Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Documentary Researcher

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Chevy Chase, United States


Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is an independent, dynamic philanthropy that empowers basic biomedical scientists and educators with the potential for transformative impact. HHMI scientists have radically advanced the understanding of cells, the brain, the immune system, the development of organs, and how to treat many diseases. Founded in 1953 by aviator and industrialist Howard R. Hughes, HHMI is headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and employs more than 2,500 people across the U.S. 


At HHMI, you are not just an employee – you are a part of a creative and talented team with colleagues whose expertise ranges from biomedical research to investment management, from information technology to law.  We encourage collaborative and results-driven working styles and offer an environment where employees can function at their highest level. HHMI scientists push boundaries in laboratories and classrooms and you can be sure that your contributions while working at HHMI are making a difference.




HHMI’s film production department, Tangled Bank Studios, is searching for a remote, part-time (10-20 hours/week) researcher to support the production of a science documentary. They will be responsible for performing extensive review and evaluation of published scientific literature in the fields of ecological sciences and animal behavior, communicating findings clearly to the production team, and ensuring the film is presenting accurate messaging to the audience. They will work directly with the film producer to answer research requests, review literature, reach out to experts, produce an annotated script of the film, and evaluate cuts of the film.


This is a 6 to 8-month contract assignment.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Work closely with the producers to identify scientific narratives relevant to the film.
  • Respond to frequent research requests by the producers in a timely manner.
  • Review and evaluate published scientific literature in the fields of conservation ecology, animal behavior, predator-prey relationships and the concept of the “landscape of fear.”
  • Reach out to experts in the field, including the projects scientific advisors, for guidance as needed.
  • Summarize and communicate research findings to the producer and team members in simple language.
  • Review graphics, cuts of the film, scripts, and other production and post-production documents for scientific and historical accuracy.
  • Produce an annotated script and similar production documents using Google Docs.






  • An MS plus 3 years experience, or a PhD in Conservation Ecology, Animal Behavior, or related field. Specifically looking for familiarity with predator-prey relationships and the “landscape of fear” concept in ecology.




  • Experience performing firsthand scientific research in animal behavior and ecological sciences.
  • Familiar with conservation science, and concepts behind predator-prey relationships including the “landscape of fear.”
  • Experience with routine review and evaluation of published scientific literature.
  • Summarizing research findings and conclusions and communicating the information to a non-scientific audience.


Skills and Abilities:


  • Ability to effectively use Google Docs and Dropbox.
  • Be able to accurately interpret published literature in the fields of conservation ecology and animal behavior.
  • Be able to communicate complex scientific concepts to a lay audience.
  • Be able to work effectively with a remote team, with frequent use of email, phone, and Zoom video conferencing.
  • Although not required, locality in the DC metro area with the ability to have occasional in-person visits at our Chevy Chase, MD office is a plus.


HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 1130