Education and Outreach Officer

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JOB SUMMARY:

Reporting to the Managing Director, the Education and Outreach Officer will coordinate and lead education and outreach activities of the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute (MI) and the community that MI represents. This includes working in partnership with the Queen’s University stakeholders and other partners to promote McDonald Institute activities, scientific results and opportunities. The Education and Outreach Officer will work collaboratively with the External Relations team to produce and maintain content for the MI website and social media channels, assemble, create and deliver educational and promotional materials for dissemination to diverse audiences, coordinate activities with outreach partners including relevant offices at Queen’s, the Perimeter Institute, SNOLAB, TRIUMF, and other partner institutions. The incumbent will support the scientific outreach program by coordinating the arrangements for seminar programs, visiting scientists, public talk series and managing the Visitor Centre at Queen’s.

The schedule for this position requires the incumbent to work non-traditional hours of work including some evenings and weekends, and irregular hours during peak periods. Travel on occasion within Canada, and abroad may be required.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:  
Science Education and Promotion

  • Collaborates with the Communication Officer on several scientific education and promotion projects to ensure adequate engagement with target audiences.
  • Establishes workflow, goals and priorities with regards to education and outreach, and ensures the standard and quality of work is met by the team members.
  • In collaboration with MI External Relations, following the Queen’s Social Media Guidelines, recommend, develop, and regularly post content, respond to questions, post social media and web presentations to promote the Institute.
  • Establish and maintain strong working relationships with faculty, staff, key stakeholders and partner institutions; maintain effective relationships with all involved individuals.
  • Maintain media and stakeholder mailing lists as well as all records of outreach activities to report to funding agencies and key stake-holders.
  • In collaboration with External Relations, respond to and direct inquiries from the media and organizations, perform research on the topic at hand, and formulate recommendations for responses and opportunities. May be required to speak directly to the media on topics related to areas of responsibility.
  • Following Queen’s Guidelines, compose, edit, design and produce publications such as newsletters, brochures and articles to promote MI.
  • Develop & produce a YouTube or similar channel for education and outreach purposes, including creating videos and advertisements for the Centre.
  • Ensure the information released to the media and the public is of the highest standard and meets relevant business, legal and government protocols.

Education & Outreach:

  • Coordinate recruitment and implement community scientific outreach activities to attract students to the MI and Astroparticle Physics community.
  • Provide support for public talks and the seminar and colloquium programs by engaging with speakers, providing logistics support by booking travel and accommodations, preparing advertisements for the event, and promoting the event through appropriate media channels. Coordinate interactions between speakers and the MI community.
  • Support and coordinate interactions with all forms of external media groups.
  • Develop and maintain outreach partnerships with SNOLAB, PI, CIFAR, TRIUMF and the various outreach offices.
  • Develop and maintain a visitor Centre at Queen’s and develop outreach exhibits and promotions in collaboration with outreach partners.
  • Participate in preparing educational material that ties into the relevant sections of the high school curriculum in consultation with Faculty. Deliver presentations to students to promote MI.
  • Develop and coordinate the MI educational programs by assisting with the organization of workshops, summer schools, graduate and undergraduate programs.
  • Work with research institutes, and international partners to establish graduate student courses, and a graduate student exchange program and manage the logistics of such programs.
  • Organize, manage and promote an undergraduate summer school program.
  • Working with the Associate Director of External Relations, organize, manage, and promote an undergraduate summer placement program within Queen’s and with industry partners.
  • Assist subject-matter experts with the logistics of creating online and in class Astrophysics courses, including organizing the workshops/schools, advertising, and arranging travel.
  • Undertake other duties as assigned in support of the Department.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:  

  • University degree in Physics or a related degree in Science or Engineering.  
  • Postgraduate degree in Physics or Engineering would be considered an asset.
  • Experience or training in Scientific Outreach, Public Relations, Pedagogy, digital and visual learning strategies.
  • Several years (5+) experience working in a related environment, including working in an outreach or education role.  
  • Knowledge of university structure, academic regulations, policies, procedures and computing/financial/ administrative systems.
  • Prior experience discussing science with the public is an asset.
  • The ability to speak French would be an asset.
  • Ability to travel outside of Canada.
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.

SPECIAL SKILLS:

  • High level understanding of the nature of MI key audience, plus the means in which to best engage them.
  • High level of analytical skills to complete research and outreach to key stakeholders.
  • Strong leadership ability.
  • Exceptional communication skills, with impeccable writing, editing, presentation, and conversational skills; ability to communicate effectively, creatively and with sensitivity to diverse audiences.
  • Excellent teamwork and collaboration building skills, sharing information, contributing ideas, seeking input, and ensuring that the end product is accurate and correct.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to work respectfully with all partners and clients; work with integrity, and take the utmost care in maintaining confidentiality where required.
  • Exceptional organization skills to manage and prioritize projects, meet deadlines and organize workflow.
  • Well versed in educational and outreach best practices.
  • Skilled in the use of software applications such as the Microsoft suite, web editing software and graphic design software and be able to rapidly learn and adapt to changing technical tools.

DECISION MAKING:

  • Determine own work priorities to meet deadlines and assess workload to discuss any necessary support from senior staff.
  • Determine work priorities for other individuals engaged from time to time such as students, interns as well as volunteers. Supervisory skill is expected.
  • Make daily operational decisions and independent resolutions of problems within established guidelines. Answer queries, produce and distribute information material. Refer more complex problems to more senior staff.
  • Determine the sensitivity of a request/inquiry, deciding when to refer the matter to senior staff.
  • Determine the most appropriate information to be included in draft promotional and educational materials.
  • Decide how to implement new outreach programs in combination with existing programs at Queen’s in order to offer an exceptional program experience.
  • Decide what type of outreach support and education is needed for MI.
  • Determine which stories may generate targeted stakeholder interest and result in favourable engagement and profile.
  • Handle and/or refer incoming communications to the appropriate individual for follow-up, particularly those which are time or content-sensitive.
  • Decide which tasks to assign to employees supporting Education and Outreach for MI.
  • Decide which messages to post on social media associated with breaking news and post them in a timely manner.

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The University provides support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant's accessibility needs. Candidates requiring accommodation during the recruitment process are asked to contact Human Resources at hradmin@queensu.ca.

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