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  • Non Union

Job Category

  • AAPS


AAPS Salaried
  • Information Services, Level A

Job Title

Communication Specialist


Research | Blakney | Michael Smith Laboratories | Faculty of Science

Compensation Range

  • $7,294.50 CAD Monthly

Posting End Date

July 26, 2021

Note: Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM on the day prior to the Posting End Date above.

Job End Date Aug 1, 2022

Job Summary

The Communication Specialist will be responsible for managing Dr. Blakney's TikTok and social media accounts and organizing community events to promote vaccine confidence (80% of time) and managing the social media channels of the School of Biomedical Engineering (20% of time). This position will develop and implement strategies to enhance the brand and reputation of both. Dr. Blakney is a faculty member in the Michael Smith Laboratories and School of Biomedical Engineering (SBME), both of which are highly interdisciplinary and collaborative research environments. This position will create materials for social media platforms, the web, video, and print to promote vaccine confidence, as well as the research, people, education, and outreach programs of the SBME.

Organizational Status

The Communication Specialist reports to Dr. Blakney (80%) and SBME's Manager of Communications and Engagement (20%) and will work with both in managing a broad range of communication activities. This position will liaise with UBC Media Relations, Faculties of Science, Applied Science, and Medicine, UBC Brand, UBC Knowledge Exchange Unit, and Indigenous Research Support Initiative (IRSI), other academic units within the University as necessary, and key external stakeholders.

Work Performed

Blakney Lab:

  • Establishes, manages, and executes communication initiatives; this includes shooting, editing, captioning, and posting TikTok videos and other social media content where applicable.
  • Researches and prepares a weekly digest of news stories pertaining to developments with COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Manages social media, creates content, monitors strategic use and develops existing and new communication channels in order to build a network of followers.
  • Participates in the planning and coordination of TikTok live events or community Q&A events either in person or via Zoom.
  • Carries out graphic design and illustration work in support of online, print and digital projects to reinforce the brand.
  • In coordination with UBC Media Relations, cultivates relationships with the media, response to media and public inquiries and tracks media exposure.
  • Engages with a wide breadth of stakeholders, including communicators and media relations staff at the Faculties, partner departments, researcher centers and external partners to ensure a timely, relevant and mutually beneficial flow of relevant information.
  • Ensure the communications are maintained with UBC Brand standards, across all channels.
  • Other Duties as Assigned.


  • Collaborate with SBME Communications team on social media strategy and content execution.
  • Launch and maintain an SBME TikTok account.
  • Expand and maintain SBME Instagram Content Streams.
  • Look through SBME Content (Podcast, Videos, etc.) for quick-fire social media clips.
  • Ensure SBME social media communications adhere to SBME brand standards.
  • Promote SBME and partner content across all SBME Social Media Channels.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

The image and reputation of the Blakney Lab and School of Biomedical Engineering depends strongly on its presentation to the community of researchers around the world. Errors in this position could be serious for the department and/or Faculty and/or the University since it concerns the public image. This may make it more difficult to recruit faculty or students to the department, and may ultimately negatively affect funding opportunities.

Supervision Received

Works dependently and reports to Dr. Blakney (80%) and SBME's Manager of Communications and Engagement (20%). This position exercises discretion in day-to-day decision making, and performance will be evaluated against set objectives. Works collaboratively with staff, faculty members and students on events and special projects as necessary.

Supervision Given

This position does not have supervisory responsibilities.

Minimum Qualifications

Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. University degree in a discipline such as biomedical engineering, molecular biology, medical genetics, or biomedical sciences is considered an asset. Minimum of four years' experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Demonstrated working experience in marketing, communications, journalism, and media relations/PR. Experience working in the higher education sector related to science would be an asset.

  • Ability to communicate effectively with the media and public relations agencies.
  • Working knowledge of contemporary communications strategies and practices.
  • Demonstrated experience working with a range of audiences including researchers, journalists, community groups, etc.
  • Ability to effectively use social media platforms at an advanced level (e.g. TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and graphic design software (Adobe suite), and Microsoft Office suite.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, organization and analytical skills as well as effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a complex and demanding environment with a high level of attention to detail.
  • Ability to conducts needs analyses, plan, organize, manager, monitor, complete and evaluate projects within allocated time and resources.
  • Ability to research, understand and recommend new and evolving solution.
  • Ability to anticipate problems and issues and plan ahead.
  • Ability to compose correspondence, reports, presentations, and other written materials using clear, concise language. Accurately proofread for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Ability to exercise tact and discretion.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.

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