Communications Specialist

by Western University

Reference #: 18654
Position Type: Temporary
Location: London, ON
Date Posted: Feb 27, 2020
Experience: 5 Years
Western University

Job Description

Western ranks as one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities. From fundamental to applied discovery, its researchers advance knowledge that provides tangible benefits for the economic, social, health and cultural development of citizens in London, in Canada and around the world. While the University has achieved acclaim for research in a full complement of disciplines, it has identified signature areas in which global-scale clusters of research excellence have been established, including Neuroscience/Brain & Mind.

Western University's BrainsCAN initiative received a substantial $66 million investment from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) – the largest research grant in the university's history – providing a significant boost to ongoing research in cognitive neuroscience and imaging at Western.

The goal of BrainsCAN is to significantly reduce the impact of cognitive disorders across the lifespan. To do this, our scientific approach will identify how cognitive markers map onto specific brain networks using our state of the art behavioral and imaging platforms.

Already ranked amongst the best in the world in cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging, Western excels in the breadth of cognitive, computational, clinical, technological, and translational approaches required for understanding and intervening in brain function.

Western will partner with researchers at McGill University to leverage complementary expertise to better understand disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, traumatic brain injury, and schizophrenia.

The Communications Specialist will work in collaboration with the Executive Director, the BrainsCAN team, Communications & Public Affairs and Research Western to determine the direction of communications and marketing strategies for BrainsCAN. The incumbent will manage the development, implementation, monitoring and assessment of a broad range of communications and marketing initiatives, with a goal of building and promoting BrainsCAN's brand, reputation, and an awareness of research initiatives, locally, nationally, and internationally.  The Communications Specialist will determine the most effective communications and marketing programs and initiatives to implement in order to achieve strategic outcomes, and will provide advice on related matters.  The incumbent will protect, promote, and enhance the reputation of BrainsCAN, the University and its people by effectively managing communications strategies, generating positive news and media coverage of the University, and ensuring adherence with University communication and branding policies and guidelines. The incumbent will lead and oversee a variety of events within BrainsCAN, with different purposes, audiences and content.

-   Undergraduate Degree in Communications, Public Relations, Journalism or Related program
-   Undergraduate Degree in Life Sciences preferred
-   Completion of or working towards Project Management Professional (PMP) certification
-   Certificate in public relations, marketing or graphic design preferred
-   International Association of Business Communicators Designation completed or in progress

-   5 years’ experience leading and implementing strategic communications plans with responsibility for managing projects and developing creative, persuasive and effective communications in an academic or health care environment
-   Experience developing relationships and working with project partners including leading meetings and workshops
-   Experience developing, managing and planning of small to large-scale events including conferences
-   Graphic design skills and web design experience

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
-   In-depth knowledge of e-communication tools including website and graphic design principles and with social media platforms relevant to internal and external stakeholders
-   Knowledge of theory and best practices in media relations and public affairs and with marketing trends and best practices
-   In-depth knowledge of principles of writing, including grammar and style, argument, and coherence with attention to detail, proofreading abilities and an excellent command of the English language
-   Project management skills to manage multiple projects simultaneously from conception to completion within tightly prescribed timelines
-   Ability to collaborate across internal and external boundaries to meet common objectives, improve outcomes and support work beyond one's own unit
-   Compelling and persuasive communication skills to engage individuals and teams inside and outside the University
-   Ability to analyze metrics and consider past communications to craft engaging written communications using social media or other appropriate channels
-   Ability to apply creativity and recommend strategies for engagement initiatives in response to cultural and social trends
-   Ability to think creatively and use a non-prescriptive approach in marketing and communications initiatives
-   Critical thinking and analytical skills to assess complex higher education issues of concern to stakeholders, including the media, the public, and prospective donors
-   Demonstrated intercultural competency and knowledge of cross-cultural research and work practices
-   Ability to quickly re-allocate resources and adjust priorities in response to unexpected events or changing circumstances
-   Intermediate computer skills in Microsoft Office, with the ability to learn and use relevant software (web-based content management systems, Adobe Creative Suite/InDesign, basic photography skills and use of Photoshop, file management and transfer systems) that achieves required outcomes and is in line with best practices
-   Ability to interact professionally with students, staff, faculty, and other members of the University community
-   Familiarity with University research policies and procedures preferred

Interested applicants are asked to visit: to apply online to job reference #18654, by midnight on April 5, 2020. Please note, this is a temporary full-time contract opportunity with an expected end date of July 1, 2021 to cover a leave of absence.

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Western is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, members of racialized groups/visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment process.  If you require accommodations for interviews or other meetings, please contact Human Resources at or phone 519-661-2194.