Fellowship opportunity with The American Society for Microbiology’s (ASM) Communications Committee

Angela Zito
September 14, 2017
Posted in Announcements

The American Society for Microbiology’s (ASM) Communications Committee has an opening for an ASM Headquarter Fellows; this is a 12-month position.  The Communications Committee’s mission is to engage, inform, and excite public audiences about ASM’s science by:

  • Identifying strategic, global issues and provide timely information that informs and engages audiences; and
  • Empowering ASM members to communicate confidently and effectively about science; and
  • Making ASM a recognized leader in using evidence-based, innovative, and compelling strategies to exchange knowledge.  

The Committee sponsors public programs, professional development opportunities, and media support to advance its mission. 

The fellow will have the opportunity to explore a non-academic and non-research career that allows him/her to acquire knowledge and skills needed to successfully develop and execute public outreach programs. ASM has established a relationship with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to support Outbreak, Epidemics in a Connected World, an exhibit on viral zoonoses, which will open in May 2018. As part of that relationship, the fellow will work closely with the Education and Outreach team at NMNH to develop on-site and online public programming and resources, and volunteer coordination related to the exhibit. He/she will be physically located at the NMNH on the National Mall in Washington, DC, but will be expected to attend meetings at ASM headquarters on a weekly basis. The fellow will report to the National Outreach Program Manager at NMNH and the Public Outreach Manager at ASM.

During the yearlong fellowship, the fellow will:

  • Assist with conceptualizing and implementing public programming related to the Outbreak exhibit and use audience data to shape, refine, and evaluate it
  • Engage with scientific experts and ASM members to secure their participation in exhibit programming
  • Act as liaison to other organizations with an interest in or that support the exhibit for the purpose of enhancing public outreach programs and their reach
  • Develop volunteer training materials for the exhibit
  • Recruit, train and manage (including scheduling) volunteers that staff the exhibit
  • Collaborate on development and implementation of at least two public outreach events
  • Present his/her work at the museum at ASM’s Microbe 2018 meeting (June 7-11, 2018 in Atlanta, GA)
  • Write a perspective article on working in public programming for publication in an ASM outlet


  • Minimum of a Master’s degree in the life sciences, PhD preferred, with demonstrated expertise in emerging infectious diseases, virology, and/or zoonotic diseases
  • Paid or volunteer experience in informal science education, outreach, or communications with the general public; experience in a museum setting preferred
  • Experience developing and implementing programming and/or events for a public, non-specialist audience
  • Experience developing activities for informal science education
  • Experience in managing and working with volunteers
  • Fluency in spoken and written English
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate and work effectively across multiple departments within two distinct organizations
  • Ability to research, synthesize and distill technical/scientific topics for a public audience
  • Ability to communicate with and teach individuals from diverse audiences and backgrounds
  • Ability to balance competing priorities and meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated organization skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to thrive in a collaborative, dynamic, fast-paced environment
  • Strong computer skills including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and online calendar and email systems, experience with graphics/image software preferred
  • Self-motivated and independent

Opening Date: ASAP

Closing Date: October 2, 2017 or until position is filled

Start Date: October 23, 2017 or until position is filled

The incumbent may be required to travel. The fellowship offers a $50,000 annual stipend, medical benefits, and a public transportation subsidy.


  • I have completed my advanced degree (degree, major, minor, completion date).
  • I am in the process of obtaining my advanced degree and will complete it by October 2017 (degree, major, minor).
  • I am a citizen of the United States or a U.S. Permanent Resident. 


For more infromation and to apply: http://www.asmcareerconnections.org/job/public-outreach-fellowship/37023982/