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16 Aug 2021

Full-Time Civic Science Fellow

Science Philanthropy Alliance – Posted by Science Philanthropy Alliance Anywhere

Science Philanthropy Alliance

Job Description


  • NVF Project Name: Science Philanthropy Alliance
  • Position: Civic Science Fellow
  • Location: Remote, with potential travel to Civic Science Fellow program events and workshops in the United States
  • Status: Full time, Exempt
  • Reports to: Senior Advisor
  • Timing: September 2021–February 2023

About the Science Philanthropy Alliance
The Science Philanthropy Alliance aims to increase philanthropic support for basic scientific research. Drawing on its distinguished senior science advisors and a membership base of leading science funders, the Alliance provides advising services and learning opportunities to help philanthropists expand the world’s knowledge and lay the scientific groundwork for lifesaving, economy-changing breakthroughs.

In the U.S. alone, individuals (including family foundation grants and bequests) gave more than $400B to charity in 2020. The research enterprise, including academic institutions, relies on philanthropic funding like this to support fundamental basic research, especially those projects beyond the risk tolerance or time scales of government funding streams. The science philanthropy community also plays a pivotal role in funding researchers at all career levels, establishing infrastructure like laboratories and institutes, and elevating awareness of science’s importance to society.

About The Rita Allen Foundation’s Civic Science Fellows Program
The goal of the Civic Science Fellows program is to catalyze widespread, inclusive engagement with emerging science and its societal implications. In the face of rapidly changing culture, media, and science, the program is being designed to create new capacity across organizations working at the many interfaces of science and society. Civic Science Fellows are cross-disciplinary thinkers working in partnership with diverse communities, institutions, scientific leaders, and funders.

About the Opportunity
How can philanthropy help build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive research enterprise? What lessons can be learned from past efforts? What opportunities lie ahead for philanthropists as a growing number recognize the influence of systemic racism and discrimination on their work?

Reporting to the Alliance’s senior advisor and working in close collaboration with the director of communications, the Alliance’s next Civic Science Fellow will examine these questions in a series of journalistic pieces, case studies, and other materials that draw insight from the Alliance’s network. As a conduit for peer-to-peer learning among philanthropic funders, this content will play an important role in the Alliance’s ongoing advising work.

To be clear, we don’t expect this fellow to answer such pressing questions on their own, but we believe thoughtful examination by a skilled writer can help the science philanthropy community learn from the past, better understand the present, and take action toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future for the research enterprise.

As a Civic Science Fellow at the Alliance, you will…

  • Author blog posts, case studies, articles, and other written materials that explore DEI in a way that prompts discussion and thinking within the science philanthropy community.
  • Engage with funders to support the Alliance’s advising projects as needed.
  • Develop an editorial calendar of key themes and topics to explore in a regular cadence of written pieces through the course of the fellowship.
  • Conduct a survey of existing research and reports related to DEI in science and philanthropy to inform content and the Alliance’s engagements with funders.
  • Interview DEI issue experts, philanthropists, and those most affected by discrimination within the research enterprise, translating that knowledge into engaging, informative content.
  • Research and create a member practice document that aggregates lessons and insights gained throughout the fellowship to inform philanthropists on their own DEI journey.
  • Participate in the Alliance’s DEI shared interest group discussions with members, including collaboration with other fellows to scope and shape topic areas.
  • Be an active member of the Civic Science Fellows community, including responsibilities for learning opportunities, networking events, and other mission-aligned activities organized by the fellowship program.

We’d love to hear from you if you have the following:

  • Experience in journalism, science communications, consulting, or a related field with a strong emphasis on written content grounded in research, expert interviews, and perspective from individuals with lived experience.
  • A portfolio of written work that shows your ability to distill complex topics into informative pieces for varied audiences.
  • Demonstrated passion for DEI and social justice, preferably with experience writing about the topics and/or helping organizations advance in their own DEI journeys.
  • Ability to set and meet deadlines for a range of short- and long-form written content.
  • Willingness to tactfully ask tough questions and explore hard truths around topics such as harassment, discrimination, and systemic racism.
  • Prior experience working in the philanthropic sector or the research enterprise is preferred but not required.

Don’t have all the qualification above but still think you’d be great at this job? We encourage you to apply and tell us why in your cover letter.

The Alliance offers a comprehensive benefits package including a competitive salary, full medical/dental/disability/life insurance benefits, retirement plan participation and flexible spending accounts, vacation, personal, and volunteer leave benefits. The annual salary range for this position is $80,000 – $90,000.

How to Apply

Application Process Please submit the following to with “Civic Science Fellow” in the subject line:
  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Two writing samples (Please do not write new pieces for this application.)
The Science Philanthropy Alliance and the Rita Allen Foundation are committed to fostering diversity and inclusion in science philanthropy and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.
New Venture Fund Careers: Science Philanthropy Alliance is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.

Job Categories: Philanthropy. Job Types: Full-Time.

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