Program Coordinator and Research Assistant

Background: Since its founding at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) has inspired millions of people—children, teachers, families– by offering creative, participatory ways to learn and encouraging people to explore their curiosity and nurture their creativity. Located in Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the country, NYSCI welcomes 500,000 visitors each year and serves thousands more through outreach in schools, teacher professional development and participation in a variety of public events and research initiatives.

NYSCI is a leader in the science museum field, recognized for its highly regarded exhibitions, programs, and products, all of which are informed by strategies of engagement called Design-Make-Play. The defining characteristics of Design-Make-Play — open-ended exploration, imaginative learning, personal relevance, deep engagement and delight — are the ingredients that inspire passionate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learners. NYSCI engages diverse communities of learners, particularly young people, in STEM, by fostering the excitement of self-directed exploration and by tapping into the joy of learning intrinsic in young people’s play. Our transformative model for STEM not only invites broad participation, but also makes learning and engagement irresistible. NYSCI has approximately 120 full-time and over 180 part-time staff members.

Departmental role: The Research, Exhibits, and Programs department includes more than fifty researchers, STEM educators, exhibit designers, and program and curriculum developers. The group works in a variety of configurations to develop and implement creative, participatory learning experiences that awaken the curiosity of children, families, and teachers. The department team aspires to be a learning community that values openness, curiosity, and an entrepreneurial spirit. We strive to create an informed environment through internal communications and participation in external networks of partners and collaborators.

Function: The primary function of this position is acting as program coordinator for the department. This individual will provide high-level administrative support to the department as a whole, to specific project teams, and to the Chief Learning Officer. Routine responsibilities will include scheduling meetings and calls, preparing and tracking purchasing and contract documentation, corresponding with internal and external colleagues, keeping calendars, and handling travel arrangements and expenses. The program assistant will also work with department managers to identify broader opportunities to provide support to the department as a whole, such as summarizing funding opportunities, convening working groups to address cross-project needs and issues, and coordinating departmental contributions to major events such as World Maker Faire and the annual Gala.

This individual will also provide research assistant support to the Chief Learning Officer and other senior REP staff as needed. These activities may include collecting and maintaining research blbliographies, coordinating proposal development and submission efforts, supporting data management and quality control, and supporting in-house data collection efforts. This work may require the individual to be trained in and become familiar with Institutional Review Board procedures.

Principal responsibilities:

  1. Organize and maintain files, including copies of all confirmation letters, contracts, invoices, purchase orders, correspondence, and other records, and expediting collection and submission of timesheets and expense reports.
  2. Schedule and organize meetings, assist in making travel arrangements when required.
  3. Organize and maintain active project files, online collaboration spaces, and project archives for research projects, exhibit development efforts, and other departmental projects as needed.
  4. Coordinate with finance department to establish vendor relationships, create purchase orders and pay invoices for supplies needed for research or development activities.
  5. Act as primary liaison to the communications team for website changes and graphics requests.
  6. Assist with setup and takedown of meeting spaces for department events.
  7. Coordinate with department visitors, arranging meals, transportation or other supports as needed.
  8. Assist Chief Learning Officer and other staff members with other projects as assigned.

Desired knowledge

  1. Commitment to the philosophy and mission of the New York Hall of Science.
  2. Passion for and knowledge about the importance of science learning for all.
  3. Ability to plan and organize the activities of others.
  4. Strong communications skills with the ability to express ideas clearly both in written and oral communications.
  5. Interest in education, science, technology, engineering and math.
  6. Experience serving diverse audiences.
  7. Ability to build relationships, maintain communication and expedite work across multiple NYSCI departments
  8. Evenings/Weekends – ability and willingness to participate in events outside the workday schedule.
  9. Customer Service
  10. Ability to communicate with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public and other external sources, in person, in writing or by telephone.
  11. Ability to actively listen to what others are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, and ask questions as appropriate.
  12. Ability to provide information to supervisors and co-workers represent the organization to customers, the public and other external sources, in person, in writing or by telephone.
  13. Budgets – ability to monitor and control resources and oversee department spending within budget. Including ordering or purchasing supplies, material, or equipment, maintain training inventory and travel expenses.

Collaboration, Communication, and Leadership Skills:

  1. Ability to develop and advance new ideas within the context of larger project directions and constraints
  2. Flexibly integrate feedback from research and development team during curriculum design process and change course when necessary.
  3. Ability to actively listen to what colleagues, stakeholders, and learners are saying and translate that into strategies that make sense for student learning.
  4. Ability to communicate with people outside the organization, representing the organization to participants, the public and other external sources.

A science center, natural history museum, or children’s museum background is preferred but not required.

Supervisory responsibilities: None


Education:                     BA degree

Experience:                  2-5 years of relevant experience in a museum or professional organization.

Compensation: Commensurate with education, skills and experience, including an excellent NYSCI benefits package.

Time commitment: Full-Time

How to apply: Qualified candidates should send resume and cover letter with salary range/requirements. No calls please.

Application deadline: February 15, 2017

Target start date: March 1, 2017

Email to: , Please include job title in subject line.

The New York Hall of Science supports diversity in the workplace. NYSCI is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer (EOE) and supports a drug free workplace.