Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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Science Writer, Donor Relations

Science Writer, Donor Relations

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full time
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Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute brings together world renowned clinicians, innovative researchers and dedicated professionals, allies in the common mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. Combining extremely talented people with the best technologies in a genuinely positive environment, we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all ages; we conduct research that advances treatment; we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers; we reach out to underserved members of our community; and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.


Since its inception, Dana-Farber has placed a unique emphasis on all forms of research relevant to the eradication of cancer while, at the same time, providing both cutting-edge and highly compassionate comprehensive patient care.  This distinguished model is absolutely necessary and very expensive. As a result, hundreds of thousands of donors entrust Dana-Farber with philanthropic gifts every year. Science Writers translate the latest accomplishments from our outstanding group of investigators into compelling narrative reports that update donors on the impact of their gifts. 


Our team of Science Writers is a key link between our dedicated oncologists, scientists, fundraisers, and donors who comprise the wide Dana-Farber community. Science Writers take complex information and communicate it clearly, concisely, and accurately to explain key concepts to Institute donors. As a Science Writer, you interpret some of the foremost challenges in cancer care and research in order to convey scientific insights that are both deep and broad. 


Embody Dana-Farber’s Core Values: Impact; Excellence; Compassion & Respect; and Discovery every day. Add value to the Dana-Farber community by seeking opportunities to collaborate across the Institute.  Foster an ethical, positive, results-oriented culture founded on open communication. 



  • Thoroughly research and understand all aspects pertaining to a specific portfolio of reports, including basic science, research programs, and cancer treatment centers at Dana-Farber. This includes reading, analyzing, and interpreting press releases, scientific papers, results from clinical trials, and content from technical lectures;
  • Skillfully conduct interviews with clinicians, investigators, and cancer care professionals to elicit new perspectives, scientific context, specific accomplishments, incremental and major results, direct quotes, ideas on how to approach the report, names and contact information of other people to interview, and more;
  • Plan and write compelling long-form reports that convey the impact of philanthropic giving. Work closely with frontline fundraisers to develop appropriate tone, content, and donor approach;
  • Write and edit reports in a timely fashion to meet specified deadlines;
  • Review for scientific accuracy the work of Business Units and writers on the Development Communications team. Assist writers to formulate detailed concepts, convey research findings, and prepare written interpretations of data and other information for a primarily lay readership;
  • Contribute as a member of the writing team. Thoughtfully participate in team meetings and share knowledge related to research findings, scientific writing trends, and learning opportunities.
  • Work closely with the Associate Director, Donor Relations and frontline fundraisers to conduct interviews with donors, and faculty, and write short donor profile stories celebrating new major gifts for the donor newsletter, Impact;
  • Actively update internal tracking systems to document information pertaining to interview subjects, the status of research studies, unusual situations, helpful sources, editorial reviews, and more;
  • Responsible for assisting the entire Division with reaching financial goals;
  • Assume other duties as necessary.



  • Reports to Associate Director, Donor Relations
  • There is no supervisory responsibility for this position
  • This individual will work with a variety of individuals throughout the Institute, and collaborate with the members of the Donor Relations team and other Development staff



  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, science writing, science journalism, or related field required; Advanced degree preferred
  • 3-5 years of experience in science writing required



  • The Science Writer must be able to express ideas clearly and logically and should love to write
  • Curiosity, a broad range of knowledge, and perseverance also are necessary
  • The Science Writer must first understand the science, and then translate that knowledge accurately into a form that is both interesting and intelligible to the donor
  • A proven ability to work both collaboratively and independently, and produce high-quality work on deadline is required
  • The Science Writer must be comfortable managing multiple projects, priorities, and deadlines
  • Strong customer-service orientation to understand and assist a wide range of internal stakeholders is required
  • The Science Writer must commit to the highest standards of customer service and professionalism






The Science Writer, Donor Relations, is a 40-hour per week position based in the offices of the Division of Development & the Jimmy Fund. A quiet workspace will be provided. There is no work from home option.  Some use of personal vehicle for business purposes may be required.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.

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