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Science News Writer and Photographer

University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas

Marketing & Communications, Design
Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posted on Friday, September 1, 2023

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Type of Position:

Professional Staff - Project/Program Administration

Workstudy Position:


Job Type:


Work Shift:

Sponsorship Available:


Institution Name:

Division of Agriculture of the University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is a state wide campus, with faculty based on University campuses, at Research and Extension Centers and in every Arkansas county. It consists of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) and the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (CES), and is home to more than 1400 employees. The Division was established in 1959 and is headed by the Vice-President for Agriculture. The Division headquarters is located in Little Rock with the rest of the University of Arkansas System Administration. As an employer, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers a vibrant work environment and a workplace culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance.

Below you will find the details for the position including any supplementary documentation and questions you should review before applying for the opening. To apply for the position, please click the Apply link/button.

If you have a disability and need assistance with the hiring process and require reasonable accommodations, please contact the Division's Office of Inclusion, Access, and Compliance at bbatiste@uada.edu.

For general application assistance or if you have questions about a job posting, please contact Human Resources at 501-671-2219 or 479-502-9820.


AGCS | Agricultural Communication Services

Department's Website:


Summary of Job Duties:

The Science News Writer and Photographer creates written and visual content to share and promote the innovative research and discoveries achieved by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station. This team member works with research faculty and staff to write compelling stories and capture photos that help bring those stories to life. The specialist also participates in media relations by maintaining media lists, creating and delivering on-target pitches for stories and being of service to reporters seeking information for stories they generate. The writer is also responsible for creating engaging content for Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station websites and social media channels.

The Science News Writer and Photographer will be expected to:

• Write news and feature stories about scientific research and discoveries achieved by research faculty and staff.
• Work with the news team and department director to capture compelling photos to support news stories, websites, publications and more.
• Organize and maintain digital photo assets and photo equipment.
• Foster positive and collaborative relationships with faculty members around the state.
• Read published scientific papers to identify research discoveries with news value. Review annual faculty research summaries to identify future story topics of interest.
• Understand and translate complex scientific concepts into accessible language for the average reader.
• Proactively and energetically seek out new story opportunities instead of waiting for assignments.
• Edit and review stories written by other Division of Ag Communications personnel.
• Cultivate strong relationships with relevant reporters, editors and other influencers to enhance our media outreach.
• Edit existing evergreen website content and create new content as needed (e.g., descriptions of facilities and locations, faculty profiles, etc.).
• Develop and publish engaging and timely social media content that resonates with our audiences.
• Assist with other forms of content, including writing video scripts and assisting with publications.
• Take advantage of appropriate internal and external professional development opportunities. Share relevant information within and outside the department through formal and informal training.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts/Sciences Degree.
  • Must provide at least three to five examples of published news articles.
  • Must provide a photo portfolio.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Two years of experience writing and editing, preferably with a focus on science writing.
  • Experience working with Adobe editing products.

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Strong writing and reporting techniques to craft compelling stories that captivate the news media and the public.
  • Excellent command of the English language, grammar, and storytelling to deliver high-quality content.
  • Adherence to journalistic integrity in all aspects of work.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and solid editing skills.
  • Ability to demonstrate solid news judgment.
  • Familiarity and adherence to Associated Press style.
  • Effective priority management skills to manage multiple priorities and meet project deadlines.
  • Willingness to acquire new skills and learn from others quickly and efficiently.

Additional Information:

Salary Information:

Commensurate with education and experience

Required Documents to Apply:

Cover Letter/Letter of Application, List of three Professional References (name, email, business title), Other (see special instructions for details), Resume

Optional Documents:

Special Instructions to Applicants:

• Applicants must attach or provide links to three to five examples of published news articles.
• Applicants must provide a link to a photo portfolio or other examples of photos

Recruitment Contact Information:

Nick Kordsmeier, director of research communications, nkordsme@uark.edu

All application materials must be uploaded to the University of Arkansas System Career Site https://uasys.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/UASYS

Please do not send to listed recruitment contact.

Pre-employment Screening Requirements:

Motor Vehicle Reports Check

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture may conduct pre-employment background checks on certain positions for applicants being considered for employment. The background checks may include a criminal background check and a sex offender registry check. Required checks are identified in the position listing. A criminal background check or arrest pending adjudication information alone shall not disqualify an applicant in the absences of a relationship to the requirements of the position. Background check information will be used in a consistent, non-discriminatory manner consistent with the state and federal law.

The University of Arkansas is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The University does not discriminate in its education programs or activities (including in admission and employment) on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, marital or parental status, protected veteran status, military service, genetic information, or sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity). Federal law prohibits the University from discriminating on these bases. Questions or concerns about the application of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, may be sent to the University's Title IX Coordinator and to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

Persons must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States on the first day of employment.

All application information is subject to public disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Constant Physical Activity:

Manipulate items with fingers, including keyboarding, Sitting

Frequent Physical Activity:

Hearing, Standing, Talking, Walking

Occasional Physical Activity:

Driving, Lifting, Reaching

Benefits Eligible: