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Project Manager, Communications Specialist

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Maryland, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Aug 28, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Public Relations and Communications
Education, Other Fields, Research
Employment Type
Full Time
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HHMI’s biomedical research and science education efforts rely on targeted and timely communication. Our three major program areas - Science, Science Education, and the Janelia Research Campus – regularly communicate new program competitions; announce awardees; market programs to new and growing audiences; and promote the students, scientists, and institutions whom HHMI supports. To achieve this work, the Communications team strategizes, produces, distributes, and evaluates a wide variety of content, in partnership with program stakeholders. 


In our busy, mission-driven environment, we need a Project Manager who can help us stay organized and on track by developing and maintaining project management practices and tools that align and integrate Communications team deliverables to support key initiatives. Reporting to the Chief of Communications, the Project Manager will primarily collaborate within the Communications team with team members responsible for external, internal, and editorial communication. The Project Manager also will serve in a consultative role with program partners for select Science, Science Education, and Janelia Research Campus initiatives.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities


With supervision by the Chief of Communications, execute project management of communications to support select initiatives of HHMI’s Science, Science Education, and Janelia Research Campus programs. Duties include:

  • Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate projects to ensure on-time delivery of Communications products that meet stakeholder expectations.

  • Develop and manage flexible and dynamic project schedules consisting of internal and external communication deliverables; incorporate project structure, including decision points, dependencies, and how to resolve questions.

  • Develop and manage project artifacts, such as project calendars, briefs, and after-action reviews, with openness, transparency, and integration for all team members.

  • Manage project changes by anticipating, embracing, and executing change management practices.  

  • Manage outside support or services by vendors, from contract through deliverables and close-out, for activity such as media buys, photography, video, and other creative and strategic services. Track spending and manage budget reporting, in collaboration with the HHMI Communications Office Manager.

  • Research, implement, and maintain project management software tools for creative collaboration by the entire Communications team. Optimize tools for relevance and ease of use by the team.

  • Share project management best practices with Communications team members, as part of the team’s continuous development.

  • Other duties as needed to support the Communications’ team’s work with and for programs and Operations.



  • This is an individual contributor role with no supervisory or budget responsibilities.



  • Bachelor’s degree required.



  • At least 5-8 years in a project management role in communications or another creative field required. Experience in nonprofit or higher education settings strongly preferred.

  • PMP certification preferred.

  • Demonstrated experience generating project management artifacts

  • Proficiency with the full Microsoft Office 365 suite required.

  • Proven presentation experience; ability to create engaging and visually appealing PowerPoint decks.

  • Experience with some project management tools (e.g., Asana, Trello, MS Project, AirTable, Kanban) required.


Skills and Abilities

  • Consultative skill to question, understand, and interpret the roles, needs, and styles of stakeholders in a matrixed and ambiguous environment.

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills; proven ability to work collaboratively, build rapport, and instill trust while strategically and inclusively connect with a variety of stakeholders.

  • Ability to anticipate, analyze, and mitigate conflict in project execution.

  • Ability to partner with conceptual thinkers, helping them chart and focus on a path to execution through specific tasks to achieve project success.

  • Ability to exercise independent judgment amid competing priorities.

  • Eye for detail and ability to execute with care and precision.

  • Exceptional time management skills.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; ability to succinctly express ideas.


Physical Requirements


Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet).


Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.


Please Note


This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however.  Unless they begin with the word “may,” the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are “essential functions” of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.


HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer
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