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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Job Advert: Science Writer wanted by Health Research Board of Ireland

FROM: Health Research Board of Ireland
DATE: 16 March 2009
JOB REFERENCE: A Picture of Health 2009


The Health Research Board is seeking the support of a science writer to assist in the production of the 2009 edition of its annual publication ‘A Picture of Health’.

First published in 2003, the publication describes, in non-technical language, the latest developments in health research in Ireland supported by the HRB. Its purpose is to communicate the outcomes of HRB-funded research in lay terms to key stakeholder groups, such as budget holders and policy-makers, in a way that highlights the relevance, value and potential impact of this research on people’s health, the delivery of health services and the formulation of health policy. (Please also note that based on a review of the 2009 edition the HRB may provide the option of extending the contract of the successful writer for the 2010 publication subject to agreement of terms and conditions).



  • Science writing services for an approx 50-page lay publication entitled ‘A Picture of Health 2009’. The material will comprise research summaries arising from the portfolio of HRB-funded research selected by HRB personnel.
  • The format of the 2009 publication is envisaged to comprise approx 20 stories of 400 words in length, and 12 ‘in brief’ summaries of approx 100 words in length.
  • The successful writer will be required to liaise with the research community in order to understand and develop the source material for the publication
  • The successful writer will also be required to write short summaries of a selection of the stories for the purpose of the HRB press release relating to the publication

Key Deliverables:

  • A project initiation meeting with HRB personnel in HRB offices, Dublin to agree the final content plan for the publication
  • Conduct of telephone (or email) interviews with 20 researchers to gain additional insight around context of research and findings
  • Production of 20 research stories of 400 word length, 12 brief communications of 100 words in length, and six short summaries of the most newsworthy stories at 100 words length for the HRB press release by the end of June 2009*
  • Editing and proof-reading of drafts of the publication leading to the final published report

* Please note that the final content plan for the 2009 publication and final deadline for submission of material may be subject to amendment – however quotations should be based on this provisional plan, while the impact on costs of any amendments may be negotiated at contract stage

Proposals should include the following information:

  • The name of the person providing a quotation and details relating to track record, ability and experience (please submit one sample of your work that you would consider to be your best example of relevant writing material)
  • A proposal as to how the requirements and key deliverables will be met
  • An outline of the timescale for delivering on the project
  • An estimate of the costs involved in the project (including editing and proof reading), including VAT

Relevant Information

  • As a general guide, based on previous productions of this publication, the cost of this job is expected to be in the region of €9,000 - €13,000. Please access the 2003-2008 ‘Picture of Health’ publications on the HRB website (to request a hard copy email

Evaluation criteria

  • Quotations for the above project will be evaluated on the following criteria:
  • Demonstrated ability to write about scientific matter in a clear, concise, easy-to-understand style suitable for a non-specialist audience
  • Track record and experience of producing material of a similar nature
  • Quality of the proposal to meet the key requirements and deliverables
  • Ability to meet the deadline for completion
  • Cost and value for money of the proposal

    Deadline for quotation:

Please submit your quotation by email to by 5.00pm on Friday 27 March 2009

Terms and conditions

The HRB is not bound to accept the lowest priced or any proposal. Acceptance by the HRB of a proposal will be subject to the negotiation of a contract. The contract will be awarded based on a fixed price. All travel, subsistence and other expenses related to the project are deemed to be part of the fixed price.

Invoices are to be issued at the satisfactory completion of each stage of the contract as agreed at the outset. Payment will be on foot of appropriate documentation (including an up-to date tax clearance certificate) and invoices, and will be paid in accordance with the terms of the European Communities (Late Payment in Commercial Transactions Regulations), 2002.

The successful applicant/s will report progress on the project at regular intervals to the project manager in the HRB.

All enquiries and correspondence relating to this call for proposals should be addressed to Brendan Curran, Evaluation Manager: e or t +353 (01) 2345 137

HRB Background Information

The Health Research Board (HRB) is the lead agency in Ireland supporting and funding health research. Our aim is to improve people’s health through research. With an annual budget of approximately €50 million from the Department of Health and Children and current commitments worth almost €200 million, we support a broad range of health research in Ireland that we hope will improve the delivery of patient care and the health of the population. Our funding is focused on building people’s research capability, providing relevant equipment and infrastructure and supporting research programmes in a wide variety of areas. Our research programmes range from tackling cancer or heart disease to examining the impact of socio-economic factors on people’s health, from creating an electronic patient record to improve care for people with a chronic disease, to identifying genes that are common among people with a particular disease.