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Assistant Professor of Science Communication (Environmental Focus)

Apply now Job no: 527571
Work type: Faculty - Tenure Track
Location: Eugene, OR
Categories: Journalism/Communication, Instruction

Department: School of Journalism and Communication
Rank: Assistant Professor
Annual Basis: 9 Month

Application Deadline
October 1, 2021; position open until filled

Required Application Materials
We invite applications from qualified candidates who share our commitment to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning and work environment. We also welcome nominations. Employment begins September 16, 2022. To ensure consideration, please submit application materials (or nominations) by October 1, 2021. The position will remain open until filled. Interested candidates should submit:
• A cover letter addressing how you view environmental justice in research, teaching, engagement or service
• CV
• Contact information for three academic references
• A diversity statement about your past, present and future contributions to promoting equity, inclusion and diversity in your professional career

We particularly welcome applications from scholars who are from populations historically underrepresented in the academy, and/or who have experience working with diverse populations.

For inquiries about the application process, please contact SOJC Operations at 541-346-3561, or e-mail: Specific inquiries about the position may also be directed to the search chair: Ellen Peters, SCR Director, SOJC Eugene at:
If you would like to submit a nomination or recommendation of a potential candidate, please reach out to the search chair via email.

Position Announcement
Scientific research has the power to make our lives better—but only if we use it. The way the public engages with scientific discoveries and information affects our ability to solve the most pressing global issues, from climate change to public health. The School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) at the University of Oregon (UO) invites applications for a tenure-track position for an Assistant Professor in Science and Risk Communication with an environmental focus to begin in fall 2022.

We seek a faculty member who will conduct innovative, interdisciplinary science-communication research—focused on environmental issues—to support evidence-based decision-making and improve personal and societal welfare. This person must have a Ph.D. in communication, psychology, or related field in hand by time of appointment.

The successful candidate competencies include demonstrated potential for teaching and research excellence; strong potential to obtain external grants to advance theory and bridge knowledge and practice; and a record of scholarly accomplishment that includes publication in peer-reviewed articles and academic journals in communication, psychology, and/or related field.

This hire is expected to have outstanding communication skills and to build collaborations across UO including the SOJC, amplify the SOJC’s scholarly profile in environmental research, and help advance our vision to become a national and international leader in science-communication research. Thus, the hire will help to consolidate the role and activities of the Center for Science Communication Research (SCR) as UO’s interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary hub for science-and-risk-communication research and teaching.

SCR’s vision is to lead and teach about cutting-edge science communication research that addresses complex problems and improves evidence-based decision-making. Candidates whose research and teaching programs focus on environmental science communication with respect to communities affected by environmental injustice are especially encouraged to apply. Effective science-communication techniques also are needed across SOJC and UO to address current issues of misinformation, fake news, and scientific and media illiteracy that lives side-by-side with developing trends in SOJC programs on brand responsibility and corporate activism. We are looking for passionate researchers, professionals, and students to join in advancing science communication for the benefit of our communities. Our interdisciplinary team collaborates with faculty, students, and businesses throughout Oregon and our nation. If you share our enthusiasm for science and storytelling, let’s connect.

The person hired for this position will provide undergraduate students in our science communication minor and graduate students in our Communication and Media Studies Ph.D. program with a strong theoretical background and practical experiences in the role and impact of science communication. The hire will also be prepared to offer courses to our diverse students that bridge academia and practice and to develop a new curriculum, including once-in-a-lifetime experiential learning opportunities, that further positions the SOJC as a thought leader in science communication.

This position will be based at the University of Oregon's Eugene campus and will take a leading role in supporting and shaping the center (SCR). This person will teach up to five courses per year for undergraduate and graduate students in science communication and either Public Relations or Advertising sequences. Specific courses to be taught may include science of science communication and special topics courses in the science of environmental science communication and in public relations or advertising.

Department or Program Summary
The SOJC is an ACEJMC-accredited program with a century-long history at the University of Oregon, which is a comprehensive research university and a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). Our program thrives as a journalism and communication school known for innovation, ethics, and action. We offer a minor in science communication, four undergraduate concentrations (in Advertising, Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations), four professional and academic master's programs, and a doctoral program in Communication and Media Studies.

The Center for Science Communication Research (SCR) in the SOJC is a research center dedicated to making science useful to improve people’s lives. Through research excellence, evidence-based education, and meaningful outreach, we enhance the conversation between scientists and society. With seed funding from UO’s Presidential Excellence Initiative and grants from NSF, NIH, and USGS among others, SCR scholars study a wide variety of subject areas:
• Environmental communication, including media coverage that affects responses to wildfire risks in the Pacific Northwest;
• Health communication, such as through integrating genetic cancer screening with behavioral and lifestyle surveys to assess cancer risk;
• Judgment and decision making such as about COVID-19 or situations involving numeric risks;
• Science and technology such as developing digital storytelling methods and near-peer relationships to encourage students from underrepresented communities into STEM fields; and
• Creative inquiry including storytelling that assists in communicating scientific information to the public or that helps scientists humanize data and statistics with empathy and accessibility.
For more information about SCR, visit

Minimum Requirements
PhD in communications, psychology or a related field in hand at the time of appointment.

Preferred Qualifications
Strong potential to blend theory and practice
Demonstrated commitment to service to the academic and/or home community

About the University
About the City of Eugene, OR: Located a two hour drive from Oregon’s most populous city, Portland, Eugene is home to a unique and engaging cultural atmosphere within a beautiful natural environment. The University of Oregon is the state’s premier public university and is located within walking distance of downtown Eugene. Oregon State University and other universities are also located nearby. Eugene has a diverse arts and culture scene with an active, outdoorsy vibe. It is a bike-friendly city with countless hiking, climbing, rafting/kayaking, and swimming opportunities within city limits or in close biking/driving distance. The climate is moderate year-round, and in some neighborhoods deer and wild turkeys are frequently part of the scenery. Eugene is close to the beautiful Oregon coast, with it's breath-taking vistas and lookouts, and to the Cascades mountains for all types of winter fun. The University boasts two world-class museums, and the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Eugene has a wide variety of arts and entertainment venues to chose from. Eugene has a thriving restaurant and brewery scene, with numerous restaurants, food trucks, bars, and breweries. The city attracts all kinds of people, is family-friendly, calm, and easy to navigate. For more information about Eugene, visit and to read more about the region, visit

The University of Oregon is proud to offer a robust benefits package to eligible employees, including health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off. For more information about benefits, visit

The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status. The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation in connection with the application process, please contact us at or 541-346-5112.

UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Civil Rights Compliance, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.

In compliance with federal law, the University of Oregon prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and services. The Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at

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