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Director of Research Communications

Apply now Job no: 528317
Work type: Officer of Administration
Location: Eugene, OR
Categories: Communications/Public Relations/Marketing, Research/Scientific/Grants

Department: Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation
Appointment Type and Duration: Regular, Ongoing
Salary: Commensurate with experience
Compensation Band: OS-OA08-Fiscal Year 2021-2022
FTE: 1.0

Application Review Begins
Immediately. To ensure consideration, please apply by October 25, 2021; position open until filled.

Special Instructions to Applicants
Along with your online application, please provide a resume and a cover letter describing how you meet the minimum requirements, professional competencies, and preferred qualifications. As part of your application, you will be asked to provide the names and contact information for three professional references. Candidates will be notified prior to contacting references.

Any application missing the above documents/information may be considered incomplete.

To ensure consideration, please submit your application materials prior to or on the listed review date.

Department Summary
The University of Oregon (UO) holds the distinction of a “very high research activity” ranking in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, and is one of only two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities (AAU). In 2014, the University launched an ambitious fundraising campaign focused on supporting faculty excellence in teaching and research, creating access for outstanding students, and enriching the student experience. In 2017, the UO received a very generous $500M gift to launch the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, which will further increase the scope and magnitude of research and innovation activities across campus.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) serves as an advocate and catalyst within the University for expanding the range and impact of UO's research, scholarship, and creative endeavors. The OVPRI also oversees sponsored programs, research compliance, technology transfer, research development, and administrative responsibility for numerous high-profile research centers, institutes, and core research facilities, which provide opportunities for faculty across the university to collaborate on research efforts that are inherently interdisciplinary, and of significant societal importance.

Position Summary
The Director of Research Communications is responsible for the development and implementation of a strategic communication plan to promote and advance the university’s research and innovation enterprises. Based on priorities set by the Vice President for Research and Innovation, and in close coordination with University Communications, the Director will design communication strategies and produce written and visual media in support of OVPRI functions, including operational changes, the development of new partnerships within and external to the university, and the advancement of new initiatives. The Director of Research Communications will also be responsible for promoting the accomplishments of our research faculty to a diverse, broad audience through a variety of formats, both in content development and in coordination with staff in University Communications. This position will report to the Chief of Staff for the Vice President for Research and Innovation, but also have a dotted line report to central University Communications.

Responsibility for Director of Communications includes but is not limited to the following:
• Develop and maintain strategic plans for research communications and public relations activity for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. These documents will be developed collaboratively and approved by the Vice President for Research and Innovation, along with quarterly work plans.
• Prepare talking points and presentation materials for a variety of speaking engagements for the Vice President and other executive staff, such as Board of Trustees meetings, interviews with media, etc.
• Prepare reports, presentations, stories and press releases, email communications, and marketing materials.
• Collaborate with communications professionals in central offices and schools, departments, centers, and institutes to produce new content, highlight achievements in the research enterprise, and garner capacities to support research and innovation communication.
• Represent OVPRI at meetings related to communications efforts.
• Facilitate public-facing outreach projects related to research and innovation.
• Supervise student communications employees conducting web maintenance, content creation, and social media engagement.
• Develop and execute project-specific communication plans.
• Oversee and support of graphic design needs including, but not limited to: design of charts, graphs, illustrations, large format graphics, and other artwork as needed.
• Oversee the OVPRI website, including collaboration with technical experts.

Minimum Requirements
• Bachelor’s degree, or an equivalent combination of skills and experience.
• Five years of experience in communications, public relations, public affairs, or related field.

Professional Competencies
• Demonstrated ability to create and manage communications plans and strategies for organizations or academic units with a high degree of complexity.
• Demonstrated ability to assimilate complicated information and write for a variety of audiences, media, and contexts.
• Excellent writing and communications skills, with experience producing a variety of types of materials (i.e., organizational reports, news media stories, speeches, and points for leaders/executives).
• Expertise with digital communications, including website, photo editing, content management systems, as well as social media.
• Expertise in coordinating events and outreach activities to engage a public audience.
• Demonstrated ability to work independently, set appropriate work priorities, and require minimal supervision over regular work activities.
• Demonstrated ability to work well in a team environment.
• Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and tight deadlines.
• Commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
• Ability to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
• Demonstrated ability to adapt tone and voice to reach intended audiences.

Preferred Qualifications
• Experience in higher education setting.
• Master's degree.

FLSA Exempt: Yes

All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background inquiry.

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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