Saint Louis Science Center

  • Senior Director of Science (Regular - Full-Time)

    Job Locations US-MO-St. Louis
    Posted Date 2 days ago(1/14/2019 3:52 PM)
    Job ID
    # of Openings
  • Overview

    “Are you ready to lead Science at the Science Center?”

    The Senior Director of Science leads STEM content and communication within the Division of Science + Education + Experience (SEE) and serves as the foremost champion for science at the Saint Louis Science Center. This position ensures excellent science communication for all audiences including public, school, member, and special groups, and supports content development for education programs, online resources, exhibit interactives, and large-scale exhibitions. This role is integral to positioning the Science Center as a place the community seeks out to engage with science topics of interest to them. In addition, the Sr. Director of Science leads a team of full-time employees, temporary project staff, and several scientists-in-residence facilitating STEM-themed events, festivals, programs, and grant-funded projects.


    10% Department Leadership, Strategy, and Initiatives

    • Be the Saint Louis Science Center’s “Champion for Science”
    • Lead the incubation and launch of new science and technology-based initiatives
    • Direct a comprehensive strategy to integrate STEM content, maintain scientific integrity, and ensure Science Center connections within the STEM professional community
    • Support the development of engagement strategies in cooperation with the Education and Experience teams within SEE
    • Work closely with the Institutional Advancement and Marketing divisions to support fundraising efforts, grant opportunities, and visitation to the Science Center  

    5% Organizational Alignment and Team Participation

    • Serve on the Science Center’s Senior Staff, the SEE Leadership team, and cross-departmental project teams
    • Participate in meetings or the Education Committee of the Board, supporting agenda development and facilitation

     15% Content Development and Scientific Accuracy

    • Serve as STEM content advisor for activities, programs, curriculum, and publications
    • Ensure science content accuracy, currency, and relevance for all material produced or presented by the Science Center
    • Advise and support staff across all departments in communication about controversial topics and hot button issues in STEM
    • Steward the Science Center’s “Institutional Statement on Science and Technology”
    • Establish and manage teams of scientific and expert advisors who will help guide the development and/or facilitation of STEM-focused activities, exhibitions, and programs at the Science Center 

    15% External Relations, Collaborative Partnerships, and Liaison Activities

    • Serve as a liaison for the Chief of SEE to the science and technology communities
    • Provide ongoing leadership and connections to regional STEM professional communities
    • Cultivate relationships, collaborations, partnerships with other institutions and the scientific community
    • Align work with other ZMD institutions, colleges/universities, school districts and community partners to promote collaboration
    • Facilitate the co-development of partnership agreements with colleges and universities and other entities interested in partnering with the Science Center

    15% Science Communication

    • Work with other teams within SEE to establish a process to promote and communicate current scientific discoveries and advancements
    • Serve as a credible spokesperson for the Science Center on STEM topics and provide white papers, bibliographies, and references as needed to support content understanding and accuracy
    • Serve as science content specialist for major permanent and semi-permanent exhibitions as well as special projects such as First Friday
    • Lead the Science Center’s efforts to train scientists in effective public science communication through established programs such as Portal to the Public
    • Lead the Science Center’s efforts to produce SciFest monthly science festivals and special STEM-themed events
    • Lead the overall design and development of the Science Department’s portfolio and engagement strategies for on-site, off-site and online science communication programs
    • Participate in media interviews for STEM-related events and online news


    10% Non-profit Business Management

    • Lead the annual planning and budgeting process for the Science Department
    • Perform periodic risk assessments for new and existing programs and events
    • Help to ensure the proper development, program administration, and facilitation of grants and sponsorships in collaboration with the division Institutional Advancement
    • Ensure the safe and effective use of equipment such as scientific equipment and instruments, robots, portable a/v and digital media systems, and associated learning technologies

     20% Staff Management, Team Leadership, and Supervision

    • Hire, supervise, manage, evaluate, and mentor 3-5 full-time staff, several Scientist(s)-in-Residence, temporary project staff, and event volunteers
    • Manage the overall workload of the department, tracking all projects and the roles of departmental staff on each project in collaboration with the Sr. Director of Program Operations

     5% Professional Development and Coaching

    • Promote and support professional development of team members through effective coaching and periodic performance management
    • Administrate cross-departmental science training programs that foster the expertise needed to boost the Science Center’s “STEM IQ”
    • Ensure Science Department acceptance and adoption of new technologies and business processes

    5% Research and Best Practices

    • Keep up-to-date on the latest science research and best practices in science communication
    • Remain current on best practices in nonprofit leadership and innovation in science centers and museums

    Perform other duties as assigned


    • Ability to demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, and proficiency in using office productivity software applications and cloud-based project/process management solutions
    • Proven ability to effectively lead strategy, planning, and budget processes
    • Good interpersonal skills for interacting with visitors, communities, co-workers, and the STEM community
    • Well organized, flexible, and capable of balancing multiple priorities, projects, and deadlines simultaneously
    • Multiple years of experience in science communication and/or informal science education as well as experience in STEM program development and/or curriculum writing
    • Demonstrated experience or familiarity with program evaluation processes and procedures
    • Ability to translate scientific concepts for inclusion in exhibits and educational programs


    • PhD degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) field, preferred.
    • 5-7 years of relevant project leadership or staff supervisory experience
    • 5-7 years of experience participating in or leading STEM-related research grants and projects
    • Grant writing experience (corporate, federal, and/or foundation) with proven success, preferred
    • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively, in a team environment


    No formal certificates, licenses, or registrations required, but the employee holding this position should be very familiar with the tools and techniques of non-profit leadership, business management, and project management.



    Primary work is in an office environment with occasional supervision and facilitation on the floor during onsite, offsite, and online STEM events and programs as required.



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