Adjunct Faculty: Science Writing (Graduate Level)

Johns Hopkins University
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Feb 25, 2020

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Humanities, English & Literature, Other Humanities, Professional Fields, Journalism, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Political Science & International Relations, Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Editing & Publications Management
Employment Level
Employment Type
Part Time

The Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) division seeks non-tenure track adjunct faculty to teach various online science writing courses, including 491.658 – Techniques of Science-Medical Writing; 491.697 – Literature of Science; 491.696 -- Nature of Nature; 491.750 – Contemporary Science-Medical Writing: Creative and Professional Forms; 491.719 – Technology Tools, Multimedia and Digital Publications for Science Writers; and 491.673 – Science-Medical Writing Workshop in the MA in Science Writing Program. The MA in Science Writing Program prepares students for careers with popular science magazines, research agencies, universities, and other outlets that communicate science widely. Of particular interest are candidates who have experience engaging students from diverse backgrounds.

Course Descriptions

491.658 – Techniques of Science-Medical Writing

A core course that develops the reporting, creative and explanatory skills demonstrated by the best science-medical writers. The course features writing assignments and exercises in journalistic and literary writing, plus interviewing, ethics and the use of scientific journals and databases.

491.697 – Literature of Science

In this reading elective, students analyze current and classic books, magazine articles, and newspaper series to discover how the best science, medical, nature, and environmental writers create compelling, entertaining, factual literature. Craft topics include structure, pace, sources, content, explanatory writing, and clear, lyrical language.

491.696 -- Nature of Nature

This reading course focuses on the species and critters and phenomena that make up “nature” (the outdoors, ecosystems, natural history) and human interaction with nature (e.g., travel in, appreciation of, effects on). Students analyze books, essays, and articles from writers who tell gripping, true stories about topics ranging from outdoor adventure to environmental catastrophe to personal reflection. Students will also engage in numerous nature-writing exercises. For this course, you will be taking a step into the wild. Nature writing is considered a subset of science writing. Readings may include authors such as David Quammen, John McPhee, Elizabeth Kolbert, Gretel Ehrlich, and other contemporary writers.

491.750 – Contemporary Science-Medical Writing: Creative and Professional Forms

This core course provides a broad foundation in the diverse forms and venues encountered in contemporary science writing careers. Students learn elements of classic forms, such as essay, profile, news article, and op-ed, and they explore magazines, institutional publications, literary journals, blogs, speeches, and even museum exhibit text. The course covers the differing goals of various forms and how they might be used in multimedia, social networks, and other digital communication.

491.719 – Technology Tools, Multimedia and Digital Publications for Science Writers

An elective course that explores the tools and theories of multimedia storytelling, with examples from cutting-edge digital media, guest lectures by science communicators, and a lot of hands-on practice. Students critique pieces from the real world to learn how multimedia is being used today. They become familiar with tools to create stories using photos, illustrations, audio, video, animation, and data visualization, and they learn about platforms where this content can find an audience.

491.673 – Science-Medical Writing Workshop

In a writing workshop, students receive professional guidance in translating complex scientific, medical, or technological knowledge and research into graceful, lucid prose. Students submit individual essays or articles, or parts of a larger work in progress. Writing submissions are critiqued by peers as well as by the instructor, then revised.


Minimum Qualifications:
  • An advanced degree in Science Writing or in a relevant field, such as Journalism, English, Creative Writing, or a scientific field, with a master’s degree at minimum
  • 1-3 years teaching experience in Nonfiction Writing, Creative Writing, or Journalism
  • 1-3 publications (electronic or print) of original nonfiction in books, journals, magazines or newspapers
Preferred Qualifications:
  • A terminal degree in Science Writing, Nonfiction Writing or in a relevant field, such as Journalism, English, Creative Writing, or a scientific field
  • 1-3 years of graduate level experience teaching Journalism, Nonfiction Writing, or Creative Writing
  • Online teaching experience
Application Instructions

The positions will remain open until filled.

Candidates must submit the following:
  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Teaching evaluations for two most recently taught courses
  • References upon request
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The Johns Hopkins University is committed to equal opportunity for its faculty, staff, and students. To that end, the university does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status or other legally protected characteristic. The university is committed to providing qualified individuals access to all academic and employment programs, benefits and activities on the basis of demonstrated ability, performance and merit without regard to personal factors that are irrelevant to the program involved.

The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.

If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the HR Business Services Office at For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.

The following additional provisions may apply depending on which campus you will work. Your recruiter will advise accordingly.

During the Influenza ("the flu") season, as a condition of employment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employees who provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result in termination of employment.

The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, working with research subjects, or involving community contact requires documentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provide results of blood tests or immunization documentation from their own health care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no cost in our Occupational Health office.

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