Communications Support and Documentation Specialist (NIH)

Rockville, Maryland, United States · Science Programs – NIH · 172 expand job description ↓


Ripple Effect is seeking several full-time Communications Specialists, including Communications Support and Documentation Specialists with an understanding of the NIH grants process and extramural Research Administration (eRA) to work within the Office of Extramural Research (OER) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These individuals will work at the client-site at NIH and the positions are contingent upon the expansion of the Ripple Effect team at OER.

Position Overview

  • Duty Location: Bethesda, MD
  • Position Information: Full-Time, Regular
  • Vacancies: Four Openings
  • Security Level: A security clearance is not required to apply.  Applicants, once hired, may be subject to a security investigation and may need to meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.
  • Travel Required: This position requires occasional local travel (Washington, D.C. area) for work-related meetings
  • Relocation Expenses: No relocation expenses may be authorized for this position


Ripple Effect works with federal, private, and non-profit clients to support some of the most crucial policies and programs that shape our nation. We provide professional consulting services in the areas of: Communications & Outreach; Program Management & Policy; and Research & Evaluation. For this position, we are looking for someone to support the Office of Extramural Research (OER) at NIH. Ripple Effect is an interdisciplinary environment, full of insightful and intentional people who value and reward adaptability, lifelong learning, and authenticity. To learn more about working at Ripple Effect and our growing team, check out the Careers section of our website.

Job Description

Ripple Effect is looking for a highly-organized, detail-orientation Communications Support and Documentation Specialist. The ideal candidate will be well-rounded, creative, personable, deadline-driven and knowledgeable. The individual will need a good work ethic to meet the demands of a fast-paced work environment. Candidate will need to have a strong communications skillset to ensure materials are clear, accurate, timely, and targeted appropriately for the audience.

Specific duties may include:

  • Developing, vetting, and distributing external communications on behalf of the eRA program to its stakeholders
  • Communicating new enhancements and defect fixes in eRA and other software applications associated with the grants process
  • Developing end-user documentation including newsletters for customers
  • Fielding questions from the NIH grant applicant community 
  • Providing NIH grants information support using email, phone, and other systems to grant applicants and others involved in the grant development process 
  • Providing information related to grant requirements, regulations, and guidelines 
  • Providing applicants with information related to funding opportunity announcements and grant application guides 
  • Interpreting NIH grant funding opportunity announcements 
  • Identifying appropriate NIH contacts to discuss specific issues and/or concerns 
  • Ensuring confidentiality and security of all grant related documentation and applicant data 
  • Identifying appropriate communication vehicles and developing, vetting, and distributing external and internal staff communications
  • Attending committee and working group meetings; developing meeting summaries
  • Participating in the implementation of major initiatives to ensure consistency between groups
  • Creating, updating, monitoring, and developing web content, including for eRA, and for social media platforms
  • Identifying the need for outreach to the user community and conducting such outreach, including providing planning and logistical support for large-scale, multi-session events
  • Developing and presenting training courses (both live and online)
  • Creating release notes and other resources including video tutorials
  • Other communications duties including:
    • Developing listserv communications
    • Writing newsletter articles
    • Preparing PowerPoint presentations
    • Developing brochures and marketing materials (fact sheets, FAQs, fliers)
    • Developing graphical representation of concepts
    • Preparing talking points and briefing documents
    • Writing reports
    • Ensuring compliance with various policies and regulations including Section 508, IPV6, Communications Materials and Services, and Vulnerability Scanning
    • Other duties, as assigned


Basic Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in science, communications, or related degree
  • At least 5 years of relevant work experience
  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
  • Ability to work independently, but know when to seek assistance
  • Demonstrated strength in oral and written communications
  • Strong computer skills with expertise in MS Office
    • Ability to work productively in SharePoint to accomplish tasks

Preferred Skills

  • Knowledge of MadCap Flare; knowledge of Agile software development
  • Demonstrated experience managing social media communications and campaigns


Our employees are rewarded in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional benefits, and a range of work/life programs based on employment classification. Benefit offerings may include:

  • Health Benefits – Health, Dental, and Vision
  • Life, long-term disability, and other insurance products
  • Health and Wellness Programs
  • Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts
  • Retirement 401K program
  • Profit sharing and bonus program
  • Paid and unpaid leave
  • Professional development
  • Flexible schedules and work location

Vetting and Hiring Process

It is the policy of Ripple Effect that:

  • qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, age, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other reason prohibited by law in provision of employment opportunities and benefits;
  • EOE/M/F/Vet/Disabled;
  • employment eligibility will be verified using E-verify;
  • applicants may be asked to participate in assessments during the interview process as described in our Informed Consent Policy; and
  • applicants will not be reimbursed for any expenses associated with the interview process or relocation.

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