Discovering new ways of working

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting us all, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of course our top priority. In our field of science communication, we are fortunate to be able to continue working for our clients from our own homes. All our staff are now working remotely, bringing challenges but also some unexpected discoveries.

Our team and our clients are located across six countries, so we’ve had to take into account the different national guidelines and policies concerning the coronavirus. We’re following the health advice of the local authorities in all the countries in which we work (Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, UK and Portugal).

While we are all used to working with colleagues in different countries, teleworking is a new experience for some, and plenty of adjustments have had to be made! Factors such as living arrangements and children of course have a huge impact on daily life now. Creating new workspaces for ourselves, daily routines and building a moment of calm into the day have all helped to make working from home possible.

But along with the challenges of home life and a constant flow of online meetings, we’ve made some positive discoveries too. Colleagues are happy to take a few moments of their day to catch up or check in on each other and happy to lend a hand when needed. Technical glitches in Skype meetings provide a giggly moment, coffee is always close at hand and there’s no commuting stress to consider. There’s always time for a weekly virtual team aperitivo, and of course every day is casual Friday!

Our headquarters may be temporarily closed, but you can reach us as usual by email, telephone, Skype, Whatsapp, WebEx, Zoom or any other platform of your choice!

Internal Communications Editor at ESA/ESTEC

*Position closed* EJR-Quartz has an immediate opening for a mother-tongue English writer/editor to join the Internal Communications team at ESA/ESTEC. This is a full-time position for EJR-Quartz under contract to the European Space Agency, based on site at ESA/ESTEC in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

The Internal Communications Unit of the ESA Communications Department has been established to strengthen ESA internal communications, as described in the Agency’s three-year communications plan.

As part of the internal communications strategy, the ‘One ESA’ Intranet covers all activities of the Agency. To support the internal communications activities and ensure publishing on One ESA, editorial and communications support is required.

Under instruction from the Head of Internal Communications, and reporting to the Internal Communications Lead, the editor will play an active role in internal communications activities at ESTEC. This includes writing in mother-tongue English, on topics of interest to the ESTEC internal audience, as well as actively supporting other internal communications activities at ESTEC.

Tasks include to:

  • Ensure the dissemination of communications messages to an internal audience at Establishment level
  • Actively seek out topics of interest to the internal audience
  • Conduct interviews in written or video format
  • Write and edit articles on ESTEC topics, in mother-tongue English
  • Build and maintain ESTEC sections of the ESA Intranet
  • Ensure that all material written is in ESA house style and approved 
  • Actively support internal communications campaigns and events at ESTEC
  • Contribute to the monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the activities, reporting Key Performance Indicators

The successful candidate will have:

  • Mother-tongue English
  • An Honours degree in science, engineering, communications or journalism
  •   Minimum of 2 years’ experience in writing and editing, presenting scientific and technical subjects in a style accessible for a general audience
  • Experience in organising events 
  •  Experience of scripting and producing videos

Contractual matters

The successful candidate will be employed directly by EJR-Quartz BV, under contract to ESA. Candidates must be eligible to live and work in The Netherlands. This is a one-year contract, with possibility of renewal. The start date is 1 June.

Closing date: 17 April

Learn more about our company and meet the team at: www.ejr-quartz.com
If you think this job is for you, tell us why you’d like to join our team. Please send your cover letter, CV and references to: vacancy@ejr-quartz.com

Helping ESA to tell its story

At EJR-Quartz, we’re starting the year with a bang! We’re delighted to announce that we have won a new contract to provide 360-degree communications services to the European Space Agency (ESA).

ESA was looking for a single communications service for all its channels, across three main pillars: editorial, video/image and graphics. So we’ve teamed up with graphics experts Publicis Sapient and TV and video specialists World Wide Group to form a consortium dedicated to providing integrated communications solutions to ensure the Agency speaks with one voice, on message, every time.

Frédéric Le Gall, ESA Communications Head of Production and Management Support Division, explains the thinking behind the new service provision model: “ESA was looking for a streamlined communications service to optimise workflows and improve coordination. We wanted a single provider to cover all our channels, providing everything from editorial services to video and graphics support – admittedly, a tall order! The EJR-Quartz consortium provides the knowledge and experience to meet our needs and help ESA reach the largest possible audience.”

As the Prime contractor, EJR-Quartz provides all editorial and publishing services; Worldwide Group is responsible for the video and related distribution services, including ESA TV and ESA Web TV; Publicis Sapient provides graphics services, including CVI and environmental branding.

Erica Rolfe, the Service Manager leading the consortium, explains: “Our companies have been working together for a number of years, most notably for coverage of launches and other special events, but also on a daily basis. Our winning consortium is the formalisation of a long-standing relationship, combining strong storytelling skills with graphical excellence and extensive TV and video experience”.

Our three-year service contract is already off to a flying start, providing communications coverage of the return to Earth of Luca Parmitano and the launch of Solar Orbiter this week. We’re proud to be helping ESA to tell the next chapter in its story, from the Moon to Mars and beyond!

Science editor at ESA/ESTEC

*Position closed*

EJR-Quartz has an immediate opening for a science editor/writer with mother-tongue English, able to present scientific and technical topics in a style accessible for the general public. The position is a maternity leave replacement, full-time for EJR-Quartz under contract to the European Space Agency, based on site at ESA’s ESTEC, in the Netherlands.

The successful candidate will have:

  • Mother-tongue English
  • An Honours degree in science, space science, or communications
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in writing and editing on science or space topics
  • Demonstrable experience in presenting scientific and technical subjects in a style accessible for general public

Tasks include:

  • Edit and write articles and updates for the ESA Portal and other channels
  • Manage an editorial calendar, contributing to the consolidated publishing agenda
  • Contribute to the drafting and implementing of communication plans
  • Support the organisation of media and outreach events
  • Support for launch and mission events, including live coverage
  • Conception and implementation of social media campaigns
  • Managing social media accounts and community engagement
  • Conception of storyboards for videos, animations and social media assets

Contractual matters

The successful candidate will be employed directly by EJR-Quartz BV, under contract to ESA and must have residence and work permit for the Netherlands. This is a six-month contract, as maternity leave replacement. The start date is 20 January 2020.

Closing date: 17 December  2019

Learn more about our company and meet the team at: www.ejr-quartz.com

If you think this is for you, tell us why you’d like to join our team. Please send your cover letter, CV and references to: vacancy@ejr-quartz.com

Earth Observation Editor, Frascati, Italy

Position now closed.

Are you able to present scientific and technical topics in an accessible way? EJR-Quartz has an opening for a mother-tongue English writer/editor. The position is part-time for EJR-Quartz srl under contract to the European Space Agency (ESA), based at ESA’s Earth Observation Centre in Frascati, Italy.

Working within the Earth Observation Directorate, the EO Technical Editor will write and edit digital content on space topics mainly related to Earth Observation, in particular on Copernicus Sentinel and ESA Third Party Missions, for the ‘Earth Online’ and ‘Sentinel Online’ websites.

The right candidate will have:

  • Mother-tongue standard English, with a minimum of 2 years’ writing/editing experience
  • An Honours degree in science, engineering or journalism
  • Demonstrable skill in presenting scientific and technical subjects in an accessible style
  • Familiarity and interest in space and environment topics
  • Experience in scripting video, including interviewing
  • Experience in preparing social media campaigns and content

Contractual matters

Our new team member will be employed directly by EJR-Quartz srl, under contract to ESA. An Italian residence and work permit is obligatory. This is a one-year contract. The start date is 7 January 2020.

Closing date: 29 November 2019

Find out more about our company and meet the team at: www.ejr-quartz.com

If you think this is for you, tell us why you’d like to work with us. Please send your cover letter, CV and references to: vacancy@ejr-quartz.com

Science and Storytelling: sharing scientific research outside the lab

This year’s EMBL event, Science as Storytelling: From Facts to Fictions, looked at the role of storytelling in science and the challenges and risks of using narratives to communicate science in the modern world.  Attracting a diverse crowd from astrobiologists and filmmakers, to rock musicians and members of our own EJR-Quartz team, the conference explored the place of scientific research in the world outside the lab.

Held by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the 20th conference in its Science and Society series took place in Heidelberg, Germany. Science Editor Joshua Tapley tells us more.

Storytelling and science have always been entwined. As language developed and we began to share helpful stories around the campfire, those who prospered were the ones who learned from each other which trees were safe to eat from and which to avoid. We set in motion the development of the deep human connection to anecdotes and personal experiences. Even today, we find that these connections are often more persuasive than facts and data. Stories stick with us.

At the Heidelberg conference, speakers included scientists, authors, literature professors, and journalists. They brought together a wide range of perspectives on the ways that storytelling can be used in the world of science. The panels covered how scientists themselves can write captivating research papers without compromising their scientific value, using media such as comic books to present science to new audiences in creative ways, and the responsibilities of scientists and journalists in the era of ‘fake news’.

Many speakers echoed the idea that those wishing to misinform and manipulate are free to craft amazingly convincing narratives, without the constraints of reality. But, for scientists and science communicators, the challenge today is to make the truth of our current scientific understanding even more engaging than fiction.

