The Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) is an independent, not-for-profit service for the news media, giving journalists direct access to evidence-based science and expertise. The philosophy of the AusSMC is that every breaking news story and every controversy is an opportunity to provide clear and concise information about science to the public.

We strive to encourage and assist journalists to cover science and to help scientists and institutions engage with the media.

Our aim is to empower the Australian public, and ultimately to help build a more scientifically literate society. We provide commentary and analysis from scientists, take inquiries from journalists, run online briefings and help train scientists to engage more effectively with the media.

The Centre works with journalists to help them cover science as well as identify the science angles in everyday news stories and works with the scientific community to help them interact more effectively with the media and ensure that their voices are heard on issues of national importance. The AusSMC triggers or injects evidence-based comment into more than 17,000 news reports each year reaching around 8 million Australian each month.



Position: Media Officer

Term: 12 months (full-time) with possibility of extension

Broad summary: The Media Officer is a key member of the Australian Science Media Centre. She/he will assist with running core activities and will undertake daily liaison with the media, scientists and media officers.

Reports to: Director of News and Partnerships

Special conditions: Some intra and interstate travel involving overnight absences will be required. Out-of-hours work will be required on a rotational basis in order to provide an efficient and responsive media liaison service to the media

Date Last Modified: 10 May 2018

Job Description


Primary responsibilities:

  • Assist in developing and implementing media and communications strategies for AusSMC including the core activities of:
    • Sourcing, collating and issuing scientists’ comments in reaction to both breaking news and embargoed research (as expert reactions)
    • Developing and implementing online media briefings
    • Writing and editing short media friendly summaries of research for our breaking news portal Scimex
    • Writing and editing news stories and content for the AusSMC weekly newsletter – Science Deadline
    • Help develop and present media training programs for scientists
  • Engage with scientists, supporting and advising them for media enquiries, statements and briefings
  • Managing media enquiries
  • Moderating and updating websites including our online science news portal Scimex and AusSMC site
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with media that increase the positive relationship AusSMC has with journalists including helping source experts and advise on potential stories
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with scientific journal publishers
  • Monitoring national, global and social media for developing issues and trends that AusSMC could be engaging in
  • Compiling media clippings and generating reports for output from AusSMC activities
  • Being on call out-of-hours on a rotational basis to take media enquiries
  • Recruit new contacts for the database of scientists, journalists and media officers
  • Provide media advice to researchers and media and communications teams from universities and research organisations.
  • Present and assist in the development of media training and/or advice, to key stakeholders
  • Work with other staff to:
    • Maintain relationships with scientists, journalists, scientific publishers and media officers
    • Generate and implement new activities as required
    • Keep the database updated
    • Actively participate in team meetings

Secondary Tasks:

  • Represent the AusSMC at speaking engagements, visits to institutions etc
  • Assist in the compilation of progress reports for the Board
  • Help manage volunteers working at the Centre
  • Liaise with sponsors, supporting organisations and stakeholders on issues or events of mutual interest

Person Specification


  • A degree or higher in a relevant discipline such as science, communications, or media

Essential Criteria

  • A demonstrable passion for science and current affairs with a strong news sense
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure in an extremely busy environment and with tight deadlines
  • Attention to detail with strong organisational skills
  • Computer literacy including experience with databases and website maintenance
  • Initiative and proven ability to take responsibility for a given task and to work well both as part of a small team and independently
  • Relationship management skills and the ability to interact with people across a variety of topics and at senior levels

Desirable Criteria

  • Postgraduate qualification in science, journalism or science communication and or equivalent relevant experience
  • Experience in a newsroom setting
  • Experience in science communication
  • Experience in public speaking

Applicants are strongly advised to address each essential and desirable criterion in their application cover letter and, where possible, provide examples of relevant experience.

Apply to by no later than COB Monday 28 May 2018.