11 January 2021

Science communication, policy, and outreach jobs/fellowships 2021

Posted by Shane Hanlon

By Shane M Hanlon

Shane giving a presentation at a science careers session at the Ocean Science Meeting, 2020. Credit: Leslie Marasco

As someone who transitioned out of academia (mostly), I get asked this question a lot: Where should I look for scicomm/policy jobs and fellowships? Well, I have some suggestions.

My most surprising (to the questioner) advice is to use generic job-search sites like Indeed and Monster. Folks posting science-related jobs use these sites just as any other profession does. The trick is getting the search terms. When I was job searching prior to my role with AGU I mostly used indeed. Among my search terms were: science, communication, policy, environmental, ecology, biology, STEM, education, outreach. When it came to position titles, that was all over the map and included descriptors like specialist, coordinator, manager, program/project manager, and more. I fine-tuned my search terms and eventually ended up with a process the returned mostly relevant results (using “environmental” got me lots of custodial positions). There are some really great online resources as well in scicomm/sciopol space: 

I led with jobs because the second question I get asked most frequently is, “Do I need to get a fellowship prior to a job if I’m coming straight out of academia?” The answer is no. While it is a common path to bridge the gap between academia and the non-academic sector, it by no means is required. Having said that…there are lots of options out there. I’ve been compiling a list here and there but I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel so here are some good aggregated lists/sites I’ve come across: 

Finally, below is a list of fellowships that I hadn’t seen in the aggregate:

To be clear, this is not an exhaustive list. I do hope that this is a helpful start for those of you who have never gone through this process before but are looking for a career in science communication/policy. And (and I mean this), if you every have any questions about transitioning out of academia, please feel free to contact me

Shane M Hanlon is Program Manager of AGU’s Sharing Science program. Find him on TwitterInstagram, and TikTok.

P.S. I wanted to add that I often talk to folks about the “transferable skillset”, i.e. the skills we gain as researchers that are taken for granted in academia but greatly valued in the broader workforce. I came across this article, Transferable skills for industrythat dives into this perfectly.