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Applied Physics Laboratory Communications Strategist - Research & Exploratory Development Department in Laurel, Maryland

Position Description

Are you an experienced and creative communications professional who loves using your skills to craft compelling research stories?

Do you enjoy working with diverse teams and scientists, leading them through the communications strategy process to ensure their message comes alive?

Do you have an unquenchable curiosity along with the ability to translate highly technical information and ideas?

We're seeking a Communications Strategist to work with our Research and Exploratory Development Department (REDD) and Intelligence Systems Center (ISC) at APL to tell unique stories to both internal and external audiences. As a newly-created position, the communications strategist will serve as trusted advisor to our technical staff and collaborate with our creative team to tell captivating stories and create compelling content.

As a communications strategist you will:

  • Oversee and execute communications strategies by working closely with REDD’s leadership and technical staff.

  • Translate complex research and technical topics including journal articles and scientific reports into understandable and visually compelling communications products.

  • Act individually and with a team of creatives to craft captivating content for external and internal audiences, including, but not limited to: articles, graphics, presentations, marketing materials, displays, events, digital media, and more.

  • Serve as a trusted strategic advisor, crafting clear messages and selecting appropriate channels, as needed.

  • Foster partnerships both inside and outside the Laboratory to share our important work.

  • Provide thought-leadership on emerging trends in communications and design.

  • Show our technical staff members how the state-of-the-art in communications can be combined with precise audience research and best practices to truly make their work come alive!


* You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you have:*

  • A Bachelor's degree in communications, graphic design, English, journalism, marketing, public relations, science, social sciences or a related field.

  • At least six years of demonstrated experience in strategic research communications, to include branding, collateral creation, and integrated campaigns based on research and analysis.

  • Demonstrated experience in assessing multifaceted situations and collaborating across complex organizations.

  • Experience working with creative teams in a dynamic environment.

  • An aptitude for analyzing and leveraging data in the development and presentation of compelling message content.

  • Excellent written, verbal, interpersonal, analytical, critical thinking, project management and organizational communications skills.

  • An ability to operate independently, set priorities, and adjudicate competing needs in a fast-paced organization.

  • The ability to obtain a Secret security clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.

You'll go above and beyond if you have:

  • More than 10 years of demonstrated experience in strategic research communications.

  • Familiarity with one or more scientific or technical subjects, including, but not limited to: engineering, computer science, homeland security, defense, national security, space science, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, synthetic biology or related subjects.

  • An understanding of science writing and the peer-review process.

  • Worked with government, DoD, academic, or research staff.

  • Experience with reputation management and executive communications.

  • Proficiency in developing, managing, and marketing successful and sophisticated cross-channel communications campaigns.

  • A Secret-level (or higher) security clearance

Why Work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation’s most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.

At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL’s campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities


Primary Location: United States-Maryland-*Laurel

Req ID: 24369