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CIRES Communications Director

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado





Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

The CIRES Communications Director will lead CIRES’ internal and external communications efforts, and will serve on the CIRES Director’s Senior Management Team, supporting and leading institute-wide and other projects as requested by the Director. This individual will work closely with strategic partners at CU Boulder, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and other institutions, planning and implementing essential communications efforts that serve all. Overall, they will work collaboratively to ensure that diverse audiences recognize, celebrate, and value CIRES and CU Boulder research accomplishments. By recognizing and celebrating research accomplishments, their work will foster a culture of excellence at CIRES and the broader University. This position will report to the CIRES Director. 

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

At CIRES, more than 950 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES has partnered with NOAA since 1967, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, solid Earth sciences, and more. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system. 

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

(55%) Management, Planning and Execution of CIRES Communication’s Office Activities:

  • Supervises a full-service team of 3.5 FTE including:
    • 1 half-time designer
    • 1 managing editor / multimedia producer
    • 1 writer/content producer
    • 1 social media lead, technical expert (web and marketing apps) and writer
  • Internal communications (newsletters, posters, award notifications, Town Halls, etc.)
  • External communications (media engagement, news stories, social media, annual magazine, web content, etc)
  • Consistent, reliable collaboration and communication with key partners, especially NOAA and CU Boulder
    • Oversee Annual Report to NOAA
  • Ensures regular communication and outreach to CIRES faculty and researchers to understand their work and ensure its impact is publicized appropriately
  • Ongoing consideration of new & existing communications vehicles (social media, video, illustration/design, photography, advertising/marketing, etc)
  • Ongoing awareness of CIRES scientific strengths and achievements.
  • Occasional production of communications products themselves: stories, illustrations, video storyboarding, etc.

(25%) Direct support of the CIRES Director and Senior Management Team:

  • Participation on the Senior Management Team
  • Communications strategy and content, internal and external (talking points, ppts, internal memos, review of high-level documents, etc)
  • Recruitment/advertising for events, programs
  • Shared responsibility for smooth administrative functioning of CIRES, including cross-team collaborations with:
    • IT (web, publications tracking and other Annual Report duties)
    • Finance (annual reporting)
    • HR (internal communications, creation/maintenance of employee and/or group lists)
    • Associate Director for Science (extensive collaboration on science opportunities, taskers related to identifying scientific strengths, proposals, awards)
  • Engagement across CU Boulder campus related to CIRES’ research expertise:
    • Research and Innovation Office
    • Office of Strategic Relations and Communications
    • Chancellor’s Office
    • Office of Advancement
    • Government affairs
  • Engagement beyond campus, with strategic partners including NOAA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and other university and institutional press offices.

20% Support or leadership of large ad-hoc projects, as defined by Director

  • This position, in consultation with the CIRES Director, performs other duties as required or assigned which are reasonably within the scope and nature of this communications role. This can include support of proposals, coordination of VIP visits, among others.

What You Should Know

  • This position allows for some remote work with a minimum of three days in-person.
  • Visa sponsorship is not offered for this position. Candidates needing visa sponsorship now or in the future will not be considered.
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder, in Boulder, CO. The Director of Communications will be expected to sit at the David Skaggs Research Center NOAA federal facility one day a week. Selected finalists will be required to pass a federal background check for site access to the DSRC.
  • This position may travel out-of-state to 1-2 annual meetings per year, as needed.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES offers a generous compensation package. The annual hiring salary range for this position is $103,404 - $150,000.
  • Salary is commensurate with education and years of experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • Relocation expenses are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.
  • This position can accommodate a hybrid work modality in accordance with project needs.
  • CIRES and the University of Colorado Boulder offer a robust training curriculum, opportunities for professional development and a Mentorship Program.
  • Boulder is a vibrant community with access to mountain parks, dog parks, miles of trails, rivers, lakes, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, theaters, museums, and sports venues. Boulder was recently ranked as the top place to live in the U.S. News.
  • As an employee at CU Boulder, you receive a pass allowing free access to the regional public transit system, which is an outstanding network of buses and light rail systems that provide service within Boulder and connect to Denver, the Denver airport, and surrounding communities.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be game-changing. Be resourceful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Bachelor's degree required AND at least 8 years of experience in Science Communications or related areas required,


  • Master's degree in Communications or Environmental Science required AND at least 6 years of experience in Science Communications or related areas required,


  • PhD in Communications or Environmental Science AND at least 4 years of experience in Science Communications or related areas
For All Candidates:
  • Experience or familiarity with environmental science, itself.
  • Experience in social media, multimedia, and Adobe Creative Suite.

What You Will Need

  • Relationship builder, strong collaboration, leadership, and team-building skills
  • Science writing and editing skills
  • Ability to communicate with scientists as well as with the general public.
  • Ready to seek a management/supervisory role.
  • Desire and ability to work in an inclusive and collaborative work environment.
  • This position requires excellent technical skills including fluency in Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite, web and marketing applications.

What We Would Like You to Have

We invite applicants to apply even if they do not have the preferred skills and experience outlined in this section. If you meet the minimum qualifications and have passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.

  • Experience writing award nominations.
  • Enthusiasm for scientific research and appreciation for its value and impact on society.
  • Grant proposal writing experience.
  • Prior experience working in a research organization.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Resume or CV.
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. Although not needed at the time of application, if you are identified as a finalist for this role, the hiring committee will request scientific writing and editing samples at a later time.
  4. Although not required at the time of application, please be prepared to submit contact information for 5 professional references, (2 of whom must be supervisors or professors). If you are selected as a finalist, we will ask you to contact your references so that they can complete a SkillSurvey questionnaire on your behalf. SkillSurvey is an online automated reference check solution. This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.

This position will close on July 21, 2024

If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version as an optional attachment.

If you have questions regarding this position, Christine Wiedinmyer ( or attn.: Jimena Ugaz

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs

In compliance with the Colorado Job Application Fairness Act, in any materials you submit, you may redact or remove age-identifying information such as age, date of birth, or dates of school attendance or graduation. You will not be penalized for redacting or removing this information.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Christine Wiedinmyer

Posting Contact Email: