Assistant Editor

About Duke University

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

About the Newly Merged Institute

Duke University is heightening its commitment to accelerate sustainable and equitable solutions to the climate crisis and develop a new generation of climate-literate thought leaders. An ambitious university-wide strategy will build on decades of successful energy and environmental research, education, and external engagement efforts. As part of this endeavor, the university is merging two of its signature interdisciplinary units: the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Duke University Energy Initiative. Working closely with Duke University schools and other units, the newly merged institute will advance the university’s climate strategy by developing transformative educational experiences; galvanizing and conducting impactful research; and engaging with decision makers at the global, national, state, and local levels.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values of the newly merged institute. We believe that the educational environment is enhanced when diverse groups of people with diverse ideas come together to learn. Applicants with a demonstrated commitment to issues of diversity in higher education are particularly encouraged to apply.

Occupational Summary

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and Duke University Energy Initiative are seeking an Assistant Editor to work with the newly merged institute’s communication team to provide editorial and design support for organizational publications and products, including but not limited to research reports, working papers, policy briefs, and presentations. This role is responsible for ensuring not only the quality of organizational publications, products, and marketing materials, but also that these items accurately reflect the newly merged institute’s mission.

Work Performed

  • Coordinates all aspects of publication production. This includes editing, formatting, document layout in Adobe InDesign, and streamlining figures, tables, and graphs for our suite of publication types.
  • Reads copy to detect errors in spelling, punctuation, and syntax. Improves publications’ readability by offering comments and edits that streamline copy. Ensures changes are in line with the Duke University and newly merged institute style guides.
  • Manages the flow of incoming products for editing and publishing by prioritizing editing and layout based on their timeliness, pending grant deadlines, marketing needs, and other circumstances. Coordinates these deadlines with content creators at Duke and partner organizations, communication colleagues, and printers.
  • Develops concise descriptions for organizational products for use on the newly merged institute’s website and in other contexts.
  • Loads finished organizational products to the newly merged institute’s website and (when appropriate) DukeSpace, following appropriate metadata, tagging, and posting procedures.
  • Writes social media posts for organizational products, gains creators’ approval, and coordinates with communication colleagues to schedule them to post on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
  • Works with members of the communication team to develop and regularly update the newly merged institute’s style guide, identifying and discussing new inconsistencies as they arise.
  • Contributes to communications activities in ways that reflect and support the Institute’s commitment to diversity and cultural competence as integral components of academic and organizational excellence.
  • Handles requests to reproduce copyrighted research publications, figures, and tables. Ensures these requests are tracked and content is attributed properly by those parties making reprint requests.
  • When needed, helps to edit grant proposals, journal articles, marketing materials, presentations, and other external documents in regard to form and content. Rewrites and edits copy and visual elements to improve readability and ensure it is logically structured and accurate.  
  • Helps to maintain the newly merged institute’s image database and assists with the selection and cropping of photos as needed.
  • Contributes to other writing, editing, design, and communications projects as needed.


Work requires communication, analytical and organizational skills generally acquired though completion of a bachelor’s degree in English, mass communications, graphic design or a related discipline. A minimum of two or more years of editorial production experience is strongly preferred. Familiarity with environmental policy issues is a plus.  

Skills Desired

  • Proficiency with Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop or industry-equivalent
  • Demonstrated editorial and graphic design skills
  • Project management skills
  • Knowledge of document publishing processes
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Knowledge of Chicago and AP Style rules
  • Familiarity with content management systems such as Drupal and WordPress
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Must be able to work independently and with peers

To Apply

Duke applicants:…

External applicants:

The intent of this job description is to provide a representation of the types and level of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title. It shall not be construed as a declaration of all specific duties and responsibilities of the particular position, as employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Duke also makes good faith efforts to recruit, hire, and promote qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.