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Media relations specialist

Job Summary

The media relations specialist for science and engineering writes and promotes Rice University news releases, news stories, media advisories and expert alerts for local, national and international media outlets and public engagement for his/her assigned beats. They have the capacity to write and synthesize complex scientific materials and communicate highly technical information in an easily understood manner. The position serves as backup for the director as needed. The successful candidate will have a successful track record in journalism, media relations and/or science writing. They will manage tight deadlines, proactively pitching stories and create meaningful, high-quality work on a routine basis. The position requires a thoughtful, organized and results-oriented professional, accustomed to working in a fast-paced environment.

Proposed Hiring Range: Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. This position is exempt and is not eligible for overtime pay, and your salary covers all hours you work in a week.


  • Bachelor’s Degree
    In lieu of the education requirement, additional related experience, above and beyond what is required, may be substituted on an equivalent year-for-year basis.
  • 3+ years of related professional experience in journalism or public relations.


  • Able to write concisely and accurately explain complex scientific subjects in a way that makes them interesting and informative to news media personnel, and understandable to laypersons.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Able to work in a deadline-driven, results-oriented environment with media and public relations professionals and with a wide variety of clients, including Rice faculty, administrators, and students.
  • Able to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously with minimal supervision, adhering to priorities and meeting deadlines.
  • Knowledge of Associated Press style.
  • Strong computer skills.
  • Social media skills.


  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, public relations, English, liberal arts, communications, or related field.
  • Experience in science communication.
  • Five years of related professional experience in journalism or public relations.

Essential Functions

  • Conveys complex subject matter in an engaging and easy-to-understand style by writing news releases, media advisories, expert alerts and stories for Rice News, Rice Magazine, and other venues, as well as posting stories and photos online.
  • Cultivates faculty, staff, students and other sources for stories and expert commentary.
  • Proactively pitches stories, research, expertise and news tips about Rice to reporters, editors and producers.
  • Responds to media requests.
  • Identifies and maintains professional relationships with key media and community leaders.
  • Uses social media to support and promote Rice’s external media efforts.
  • Tracks and reports media placements.
  • Assists in conducting research for and maintaining Rice’s media database.
  • Assists with department’s editing needs.
  • Serves as backup for other team members as needed.
  • Performs all other duties as assigned.

Rice University HR | Benefits:

Rice University Mission and Values:

Rice University is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to diversity at all levels. It considers for employment qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.


Organization: Rice University
Location: Houston TX US
Date Posted: May 14, 2024
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How to Apply

Apply online.

Special instructions to applicants:

Applicants are required to submit four writing samples, preferably a variety that includes straight news reporting, feature writing, science writing and public relations writing. Please save it as one PDF file and attach it under the document section of the application materials along with your resume and cover letter. Links may also be submitted.

109 Lee Hills Hall, Missouri School of Journalism   |   221 S. Eighth St., Columbia, MO 65201   |   573-882-2042   |   |   Privacy Policy
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