Jobs & Opportunities

Position Announcement: Please apply by April 10, 2015

Position: Part-time grant writer
Start date: As soon as possible

As a leading practitioner in science communication, COMPASS supports scientists to effectively engage in the public discourse about the environment. To support our work, COMPASS seeks motivated candidates, with superior writing skills, experience in proposal/report writing, and an interest in environment, science, and society, for the position of a part-time grant writer. Our preference is for this position to be based in our Portland, Oregon office, co-located with our Executive Director, but we can be flexible for the right candidate.

Position description:
COMPASS seeks a part-time grant writer to assist our team in writing grant proposals and grant reports. The vast majority of the writing will be targeting philanthropic foundations. However, on occasion, grants will be targeting government or other donors.

The successful applicant for this position will focus on writing and editing grant proposals and reports, using powerful and concise language that accurately reflects our work and its impact, and connects our work to donor interests and expectations. The grant writer will work with others on the COMPASS team, through conversations and sharing of written materials, to collect the content necessary for their proposal and grant report writing. The grant writer will also coordinate closely with administrative and operations staff responsible for grants management and financial reporting.  When time permits, we also hope the successful candidate can contribute to other writing and editing needs on the team (e.g. blogs, reports, etc.).

The COMPASS team is responsible for developing fundraising strategies, project goals outcomes and objectives, implementing activities, and tracking information relevant to the monitoring and evaluation of our work. Our administrative and operations staff track our spending and manage the administrative aspects of grants. This position will work in collaboration with other members of the COMPASS team to develop strong proposal and grant report packages.


  • Strong and efficient writing and editing skills
  • Experience writing for philanthropic foundations and inviduals (including both proposals and grant reports)
  • Ability to clearly and concisely articulate COMPASS’ impact, outcomes, deliverables and progress in a manner that resonates with different donors’ goals and objectives
  • Appreciation of COMPASS’ missionAbility to quickly grasp COMPASS’ core competencies, team, and activities
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work remotely with colleagues within a highly-distributed organization
  • Ability to work independently and as part of team
  • Ability to integrate and synthesize information, as well as comprehend and describe highly detailed information
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced work environment that requires a proactive approach and fast turn-around times
  • A positive, upbeat personality with patience, enthusiasm, an ability to be direct, receive constructive feedback, and an ability to proactively communicate expectations to other teammates
  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant field

In addition, the ideal candidate will have:

  • Familiarity with the cultures of science, journalism and/or policy-making around various environmental issues
  • Appreciation of fundraising processes, strategies and management
  • Experience working with science and/or environment philanthropies
  • A working knowledge of Mac systems and high proficiency with office productivity software including, but not limited to, Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop, PowerPoint, Pages, and Keynote
  • An appreciation of science and its role in society and/or issues facing the environment

COMPASS contributes to a productive public discourse about people and environment by empowering scientists to engage with society. We do this through coaching scientists to be more effective communicators and connecting them to key people and conversations. Since 1999, COMPASS has trained thousands of scientists to more effectively engage with society, and brokered hundreds of relationships for scientists with their peers, journalists, and policymakers, helping them reach places like the front page of the New York Times, the halls of Congress, and the office of the President.

We work to break down disciplinary, geographic, and institutional silos among scientists, leading to greater relevance and more coherent communication by the scientific community as a whole. We support scientists to share their knowledge by helping them navigate how, when, and with whom to effectively engage. We believe that when scientific knowledge and insights are at the table where decisions are being made, the solutions that emerge will be robust and benefit both society and the environment.

Employment status:
We envision, on average, 15 hours of work a week. There will be weeks when this is greater and weeks when it is less. We can be flexible in how we set up this position, and will discuss how to best structure this with candidates. Options include part-time hourly employment or contract employment.

COMPASS is a distributed organization, with staff in Portland and Corvallis, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Santa Barbara, California; and, Washington D.C. Our preference is for the grant writer to work from our office in Portland, OR with the Executive Director. However, we are willing to be flexible regarding location for candidates that strongly reflect our desired qualifications and have a demonstrated ability to work remotely.

To apply:
Please submit the following, in order, in a single PDF package labeled “Last Name First Name Grant Writer”

  • A cover letter that shares: a) your interest in this position, b) how your relevant experience makes you a strong candidate for this work, c) your understanding of COMPASS’ mission, and d) information about your preferred employment status and location
  • Resume
  • Two writing samples of your choice that you feel best reflect the qualifications we seek
  • Three references

Priority will be given to candidates that submit their materials by April 10, 2015.
Please send applications to [email protected].

Equal Opportunity Employer
Because COMPASS uses the Tides Center as a fiscal sponsor, the Tides Center is the legal employer of this position. Tides Center is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, medical condition (cancer-related) or conditions Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions (ARC). Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.