ABILITIES</strong></p><p><strong>Required</strong></p><ul><li>Proven adept, effective, clear and concise verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to effectively interact with a diverse population and broad cross section of individuals including principal and co-investigators and other Institute stakeholders.</li><li>Ability to write clear and concise reports, memoranda, directives, letters, proposals and grant applications.</li><li>Demonstrated strong scientific and creative writing skills in English, with ability to communicate and translate the scientific question and significance to both a technical and lay audience.</li><li>Ability to read and interpret scientific and technical documentation, as well as engage in constructive technical discussions with lab members to effectively guide writing efforts.</li><li>Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to interact constructively and effectively with a diverse spectrum of internal and external contacts.</li><li>Ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information.</li><li>Ability to provide project management of related teams and effective mentorship and guidance to less experienced staff.</li><li>Strong interest in and ability to quickly comprehend faculty scientific programs.</li><li>Excellent organizational and time management skills to manage the writing process (research, draft preparation, review, and revision) of complex grant proposals and deliver fundable proposals in a timely manner to meet both interim and final deadlines.</li><li>Ability and specialized skills to take initiative and independently plan, organize, coordinate, and perform work in various situations where numerous and diverse demands are involved.</li><li>Strong attention to detail and accuracy.</li><li>Strong computer proficiency with the use of various software applications including, but not limited to Microsoft Outlook and Office Suite or related.&nbsp;</li><li>Must be able to work both independently and in a team environment.</li></ul><p><strong>SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT</strong></p><ul><li>Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.</li><li>Satisfactory completion of the Institute&rsquo;s background investigation.</li><li>Must be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.</li></ul><p><strong>PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS</strong></p><p>This position requires constant seeing, communicating, reasoning, reading, writing and working inside.&nbsp;</p>

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