Assistant Director, Recruitment Communications – (San Diego, California, United States)

The USC Keck School of Medicine – Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute (ATRI), located in San Diego, California is an academic institute comprised of scientific collaborators committed to advancing the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease through innovative clinical trials. The Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Consortium (ACTC) is the premier NIH-funded network designed to accelerate and expand studies for therapies in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias across the clinical continuum. The ACTC Recruitment, Engagement and Retention (RER) Unit provides the participant RER leadership for all ACTC managed clinical studies and operates from the RER Section at ATRI. This position will report to the Director of the ATRI Recruitment, Engagement and Retention (RER) Section and work closely with the ACTC RER Unit co-leads and study principal investigators.

The role of the Assistant Director, Recruitment Communications is to develop and implement a cohesive and comprehensive communications plan to support the public awareness as well as the participant recruitment needs of the ACTC and ATRI managed clinical trials and observational studies. This role will be responsible for vendor management for related outsourced services. The incumbent will provide structural leadership on objectives, strategies, and plans, aligning messaging and supporting needs for change and transition initiatives. They will lead efforts to establish a local, regional, and national social media presence. The incumbent will assemble and oversee a diversely skilled communications team.

This is a hybrid position and will require working onsite at ATRI in San Diego at least 3 days each week.


  • Develop and implement overarching communications and recruitment strategies for ATRI, ACTC, and all affiliated studies.
  • Identify and foster new and existing strategically aligned relationships with key communications firms and partners to ensure success with the overall conduct, recruitment, and retention of ATRI and ACTC clinical trials.
  • Lead a team of communication, marketing, and design professionals.
  • Assist in the creation of digital, video, audio, and print content.
  • Champion diversity enrollment and enrichment efforts to attract broad patient populations-for example, people of different races, ethnic groups, sex/genders, and ages.
  • Lead the development, design, vendor selection and implementation of patient recruitment and retention strategies. Where already in place, review and provide feedback on Recruitment, Enrollment, and Retention Plans for each clinical trial.
  • Provide recruitment and retention vendor oversight to ensure contractual requirements are met while working with study teams to ensure delivery of projects and to drive continuous process improvements.
  • Facilitate the selection and management of vendors that support recruitment activities.
  • Routinely assess vendor performance based on recruitment and retention metrics.
  • Oversee the development of study awareness, recruitment, and retention materials.
  • Work with ATRI RER section and ACTC RER Unit leadership and teams, clinical research sites and others to identify opportunities for outreach and study awareness activities.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelors-level degree required concentrating in health communications, public relations, social/digital media, journalism, or a related field; master’s degree or other advanced degree is a plus.
  • Minimum of seven years of progressive experience in marketing and communications roles
  • Experience with Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Collaborative and adaptable, with a track record of building and maintaining cross-functional relationships.

Location:  San Diego, CA

The annual base salary range for this position is $124,857.10 – $175,482.45. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

Minimum Education: Master’s degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education
Minimum Experience: 7 years
Minimum Field of Expertise: Directly related program management experience. Expert knowledge of field, teaching experience and/or active in research. Ability to manage sponsored projects and fundraise.

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