The MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI) seeks a qualified professional to lead a new initiative in Public Engagement with science. The successful candidate will help define and then execute an expanded program to nurture reciprocal connections between our research/education community, and the broader public. Sufficient funding has been allocated for a minimum period of 5 years for these efforts, in addition to a support budget for execution and structured external evaluation.
The MKI Public Engagement Officer will be required to interact with the full range of MKI staff – academic, research, administrative, and technical – and associated organizations. While work supervision will be conducted by the MKI Director, the role of Public Engagement Officer will require substantial independence of action. Common interfaces will include administrative staff leadership, human resources, the MKI standing DEIA Committee, and staff involved in outreach activities.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
• Act as the central communication and organization hub for MKI external engagement programs, will increase public engagement with the MIT Kavli Institute’s mission in basic science, astrophysics, and space exploration
• Train MKI scientists in effective communication techniques and to become more effective and inclusive communicators of their research
• Develop/execute engagement and mentorship programs to satisfy sponsor requirements on associated research programs
• Collect periodic impact metrics on all platforms (digital and face-to-face) and disseminate assessments to MKI leadership and relevant sponsors
• Engage through Inclusive Science Communication with under-served communities and organizations
• Serve as a standing member of MKI’s DEIA committee
• Participate in student and staff recruitment for MKI and the MIT Department of Physics at all levels, including undergraduate and graduate admissions, and post-graduate hiring
• Other duties as needed or required
Qualifications & Skills:
B.Sc. in a field of physical sciences, science-focused communication or related field. Minimum 5 years of relevant experience, including teaching science in a classroom, museum, or other professional setting. Strong speaking and writing skills. Ability to create and edit web-based and social media content. Experience with creating and/or leading evidence-based public engagement initiatives.
PREFERRED: Masters or PhD in a field relating to Physical Sciences. Training in evidence-based practices to build an inclusive community through mentoring. Professional experience in Inclusive Science Communication and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEIA) work.
Hybrid position with a target of 4 days in the office per week. Travel may be required as a part of recruiting and engagement efforts.
Application material should include a cover letter addressing qualifications and desire for the position, a CV, and a porfolio that includes up to three examples of content that you have created for public engagement initiatives. The portfolio should be included as part of a single PDF with your CV and included in the resume field of the application. This portfolio may include examples of websites, social media accounts, classroom lessons, YouTube videos, or any other form of traditional or new media that demonstrates your expertise in engaging the public. Please also include in your application the names and contact information for two to three references.