Editorial Specialist (Health Policy)

Washington D.C.
Commensurate with experience
Jul 11, 2018
Metro Area
Full Time

Who we are:

At the nonprofit Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. Our employees are empowered to open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions. We encourage intellectual honesty, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect, and our analysis elevates the debate, wherever it takes place.

Urban’s greatest asset is our people. We strive to attract and cultivate a vibrant, creative, and diverse community. Our employees drive Urban’s mission through entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, effective communication, results-orientation, and relationship cultivation. Our success depends on engaging individuals who possess and value these attributes. 

The Urban Institute has built a cutting-edge in-house Outreach and Communications team that translates research for broad audiences. As part of those efforts, Urban is hiring an editorial specialist to take on a portfolio of research and communications products, mainly for the Health Policy Center (HPC).


How you’ll contribute:

The Editorial Specialist will work on highly cited content that shapes national discussions of such issues as repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, expansion of Medicaid, and work requirements in safety net programs. S/he will be an essential part of a dynamic and highly productive editorial team and report to the Director of Editorial Services and Publications. S/he will also meet weekly with the Vice Presidents for Health Policy to update them on HPC’s projects and suggest ways to leverage content in response to the news cycle.


  • Copyedit Urban Institute research publications, including policy briefs, reports, and working papers. Roughly half the publications will be about health policy; the remaining half could be about opioid use disorder and treatment, social determinants of health, the social safety net, or related topics.
  • Help build and manage relationships between HPC’s health economists and data scientists and the Communications Department’s digital communications, data visualization, editorial, and writing teams.
  • Format research publications in Word.
  • Track and prioritize Health Policy Center editorial work.
  • Uphold Urban Institute style and quality standards in print and digital products.
  • Work with other members of the Communications Department to equip researchers with useful digital, presentation, writing, and other skills.


What you’ll bring:


The successful candidate will:

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree in English, communications, or a related field and two to four years of related experience or training in copyediting, proofreading, and publications production.
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the Chicago Manual of Style (familiarity with AMA and Bluebook is also helpful).
  • Possess a keen, careful editorial eye that can spot minor errors and inconsistencies in long, dense publications.
  • Exhibit a firm grasp of English grammar and punctuation rules and the ability to read, analyze, and interpret research reports.
  • Display experience with or enthusiasm for health policy.
  • Be able to form relationships and communicate effectively with a range of staff.
  • Show proficiency in Microsoft Office, Word, and Excel, as well as Adobe Acrobat.


What you’ll experience:

Working in the nation’s capital—the epicenter of public policy—among a network of policy experts, you can expect to have an impact on policy areas you care about and work with great colleagues who are smart, mission-driven, and collaborative. You will blend academic rigor with on-the-ground collaboration, be encouraged and supported to fulfill your potential through meaningful work that matters, and enjoy a welcoming workplace free from harassment, discrimination, and intolerance.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage; a competitive paid time off allowance; and eligibility to participate in a generous retirement savings plan and reimbursable commuting expense program.   


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