Director of Research Communications (Arizona Water Innovation Initiative)

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ, USA 🇺🇸


Campus: Tempe

Dir Research Communications

Job Description

Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory is currently seeking a Director of Research Communications for the Arizona Water Innovation Initiative (AWII).

The Arizona Water Innovation Initiative (AWII) is a new partnership with support provided by the State of Arizona designed to provide immediate, actionable, and evidence-based solutions focused on research and development from ASU and other statewide water experts to help to ensure a secure and resilient water supply for the state of Arizona. This role is responsible for uncovering and distilling technical information about water-related topics into understandable messages and stories for public consumption.

Under general direction, performs work of considerable difficulty creating, managing, supporting, and coordinating water communications, promotions, events, and public relations functions of the initiative. Develops and maintains professional relationships throughout the University, local, regional, and national communities to promote goals and programs and the impact of the initiative.

Catalyzes understanding, awareness, and knowledge of ASU’s water research discoveries, and solutions, and develops innovative approaches to engagement that creates awareness, and personal meaning – inspiring action.

This role reports into ASU Knowledge Enterprise strategic marketing and communications with close working relationships with the ASU Media Relations and Strategic Communications team as well as other communication teams around the university to develop and oversee implementation plans for gaining local and national recognition of AWII.

Job Family: Marketing & Media Relations

Department Name: Strategic Marketing and Comms

Full-Time/Part-Time: Full-Time


Scope of Search: Open

Grant Funded Position: This is a grant funded position. Continuation is contingent on future grant funding.

Salary Range: $66,500 – $120,900 per year; DOE

Close Date: 29-March-2023

Category: 04

Essential Duties

  • Supports the creation of water products that communicate scientific information, such as documents, journal submissions, presentations at scientific conferences, and digital applications to garner awareness of AWII.
  • Develops strategy and oversees audience development along with the execution of water research communications materials. Coordinating with education/outreach. Ensures consistency in AWII language and design of communication efforts including media and publicly disseminated research information.
  • Interacts with water subject matter experts (SMEs) to collect scientific information for communications products, as well as review and edit materials written by SMEs. Develops, oversees, and refines efficient work processes for collecting, maintaining, and processing scientific data; as well as creating scientific communications products.
  • Ensures that varied communication products are consistent with one another and aligned with the university’s priorities and goals. Initiates and oversees tasks completed by outside vendors contracted to create scientific communications products and serves as a point of contact for AWII researchers, staff, and outside partners.
  • Assist staff in the preparation of written fundraising activities. Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in marketing, public relations, science journalism, science policy, or related field AND eight years of experience in planning and implementing a comprehensive communication/marketing program for an organization, including five years of supervisory experience; OR, any equivalent combination of education and/or experience from which comparable knowledge, skills, and abilities have been achieved.

Desired Qualifications

  • Content knowledge in the relevant field of water and climate science communication with the ability to present this information to others in a variety of formats.
  • Experience in being a water and climate science writer able to help readers and colleagues understand technical information and concepts.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of related water and climate professional organizations on a national level.
  • Experience in establishing, developing and maintaining a working relationship with multiple, varied facilities.
  • Experience in collaborative writing of grants and sponsorships.
  • Experience in functioning effectively in chairing various subcommittees and working with boards.
  • Experience in coordinating and supervising the work activities of staff.
  • Experience in being a creative, organized, and detail-oriented professional.
  • Experience in public engagement.
  • Evidence of effective communications skills.
  • Experience in using critical thinking skills.
  • Experience in using organizational skills for managing multiple projects at the same time.
  • Experience in creating, communicating, and presenting findings to executive leadership.
  • Experience in AP (Associated Press) writing style.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of science communications in water, energy, climate science, or engineering is beneficial.

Working Environment

  • Activities are performed in an environmentally controlled office setting subject to extended periods of being stationary, keyboarding, and manipulating a computer mouse.
  • Required to move about for varying lengths of time and move moderate distances to perform work.
  • Occasional bending, reaching, lifting, pushing, and transporting up to 25 pounds.
  • Regular activities require the ability to quickly change priorities, which may include and/or are subject to the resolution of conflicts.
  • Ability to clearly communicate to perform essential functions.
  • May drive University vehicle and/or cart to campus site.

Department Statement

For the eighth year in a row, ASU has been named the most innovative school in the nation, recognizing the university’s culture of groundbreaking research and partnerships, as well as its commitment to helping students thrive in college and beyond. U.S. News and World Report has named ASU as the most innovative university all eight years the category has existed.

ASU Knowledge Enterprise advances research, innovation, strategic partnerships, entrepreneurship, and international development. Our success arises from solutions-focused, interdisciplinary research; an entrepreneurial approach that is embedded in every school and department; and a commitment to transform society in a positive way. To learn more about how Knowledge Enterprise is a place for your career to grow, visit 
At Knowledge Enterprise, Strategic Marketing and Communications, we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly, we encourage you to apply anyway. We value your unique background and perspective, and you may be just the right candidate for this position or other roles on our team.
Working at ASU has additional perks and OUTSTANDING benefits, which include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; sick leave and holidays; ASU/UA/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to ASU recreation and cultural activities; and more. To estimate the value of your total compensation, please visit

ASU Statement

Arizona State University is a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy and broad access. This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising four differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real world application blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. ASU serves more than 100,000 students in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, the nation’s fifth largest city. ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity, and welcomes students from all fifty states and more than one hundred nations across the globe.

ASU is a tobacco-free university. For details visit

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

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In compliance with federal law, ASU prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and resources. ASU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at You may request a hard copy of the report by contacting the ASU Police Department at 480-965-3456.

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Employment Verification Statement

ASU conducts pre-employment screening which may include verification of work history, academic credentials, licenses, and certifications.

Background Check Statement

ASU conducts pre-employment screening for all positions which includes a criminal background check, verification of work history, academic credentials, licenses, and certifications. Employment is contingent upon successful passing of the background check.

Instructions to Apply

Application deadline is 3:00PM Arizona time on the date indicated.

Please include all employment information in month/year format (e.g., 6/88 to 8/94), job title, job duties and name of employer for each position.

Resume and cover letter should clearly illustrate how prior knowledge and experience meets the Minimum and Desired qualifications of this position.

ASU does not pay for travel expenses associated with interviews, unless otherwise indicated.

Only electronic applications are accepted for this position.

IMPORTANT NOTE: What is the meaning of “equivalent combination” in the minimum qualifications? It means one year of higher education or 24 credit hours, is equal to one year of experience. For example, a four year Bachelor’s degree is equal to four years of experience.





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