The conference explored how the stereotypes around science and scientists have changed over the last 100 years of entertainment media, the growing interest for stories depicting the work of a scientist more accurately – ‘Lablit’ – and the struggle between artistic freedom and scientific accuracy in film and literature.

In the end, the event left us with its own anecdotes. The opening talk on the driving force behind many scientists – the thrill of discovery – claimed that the excitement of making a breakthrough is shared by scientists, artists, songwriters, authors and many others. This theory was immediately supported by a musical scientist in the audience: “People often ask me what connects my passions as a scientist and a rock musician,” he said. “I always tell them: absolutely nothing! But actually, you’ve hit the nail on the head, they both give me exactly the same thrill.”

Having learned so much over the two days in Heidelberg, we are better equipped to share these thrills with the world in more creative and engaging ways.

Extra, extra! The latest DLRmagazine is out!

The latest edition of the DLRmagazine, the German Aerospace Center’s modern science communications publication, is now available – with a little help from us!  EJR-Quartz is responsible for the English edition of this publication.  

The second DLR Magazine of 2019 has the title ‘Light as air and versatile’ and contains articles highlighting several interesting aspects of interest in modern science. DLR Magazine 161 features the work of innovative scientists both at the laboratory and outside of it. Within the lab, there is a portrait of Barbara Millow and her work with high-tech aerogels. Outside of the lab there is focus on the Schorndorf ‘Real-Word Laboratory’ which tests a digitally supported ‘on-demand bus’ in the real world! 

Further to this, the ‘Green lung in the eternal ice’ article focuses on a closed-loop system for cultivating plants that could be used for long-term space travel and future establishments on other planets. Another article, ‘The Solar System within arm’s reach’ highlights the benefits of virtual reality technology for planning space missions.

But there’s much more! We offer a ‘Tribute to Apollo’, which summarises the Moon landing anniversary and what has happened since and some recommended reads.

Curious? Subscribe to the DLRmagazine to receive it on your doorstep free of charge. If you’d rather read it online, the Magazine is available as a flipbook and can also be downloaded as a PDF.  

Design matters: Science Office joins EJR-Quartz

After six years of close collaboration, we are delighted to announce that EJR-Quartz and the Science Office are now one. By bringing the Science Office’s expert graphics and video skills under our umbrella, EJR-Quartz is now able to offer a complete package of top-quality science communication services entirely in house.

The team at the Science Office have years of experience transforming complex scientific concepts and data into images and animations that illuminate and engage audiences, whatever their age and background. Over the years, they have worked with EJR-Quartz on a range of content, animations featuring the ESA Education mascot, Paxi, to the new Hera video being released for Asteroid Day 2019.

Signed and sealed in early May, the acquisition is the start of an exciting new chapter for EJR-Quartz. With even more creative minds in the mix, we’re better placed than ever to deliver end-to-end communication solutions built on content that matters.

Living Planet Matters: Taking the pulse of our Living Planet

ESA’s Living Planet Symposium, the largest Earth observation conference in the world, took place in Milan this May. Held every three years, Living Planet draws thousands of scientists and data users from around the world to discuss their latest findings on how satellites are taking the pulse of our planet.

This year, our EJR-Quartz editors for ESA were out in force, just part of the huge team who made the Symposium possible.

The ESA Web TV production team live-streamed the opening event, Kelsea Brennan-Wessels interviewed scientists, professors, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes Josef Aschbacher and other members of the EO community. The wrap-up video with highlights of the week was Romina Persi’s debut in front of the ESA Web TV cameras.

With over 4000 scientific papers to sift through, EO editors Honora Rider and Romina were kept busy producing daily web reports on the most newsworthy results from LPS19. These were shared of course on ESA’s social media channels, by EO social media editor, Andrada Coos.

Living Planet also offered opportunities for the next generation of scientists to discover the exciting science and technology behind Earth Observation. At the school labs, organised by Karina de Castris and the ESRIN science communicators, elementary and middle-school students had hands-on experience with Earth sciences and some of the technologies used to measure environmental variables.

For high-school students, ESA Education and ASI also invited the four winning teams of the LPS 2019 Climate Detectives competition to receive their awards, accompanied by our didactics expert Fátima Pinto. This project challenged pupils from all ESA Member States to team up and make a difference in understanding and protecting the Earth’s climate. The LPS 2019 School Award was a unique opportunity for the Climate Detectives teams to present their projects to a professional audience at the Symposium.

Here’s a few of the week’s highlights to enjoy!

Media Insight Analyst to work at ESA in the Netherlands

Objective

Love communication? Love data? We’re on the hunt for an experienced #MediaAnalyst to work with the communications team at the European Space Agency! Deadline extended to 14 June!

