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Student Volunteer Opportunity: Communication Specialist

Program Overview:

This position is located in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Office of Incident Command and Control (ICC), Office of Strategy, Policy, Planning, and Requirements (SPPR).  ASPR is headed by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) who reports directly to the Secretary and whose Office includes the following components:  Immediate Office (IO); Office of the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (OPDAS); Office of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); and the Office of Incident Command and Control (ICC).  ASPR is a component of the Public Health Service (PHS) and is responsible for ensuring a One Department approach to developing public health and medical preparedness and response capabilities, leading, and coordinating the relevant activities of DHHS.

This position will be a Routine Telework position with at least 40% of time required on-site. The on-site location of this position will be at Constitution Center (400 7th Street, SW, Washington DC 20024), directly above one of the entrances to the L'Enfant Plaza metro stop.

The primary purpose of this position is to serve as a communication specialist to: develop communications materials, plans, and tools; develop and align messages to convey key concepts among communications materials; develop graphics to support business, strategic and engagement documents; and the support relationship building with stakeholders.

Volunteer Position Description:

As a communication specialist, some of your duties and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Translate complex concepts into clear, easy-to-understand messages represented in verbal and graphic products.
  • Manage and organize communications materials for use by teammates and other stakeholders.
  • Ensure consistency in messaging across diverse communications materials.
  • Apply advanced concepts, methods and practices to support the development of short- and long-range strategies, communication and marketing plans for the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise.
  • Present information on various subjects using the full array of written and oral presentation formats and techniques.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships and achieve understanding with groups indifferent to or having opposing viewpoints.
  • Develop, from an analysis of varied and conflicting reaction from the agency's publics, recommendations on the formulation of venues for effectively communicating about the agency and its programs.
  • Assist with researching, developing, designing, and implementing communications projects and tasks and using appropriate vehicles for communicating information about the PHEMCE.
  • Assist with evaluating the appropriateness of existing strategies and plans in context of changes in program emphasis or content, including statutory and technological changes, and shifts in public reaction.


  • Knowledge of communication and marketing principles, methods, techniques and practices and ability to apply and adapt such knowledge to recurring, precedent assignments.
  • Knowledge of processes used to identify information and opportunities to define and describe target audiences and to implement health communication and marketing strategies and partnership efforts.
  • Knowledge of basic audience research and evaluation methods, and their use in the development of health communication and marketing messages, strategies, programs, and policies.
  • Ability to assist senior specialist in working with professionals to translate information for different audiences and for various media formats.
  • Knowledge of principles and practices to work with and maintain relationships on internal and external teams.
  • Skills in oral communication techniques to participate on teams and work groups and make internal presentations.
  • Skill in efficiently developing effective diverse types of graphics.
  • Skills in written communication techniques to write a variety of documents for the general public, and reports on programs and activities.

Start Date and Duration

Multiple positions may be hired under this announcement, with positions beginning in in spring and  summer 2023 for a duration of no more than six months.  Starting dates will vary.  The number of hours per week for this position will be determined jointly by the volunteer and the program management.

How to Apply

Please submit a resume to the ASPR Talent Acquisition Team at  Applications due November 23, 2022.