The Who, What, Where of Careers:
Science Outreach


Interested in bringing career speakers to your university??? Learn more about Careers in Microbial Sciences!

What does this person do? 

  • Organizes activities that promote communication and training of science students
  • Conducts needs-based assessments from the targeting population
  • Initiates new programs to cover gaps in communication and training
  • Lobby/searches for funding sources to support programs
  • Creates relationships with potential volunteers/vendors to assist in programming
  • Created marketing materials and promotes programs

Where does this person work?   

  • Nonprofit agencies
  • Universities and colleges

Education and Experience Requirements:

The degrees and experience for this position vary:

  • Positions focused on science communication require a BS, MS, or PhD in science fields and may require a journalism degree
  • Positions focused on the training/curriculum of science students require a BS, MS, or PhD in science, higher education, or career advising
  • Director-level positions require a BS, MS, or PhD with many years of relevant experience

What to Consider before Entering the Profession:

  • Do you like traveling and meeting people? At nonprofits, you attend conferences to recruit volunteers for programs and promote your activities.
  • The work you do stands behind the company’s name, not yours, i.e., there is little opportunity for scientific publishing in journals.


Want to learn more? Check out the additional resources.

FoR Changing Science: From Academia for Nonprofit

Garypic LPAs a bright high school student in Scotland, Gary McDowell applied for a summer course in biochemistry in London, and as much as it felt like it was a shot in the dark, he got in. Gary’s passion for science was ignited and he started on a path towards a productive scientific career. He completed his BA, Master’s and Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge and completed two postdocs at the Boston Children’s Hospital and Tufts University. “There is this sense of inevitability - that if you’re smart, you’re expected to pursue a career in science,” says Gary. Gary is now an Executive Director for a nonprofit that focuses on improving the scientific research endeavor.  



Read about the career path of Editor-in-chief of Microbiology Today, Laura Bowater. 

Download this article, which was orginally published in the Cultures magazine.

The Intersection of Science, Technology, and Society: Counselor & Strategic Advisor of the Secretary of State

LibbiePrescottLibbie Prescott shares her insights from an ASM Congressional Fellow to a Counselor & Strategic Adviser to the Secretary of State. 

Download this article, which originally appeared in the Cultures Magazine.

Calibrating your Scientific Voice: Science Communication

Dr. Elisha Wood-Charlson works for the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE). SCOPE’s mission is to measure, model, and predict interactions between ocean microbes and their environment. As the Research/Communications Program Manager, Dr. Wood-Charlson facilitates the sharing and synthesis of SCOPE activities and data products with many scientists from different research areas. Read what she has to say about ways to effectively communicate science and her transition into a career in science communication.