Senior Science Writer

Job Type

Full Time




800 Maine Avenue Southwest
Suite 900
District of Columbia
United States




The incumbent researches, analyses, summarizes, and disseminates current psychiatric research findings through written communications for members, the scientific community, the media, and the general public. The incumbent supports the development and preparation of internal and external communications from the Division of Research by providing editorial and writing assistance for scientific communications of varying complexity.




  • Conduct literature searches and reviews, write speeches, testimonies, presentations, and publishable articles for senior APA staff and officers related to major research issues.
  • Conduct literature searches and reviews to address topics of interest to the APA leadership and administration
  • Develop and maintain a “state of psychiatry and public mental health” reference document to readily help APA leadership and administration stay abreast of changes in the field
  • Initiate drafts of speeches, testimonies, presentations, and articles in collaboration with senior APA staff and coordinate production of illustrative aids
  • Coordinate release of presentation with APA Communications and Public Affairs staff
  • Monitor the email account to readily address request for research information from APA leadership and administration
  • Develop varied professional and public education materials for the Division of Research from complex medical and scientific material.
  • Draft scientific content as assigned, including but not limited to peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, scientific abstracts, presentation materials, grant applications, technical reports, etc. Content will be developed following established guidelines; in concert with Division of Research leadership; and based on intended audience
  • Support development and publication of peer-reviewed journal articles, including text and content editing; copyright negotiations; promotional materials; communications with authors, publishers, and journal staff
  • Write, edit, and coordinate production of brochures, fact sheets, and other external communications that provide APA’s perspective on the implications and uses of research-based information
  • Adapt and review copy to suit a variety of publication formats, including but not limited to academic journals, books, websites, newsletters, talking points, proposals, and print media
  • Provide grant writing support, including assisting in the identification of possible sources of funding, developing application materials, and responding to reviews and resubmission needs
  • Engage in scientific editing to ensure accuracy of content and appropriateness of writing style, tone, and usage according to audience and member needs.
  • To the degree needed, provide major substantive editing to ensure logical presentation, consistency and clarity of written content
  • Demonstrate skills in all levels of scientific editing, including copyediting, developmental editing, data verification, and proofreading
  • Serve as lead scientific editor on assigned projects, including reviewing copy and providing feedback to colleagues as needed, as well as providing strategic editorial oversight to assure quality of products
  • Organize a process for disseminating regular periodic updates on Division of Research activities and advances in psychiatric research to diverse audiences.
  • Write regular updates on Division of Research activities and advances in psychiatric medicine for member publications, including Psychiatric News and Mental Health Works
  • Coordinate and oversee submission of materials for professional conference symposia and workshops, including the APA Annual Meeting and Institute on Psychiatric Services as well as external meetings, that showcase Division of Research productivity
  • Assist in the development of presentations for APA and Division of Research to be given at academic and professional society meetings
  • Update the psychiatric community on Division of Research activities through staffing of member information center at Annual Meeting
  • Develop communications for APA Division of Research activities for internal executive reports.
  • Write and edit documentation for internal executive communications, including the APA/APAF Board of Directors and APA Medical Director’s Office
  • Develop media presentations on APA Division of Research activities for executive meetings (e.g., Board of Trustees, APAF Corporate Advisory Council)
  • Staff liaison for the APA/APAF Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • Coordinate all APA and APAF IRB meetings
  • Monitor research studies needing IRB approvals and updates
  • Monitor all IRB approved studies to ensure that human subjects are indeed protected




  • PhD in Psychology or social work preferred with at least 2 years applicable writing experience in a research environment.
  • Master’s Degree in mental health profession such as psychology or social work, or journalism
  • 5 years’ experience in professional writing and communication of mental health research to professional, government, and public audiences may be considered, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Qualitative and quantitative research skills to be able to interpret research results.
  • Clinical training highly desirable.
  • The ability to work with others as a team.




  • Normal demands associated with an office environment. 
  • Ability to work on computer for prolonged periods, communicate with individuals by telephone, e-mail and face to face. 
  • Some travel may be required.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Doctorate (PhD)