Senior Program Assistant

Senior Program Assistant

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Chevy Chase, MD, United States

Job Description

HHMI is widely recognized as an innovative national philanthropy, the world’s foremost medical research organization, and a leading light in science education.


HHMI has achieved its leadership role by aligning our mission with our vision, capitalizing on change, encouraging risk taking, and fostering innovation. At HHMI, you are not just an employee - you are part of a creative and talented team with colleagues whose expertise ranges across a multitude of areas. 


The Senior Program Assistant will support efforts to produce, and increase awareness and adoption of science educational media for secondary and college-level audiences. These materials are distributed to educators through the HHMI BioInteractive website, professional development workshops, and partner organizations. The Senior Program Assistant will work closely with management to plan and coordinate all aspects of multiple large and smaller-scale meetings, workshops, focus groups, and special events, such as film screenings; provide in-person hands-on support at a subset of meetings and events; assist in planning and scheduling evaluation projects; enter and collate survey data; track inventory of media and promotional items; and maintain a variety of schedules for the group. Administrative responsibilities include invoice processing, purchasing, responding to inquiries, and records maintenance.


The ideal candidate is energetic, detail-oriented, has excellent time-management skills, and a proven track record of handling multiple tasks and being able to accommodate shifting priorities, while working under tight deadlines.  The Educational Media group provides a fast-paced, deadline-driven, highly collaborative environment. This position requires occasional travel, including some weekends.



Desire to work in a mission driven environment providing support to the daily operations of BioInteractive, including but not limited to:


Programmatic Support

  • Coordinate and provide logistical support for a demanding annual schedule of more than 200 on- and off-site educator meetings and workshops, including processing material requests, preparing, printing and shipping materials, ordering audiovisual, catering, and logistical services, planning exhibit space and displays, and scheduling events.
  • Provide in-person support at outreach events, such as setting up and dismantling exhibit booths, coordinating multiple activities, and general troubleshooting, which may require multi-day travel including weekends, 2-5 times per year.
  • Research and coordinate design and production of promotional items for distribution at outreach events.
  • Maintain databases of BioInteractive contractors, event attendees, newsletter subscribers, and field testers.
  • Track and maintain records of outreach activities; including event planning, reach tracking, and the online BioInteractive outreach map.
  • Provide support for Educational Media evaluation program, including recruiting for focus groups and surveys, organizing and implementing in-person and online surveys, taking notes during focus groups, manage outside consultants who enter large amounts of data, and track and monitor metrics and enter data, as needed.


Administrative Support

  • Use HHMI financial and reporting systems and other software tools to process a large quantity of invoices, travel reimbursement requests, and procurement card transactions.
  • Provide general administrative support for the entire group, including orienting new hires, maintaining the network directory, keeping an inventory of office supplies, and ordering new products for staff.
  • Handle a steady volume of mail, e-mail, and telephone inquiries and educational resource requests from educators, schools, scientists, parents, students, and the general public.
  • Use word processing, spreadsheet, and customized computer applications to generate program correspondence, reports, data analyses, and other documents.
  • Register copyrights for BioInteractive products and assist with permissions, in-licensing, and out-licensing as needed.
  • Track on- and off-site product inventory to maintain stock and track distribution
  • Research and purchase goods and services, including vendor identification and negotiation.
  • Assist in annual budget preparation.
  • Participate in needs analysis and development of database and operational systems and participate in pilot testing office-wide information systems to recommend enhancements.
  • Maintain a library of work for hire and service agreements that are updated on an annual basis.
  • Direct temporary staff as needed.

Required Skills

  • Strong organizational skills; enthusiasm for detail-oriented tasks; able to act proactively
  • Strong time-management skills, with ability to prioritize and handle multiple concurrent tasks and long-term projects, and work under tight and sometimes competing deadlines
  • Ability to adapt quickly and effectively to changes in work environment, assignments, and/or priorities
  • Thrives in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
  • Advanced proficiency with standard office productivity software, including spreadsheet and database programs and presentation tools
  • Good communication skills, written, verbal, and interpersonal
  • Willingness to travel occasionally, including some weekends
  • Fluency in Spanish a plus
  • A team player with a “roll-up your sleeves” attitude, with ability to work independently and collaboratively and an eagerness to take on new tasks and responsibilities
  • Knowledge of Excel formulas and advanced formatting in Microsoft Word and ability to do a mail merge
  • Ability to rapidly learn new tasks, procedures, and customized computer applications

Required Experience

  • College degree from an accredited institution
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience or high school degree and 10+ years of relevant work experience
  • Experience supporting a large, highly active team with multiple programs and initiatives
  • Experience supporting science outreach or teacher professional development programs a plus

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-hhmi-850-908