Assistant Director, Marketing & Communication

Northwestern University

About Northwestern University:

Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.

Position Details

Assistant Director, Marketing & Communication
Chicago Illinois
Chicago, IL

Department: MED-NU-CATS Institute

Salary/Grade: EXS/8

Job Summary:

The NUCATS Assistant Director is responsible for a wide variety of design, creation, and production elements. The Assistant Director serves as a production focal point for print and electronic publications (e.g., monthly newsletter, weekly NUCATS Minute), NUCATS website (, as well as social media outreach via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. The Assistant Director also serves as a key liaison to collaborative initiatives with the other two Chicagoland CTSA hubs, including The New Normal campaign, on-line research recruitment portal, and research podcast. The position develops and manages communication strategies and campaigns for high profile NUCATS initiatives, and compiles testimonials from faculty and study team members supported by NUCATS resources for dissemination to our funding agency, clinical affiliates, FSM community, and internally to NUCATS staff.

Specific Responsibilities:

Design, implement, and monitor an Institute-wide communications strategic plan, with a focus on both internal and external audiences. Collaborate with NUCATS leadership, Feinberg School of Medicine, and other University partners and clinical affiliates to develop, test, and implement a new “just-in-time” approach to research communications, enabling investigators and study team members to receive precision-targeted information (the right information at the right time) regarding relevant resources and services that maximize efficiency and translational impact. Partner with NUCATS colleagues to develop Center/Program-level communications strategic plans, focusing both on long-term branding as well as event-specific needs. Develop multiple templates (e.g., flyers, email announcement, social media push) for NUCATS team members to utilize as needed, and provide training on these resources. Work with University offices to give presentations and host information tables at various trainings and fairs.

Write, edit, proof, format, and publish articles, stories, and announcements on a regular basis via email, social media, monthly NUCATS newsletter, Feinberg School of Medicine publications, and print media. Maintain and continually update the NUCATS website (using Cascade content management system), provide guidance to each NUCATS Center/Program on website content, and establish standardized communications guidelines for all dissemination materials. Collaborate with the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Communications team to meet FSM website standards. Manage social media outlets, by posting content (such as images and short videos) on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

Create and distribute electronic and printed communications/marketing materials (brochures, newsletters, event signage, presentations, handouts), including selecting and resizing images. Organize and maintain photo and story archives.

Identify and develop strategic plans for external communications with the goal of increasing participation in clinical trials, through marketing initiatives and publications. Communicate and collaborate with other related institutions (e.g., other two Chicagoland CTSA hubs, the Institute for Translational Medicine and the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Science), and focus on developing strong relationships with key partners in the Chicagoland area as well as the Chicago Department of Public Health. Market and broadly disseminate clinical research for the entire enterprise, including via the on-line research recruitment portal and research podcast production and dissemination. Conduct interviews and edit scripts for podcast episodes. Act as a liaison between NUCATS and the FSM and Northwestern Medicine communications teams.

Manage the NUCATS Navigator service request program, serving as the key contact for assigning questions and service requests to the appropriate NUCATS Center/Program team member.

Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree in a major such as communications, marketing, or related discipline; OR appropriate combination of education and experience. 
  • Four years of public relations, marketing, and/or communications experience, including writing press releases and designing communications materials utilizing software such as Adobe Creative Cloud; or other relevant experience required.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Project management skills and demonstrated ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously. 
  • Strong computer skills to include advanced use of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe software programs. 
  • Ability to identify, research, and solve problems. 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including attention to grammar and syntax. 
  • Excellent attention to detail. 
  • Ability to work independently and collaborate with others as needed. 
  • Experience with website management using HTML and/or content management system. (e.g., Cascade)

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Knowledge of clinical trials and research management. 
  • Experience with event planning.

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