Plants & People

We’re looking for new editors

Want to spread the word about Botany, or know somebody who won't shut up about plants? We have the perfect role. Deadline May 3, 2022
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We are seeking two creative and independent science communicators to join the Botany One online magazine team as an Editor. Botany One posts stories from a wide range of credible sources, including scientific journals. Science Editors commission original content, provides editorial guidance to contributors, and identify and develops new ideas for promoting botany and inspiring the next generation of botanists. They do this with the mission of making plant science research accessible to a wider audience. These individuals must be excellent writers, editors, mentors, and communicators who can work with students, scientists, and other members of the botany community.

A young woman of colour using her laptop in a field of tall plants. It would seem that Alun has a literal interpretation of 'reporting on the scientific field'.
An editor reporting on the field. Image: Canva.

The Scientific Editors are strategic thinkers with expertise in writing and editing science communication such as in blog posts and social media. The ideal candidates will have experience developing high-quality pieces translating science to multiple audiences. The Editors will be key contributors to creating content and broadening the readership of Botany One.

This position reports to Alun Salt, Producer of Botany One.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Conceptualising, commissioning, and editing original material for blog posts.
  • Mentoring guest contributors in science communication and writing.
  • Leading the development of themed writing initiatives.
  • Identifying and develops new ideas for promoting botany and inspiring the next generation of botanists.
  • Coordinating timely publication of content on the website, social channels and through email communications.
  • Promoting diversity, inclusivity, and equity within Botany One.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in botany, ecology, plant cell/molecular biology, plant modelling, or relevant field.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills for effective communication and collaboration.
  • Have an interest in science communication.
  • Previous experience writing about complex scientific topics for a general audience, based on reading primary research papers and interviewing scientists.
  • Previous experience in mentoring others.
  • Previous experience writing such as for social media, blog posts, communications or journalism, including writing and editing news stories or press releases.

Preferred Education, Experience and Skills:

  • PhD in botany, ecology, plant cell/molecular biology, plant modelling, or relevant field.
  • Demonstrated ability to translate complex scientific concepts accurately and engagingly to non-scientific audiences
  • Excellent organisational skills with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Demonstrated ability to work under tight deadlines, respond to dynamic Company needs in a timely manner and respond effectively to editorial comments
  • Ability to be goal-oriented, self-motivated, reliable, detail-oriented, articulate and poised; and to possess personal integrity and sound judgement

The role can be carried out remotely, so applicants will be considered from anywhere in the world. Remuneration will be in the form of an honorarium of £6,000 for an estimated 5 hours per week. Payment will be quarterly in pound sterling – which may fluctuate in value compared to your local currency. Given the limited hours of working, it is not anticipated that the Editor will do much writing personally, but rather encourage it in others.

There will be the opportunity to attend in-person and virtual meetings, both scientific and of the Company.

The initial appointment will be for two years.

Application questions

Please provide a short response to each of the points below:

  1. What is your level of education? You must at least have a Master’s degree for this position.
  2. What is your career stage? (e.g. PhD Student, Post-doc, returning from a career break)
  3. What is/was the focus of your education/research? It must be related to Botany (e.g., ecology, plant cell/molecular biology, or plant modelling)
  4. Provide links to your social media and web presence. Highlight how these make you uniquely qualified for this position.
  5. Demonstrate that you have an interest in science communication (e.g. outreach work, blog posts, social media, society membership)
  6. Demonstrate that you have experience in mentoring and/or editing.
  7. Are you fluent in any languages other than English?
  8. Are you a member of an underrepresented minority or group in science?
  9. What is unique about you and how can it be applied to Botany One?

If selected for an interview, candidates should be ready to elaborate on answers to the questions above and:

  • Present novel ideas for Botany One.
  • Discuss what Botany One does well, could do better, where it can be improved.

To Apply

Submit the requested documents to Hugh Dickinson, Chair, Annals of Botany Company at hugh.dickinson@plants.ox.ac.uk by May 3 (09:00 GMT). For further information on the post, contact Alun Salt (Digital Producer, Botany One) at webmaster@botany.one.

Requested Documents

  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Answers to the application questions

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