Public Engagement with Science, Specialist

The Kavli Foundation

The Kavli Foundation is seeking candidates for the Public Engagement with Science Specialist position. Individuals with initiative, problem-solving skills, comfort in a fast-paced environment and experience in implementing programs that strengthen the public’s relationship with science should apply. Reporting to the Director of Public Engagement with Science, the Specialist will work to support the foundation’s efforts to build and maintain a close and meaningful relationship between science and society.

The candidate must bring a broad understanding of the public’s relationship with science, and experience in engaging the public in science by developing and implementing science communication and engagement efforts. Candidates must be familiar with the field of practice and scholarship about science communication and engaging the public in science and must have a legitimate grounding in science.

The Specialist will lead a suite of activities to fulfill the strategies of the foundation’s Public Engagement with Science Program:

  1. Actively engage with partners to strengthen the growing field of public engagement with science (broadly defined to include civic science, science communication, science outreach, etc.) to be sustainable and effective, including support scientists to engage and communicate effectively, supporting the Civic Science Fellows Program, and partnering with communication training organizations, social scientists.
  2. Collaborate with partners to understand and implement effective ways to engage the public in basic science, this includes supporting the Science and Public Engagement Partnership (SciPEP) with the Department of Energy as well as an affinity group of funders interested in the relationship between science and society.
  3. Work with the foundation’s key partners at our Kavli Institutes around the world and in our four fields of scientific focus (neuroscience, nanoscience, astrophysics and theoretical physics) to support their public engagement efforts. This includes coordinating a community of Kavli partners interested in or working to engage the public, partnering with Kavli Institutes to support their engagement goals (including coordinating communication training for partners).
  4. Develop and support efforts with partners that engage the public in ethical issues born from scientific discovery.

The Specialist will also have opportunities to support the foundation’s science policy initiatives, which the Director of Public Engagement with Science leads. In addition, the Specialist will take initiative to identify, develop and implement special projects as they emerge.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Specialist will lead the design and execution of projects to help the foundation realize its mission to advance science for the benefit of humanity. With guidance from the Director of Public Engagement with Science, the Specialist will:

  1. Lead development and implementation of engagement activities and meetings/workshops (virtual and in-person). This includes:
    • organize communication trainings for partners
    • develop and execute workshops, meetings and conferences, including agenda planning, participant list development, background material development
    • manage relevant contracts and grants with partners
  2. Stay current on latest scholarship, practices and community priorities related to engaging the public in science (e.g., science communication, ethics in science, civic science, misinformation) and related fields, and ensure foundation staff are aware of the research and findings. Activities include:
    • track the latest published research and relevant public polls
    • track efforts and initiatives at leading organizations, networks and associations
    • monitor social media conversations (webinars, twitter, etc.)
    • attend and participate in webinars, conferences and meetings (national and international)
    • write briefs and prepare remarks to brief foundation staff on new and emerging public engagement discussions and research
  3. Lead efforts in support of internal program strategy development and reporting. Activities include:
    • research, analyze and synthesize information to support related foundation initiatives
    • interview key stakeholders, and summarize discussions for foundation staff
    • identify and summarize efforts by partner organizations
    • draft and summarize strategic directions and program activities for Board reports and/or other staff/partners; drafting reports and presentations for the Board of Directors



Candidates must have the following experience (candidates without these minimum requirements will not be considered):

  • 5+ years of demonstrated development and implementation of activities to engage the public in science
  • Background and experience in the scholarship and/and practice of the engaging publics in science
  • A strong grounding in science, preferably in basic science (even more desirable if in an area related to our focus areas)
  • Experience in international approaches to science engagement a plus

Candidates will also have the following skills:

  • Must be a self-starter, take initiative and able to multi-task
  • Strong project management and organizational skills
  • Strong follow through and ability to complete activities and tasks independently
  • Experience with Sharepoint, Slack and Salesforce desired
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, particularly in drafting and editing a variety of materials (letters, white papers, summary documents)
  • An ability to synthesize and analyze information
  • An ability to travel (sometimes internationally) in conjunction with job responsibility
  • An ability to work as a member of teams consisting of both internal and external stakeholders

Job Information

  • Job ID: 55439876
  • Location:
    Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Position Title: Public Engagement with Science , Specialist
  • Company Name: The Kavli Foundation
  • Foundation Type: Private
  • Job Function: Program Development
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Job Duration: Indefinite
  • Min Education: BA/BS/Undergraduate
  • Min Experience: 5-7 Years
  • Required Travel: 10-25%
  • Salary: $130,000.00 – $150,000.00 (Yearly Salary)

Posted: December 29, 2020