The Media Insight Analyst will work within ESA’s News and Content Office at ESA/ESTEC in the Netherlands, as part of the EJR-Quartz service team for ESA.

The Media Insight Analyst will support ESA’s Communications department in fine-tuning its new communications strategy. analysing data on the ESA communication channels to provide insight on its content and news.

He/She will analyse data to identify patterns and trends, to help ESA in making strategic decisions on concerning its content and news strategy.

To achieve this the Media Insight Analysist will:

  • Use digital analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Cision and Falcon.io to measure ESA impact and refine its communications strategy
  • Provide clear and accurate reports to monitor all elements of communication performance
  • Support the Communications Department in defining and monitoring KPIs
  • Deliver regular communication KPI reports to the ESA Editorial Board including implications and recommendations for optimisation
  • Analyse digital data from a number of sources to ensure that performance data is available
  • Contribute to a digital analytics strategy, developing and communicating best practices for digital metrics
  • Develop an SEO strategy to grow search traffic in ESA Member States
  • Communicate analysis to stakeholders within the communications teams in a clear and transparent manner, and take part in discussions about implications
  • Evaluate and report on the impact of changes/new initiatives across digital platforms

Qualifications and skills:

The right candidate will have:

  • Bachelor’s degree with strong quantitative focus such as Economics, Statistics, Social Sciences, or Business/Market Research
  • 5+ years of work experience in an analytical role (including data analysis, market research) within a media/communications environment
  • Excellent analytics skills and an investigative mindset
  • Experience in analytics with a communications/media environment 
  • Ability to interpret complex datasets, make recommendations for improvement and monitor the impact of changes
  • Ability to present data in a way that is simple to interpret for a non-technical audience
  • Strong team orientation with a willingness and preparedness to share and seek information, knowledge, help and support others in the team
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and at least one other European language, both written and verbal with particular skill in interpreting to non-technical audiences
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills

Contractual matters

Our new team member will be employed directly by EJR-Quartz BV, under contract to ESA. Dutch residence and work permit is obligatory. This is a one year contract, with possibility of renewal. The start date is end of June 2019.

  • Closing date extended: 14 June 2019
  • Find out more about our company and meet the team at: www.ejr-quartz.com
  • If you think this post is for you, tell us why you’d like to work with us. Please send your cover letter, CV and references to: vacancy@ejr-quartz.com

Aurora hunting in Tromsø

From 3-5 March 2019, the EJR-Quartz team helped organise the #AuroraHunters, another great Social Space gathering for the European Space Agency. The event demonstrated that frigid cold weather and long journeys in no way dampen the public’s enthusiasm for space!

EJR-Quartz team members Daniel Scuka and Rosa Jesse worked with colleagues from ESA, the Norwegian Space Agency and OHB Systems, Bremen, as well as several partner companies and institutes, to ensure that the 32 intrepid invitees from around the world had a whale of a time in Tromsø, Norway.

The group of space science enthusiasts – from 13 countries – spent two and a half days searching for the fabled northern lights, visiting the local cluster of innovative space organisations including EISCAT (European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association) and KSAT (Kongsberg Satellite Services), touring the old Tromsø Geophysical Observatory and learning about the amazing science behind ‘space weather’, the term used to describe our Sun’s effects on the environment around Earth.

There was also time for some non-space related activities, including an afternoon cruise to an abandoned Cold War submarine base, a cable car ride to the heights across from the city at night and a visit to the old fish museum, capped off with a tasting of the original – and appallingly awful – cod liver oil.

The #AuroraHunters demonstrated yet again that an effective way to communicate about space science is to simply get out there and spend time with the people who are curious about our place in the cosmos. And if that includes sipping hot beverages while standing out on a frozen lake for a night’s worth of aurora viewing, then so much the better!

EJR-Quartz for the German Aerospace Center (DLR)

We are pleased to announce that we have won a three-year contract with the Public Affairs and Communications Department of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt), for Crossmedia English-language editorial support.

EJR-Quartz has been working to provide English-language support to DLR’s Public Affairs and Communications Department since 2005. Our work with DLR includes the production and publication of web articles, press releases and the DLR Magazine, maintenance of the English-language web portal, administration of their English language official and mission-related social media platforms, such as @DLR_en, @Philae2014 and @MASCOT2018, live event coverage and communications consultancy services.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, energy, transport, digitalisation and security is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. In addition to its own research, as Germany’s space agency, DLR has been given responsibility by the federal government for the planning and implementation of the German space programme. DLR is also the umbrella organisation for one of Germany’s largest project management agencies.