Associate Director, Research Engagement Communication

The Micheal J. Fox Foundation

Posted: 6/11/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Other

Primary domain: Other

City: New York City

Postal code: 1001

State: New York

Country: United States

Organization Information:


Not Available


Mission statement:

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) was founded in 2000 with one clear objective: finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease in our lifetime. The Foundation applies extraordinary scientific, business and media assets to this singular focus—thus creating a unique and dynamic organization. Since inception, MJFF has quickly grown into the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s disease research worldwide, having funded more than $800 million in research projects in academic and industry labs worldwide. We exist to put ourselves out of business, so we deliberately hold no endowment but instead spend what we raise quickly and efficiently; 88 cents of every dollar spent goes directly to research programs. Core to our philosophy is how we think of our capital and its risk profile relative to other stakeholders in the drug development pipeline. We work aggressively to de-risk various treatment ideas and tools in the hopes of building a robust pipeline of new treatments for patients. Today, the Foundation has about 145 full-time employees, who are primarily based in New York City.


Position Details:

Job Description:

The Communications team is seeking an Associate Director, Research Engagement Communications, to manage a wide range of communications in support of research engagement and patient education. This position will develop communications strategies and write and edit content that supports recruitment and retention for our sponsored studies. It will also be responsible for communications that convey the objectives of our robust patient education programs and advocacy efforts. The Associate Director, Research Engagement Communications, is a key member of the Foundation’s Communications and Content Strategies team and works in close collaboration with staff in Marketing and Research Partnerships. The person in this role has the opportunity to help change the future for Parkinson’s patients by contributing to the success of therapeutic research.


The successful candidate will bring 5 to 7 years of relevant communications experience, preferably in health care, patient advocacy or life sciences settings. A proven ability to think strategically, distill complex messages and craft persuasive, clearly written material is a must. This is an onsite position in our New York City (Midtown West) office and is not conducive to telecommuting. Some travel may be required.


Responsibilities include:

  • Developing communications strategies to increase patient understanding of and engagement with Parkinson’s clinical research;
  • Executing research communications plans, including writing and editing presentations, blog posts, press releases, print collateral, social media postings, scripts, web content and other collateral as needed;
  • Liaising with the Research Partnerships team to strategize and develop content that supports recruitment and retention efforts for Foundation-sponsored trials;
  • Assisting with promotion for patient education events and developing event materials, as needed;
  • Coordinating policy communications activities to include blog posts, action alerts and other materials, as needed.
  • Proofreading and copy editing;
Contributing to project and administrative support for the department, including overseeing the processing of invoices and expense reports, tracking/maintaining media files, managing vendor relationships  


Qualifications and Skills:

  • Undergraduate degree and a minimum of 5-7 years’ experience in marketing, communications or PR, preferably within the health care or life sciences industries
  • Understanding of recruitment and retention process for clinical studies preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to translate complex scientific concepts into compelling stories (please be prepared to share a portfolio of your best samples)
  • Ability to connect research findings with the Foundation’s mission and put our work in the context of the larger Parkinson’s landscape
  • Experience developing and executing communications strategies and plans that are aligned with business objectives
  • Experience using blogs and social media as a distribution channel for the promotion of news and cultivation of community
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Ability to work with people at all levels; diplomatic personality
  • Sense of humor and ability to remain calm and professional under pressure


Finalist candidates will be asked to take a writing test.


Every member of the Communications team at MJFF must demonstrate a track record of hard work, strong attention to detail, excellent project management and the ability to meet competing deadlines and manage multiple projects at once.


The Michael J. Fox Foundation is known for its optimistic, problem-solving approach to Parkinson’s drug development, and has an established organizational voice — a tone of excellence (high-quality journalistic inquiry that is authoritative but never arrogant), simplicity (while avoiding oversimplification of technical material), directness (speaking plainly and never sugar-coating) and authenticity (never overpromising, never biased). The Associate Director, Research Engagement Communications, will be expected to work to absorb this voice and quickly incorporate it in their writing.



Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:


Interested candidates should submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter describing their specific qualifications and interest here. Submissions without cover letters will not be considered. Please, no telephone inquiries and do not contact our staff directly. Only applicants who best match the position needs will be contacted.



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