Postgraduate Research Opportunity in Science Communications

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Reference Code
How to Apply

A complete application package consists of:

  • An application
  • Transcript(s) – For this opportunity, an unofficial transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted.  Selected candidate must provide proof of completion of the degree before the appointment can start.  Proof must be sent to ORISE directly from the academic institution including graduation date and degree awarded.  All transcripts must be in English or include an official English translation.  Click Here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts.
  • A current resume/CV
  • Two educational or professional recommendations

If you have questions, send an email to  Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.

Application Deadline
7/12/2019 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis and will continue until the opportunity is filled.

A postgraduate fellowship opportunity is available with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Northwest Climate Hub, which is based in the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. The USDA Northwest Climate Hub serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington by delivering science-based, region-specific technologies and practical information for climate-informed decision making. Engaging with partners is a key part of the Hub’s mission to create actionable science and community-focused solutions.

The selected participant will support this mission by helping communicate science, advance our outreach goals, and raise the profile of some of the most critical environmental issues facing society today. In addition, there may be opportunities to support focused Hub initiatives on topics including rangeland-riparian management, climate-fire interactions, and carbon dynamics and accounting. The Hub is staffed with a vibrant, dedicated team. With guidance from a mentor, the participant will gain experience in collaborating with USDA agencies, particularly the Forest Service, in developing communication content, facilitating co-production approaches to research, strengthening partnership engagement through sharing project information, news, and updates, and synthesizing scientific publications for natural resources managers, farmers, ranchers, forest land owners, and policy makers. Additional information about the USDA Northwest Climate Hub can be found at

Specifically, the participant will gain experience by:

  • Drafting communication materials for the USDA Northwest Climate Hub, including website updates, fact sheets, infographics, and newsletters, with guidance from mentor
  • Evaluating outreach effectiveness by analyzing web and social media metrics to enhance our communication strategy
  • Developing and recommending innovative approaches to better communicate and extend the impact of existing Hub efforts (e.g., Southeast Alaska Drought Workshop)
  • Synthesizing existing research and developing region-specific content and products to help managers, landowners, and producers respond and adapt to climate change
  • Providing support to ongoing Northwest Climate Hub or Pacific Northwest Research Station initiatives such as climate adaptation and fire management in westside forests and wildland-urban interface of Oregon and Washington and/or carbon dynamics for land and watershed managers
  • Supporting new research initiatives (e.g., tools for rangeland conservation) including science management convenings aimed at better leveraging existing information and tools and co-producing a research agenda to address knowledge gaps
  • Supporting social science activities (focus group, interview, and survey methods in partnership with Hub staff) that will provide the foundation for the development, assessment, and evaluation of Hub-supported decision support tools

The participant will be located in Portland Oregon (preferred) with Corvallis, Oregon and Olympia, Washington (optional locations) along with USDA Northwest Climate Hub staff. There will be opportunities for professional development including travel to the four states the USDA Northwest Climate Hub serves.

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and USFS. The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of USFS and is contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. No relocation allowance will be provided. Funding for the participant's health insurance will be provided. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time. Participants do not become employees of USDA, USFS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

Anticipated start date is July 29, 2019.

This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

For more information about the USFS Research Participation Program, please visit the Program Website.


The qualified candidate should have received an associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees and will reach completion by the start date of the appointment. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills/experience:

  • Experience in rangelands, forestry, agriculture, or natural resources or collaborating with ranchers, natural resource managers, Native Alaskans, Tribal Nations, Indigenous peoples, farmers, forest land owners, state agencies or other relevant groups
  • Understanding of co-production and stakeholder collaboration within research or management efforts
  • Proficiency with social media including Twitter and Facebook
  • Familiarity with Drupal
  • Experience with workshop facilitation
  • Advanced computer skills, especially in Microsoft Office applications
  • Experience with science communication and/or synthesis

Preferred Abilities:

  • Detail-oriented; ability to edit written products to improve readability, comprehension, and clarity for non-scientific audiences
  • Innovative and creative; able to generate new ideas and methods to help accomplish program goals; willing to learn new things
Eligibility Requirements
  • Degree: Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 6/28/2019 12:00:00 AM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (1 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (4 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (8 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (16 )
    • Other Non-S&E (1 )
    • Physics (1 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 )