Vacancy Details: Communications & Engagement Officer

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John Innes Centre

JIC is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology. Our mission is to carry out fundamental and strategic research, to train scientists and to make our findings available to society.

The scientific research at the Centre makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the biological and chemical sciences, including cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics and molecular biology.

The John Innes Centre is proud to hold a Silver Award from Athena SWAN. The Athena SWAN charter recognizes and celebrates good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in the fields of science, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). JIC was the first research institute to win a Silver Award. For more information, go to

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852), limited by guarantee (registered in England No. 511709) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Athena Swan

disability confident employer

   Stonewall Diversity Champion

Advancing gender equality in science, engineering and technology.

Post Number1003252
Job TitleCommunications & Engagement Officer
Closing Date15 Jun 2017
Starting Salary£30,750 - £37,750
Hours per week 18.5
Project Title N/A
Months Duration Indefinite
Flexible Options
Part Time

Main purpose of the job * To communicate to John Innes Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory science to target segments of the UK public and identified stakeholders, through events, online activities and articles.

* To contribute to science communication and engagement strategies that ensure the institutes research is continuously informed by society's hopes, concerns and aspirations for science; and raises awareness and understanding, among senior stakeholders and the public of the institutes' strategic objectives.

* To advise and deliver opportunities that motivate staff to engage with and deliver institute (and funders') objectives in this area.
Department Communications & Engagement
Group Details Communications and Engagement
Advert Text The John Innes Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory are ranked as the world's strongest research organisations in the animal or plant sciences, as measured by the impact of their research outputs. Some of the world's very best scientists come together in Norwich to undertake ground-breaking and world-changing research in plant and microbial sciences.

Applications are sought for a part-time Communications and Engagement Officer for these two co-located institutes.

The Communications and Engagement Officer will be responsible for communicating the institutes’ science to target segments of the UK public and identified stakeholders, through events, online activities and articles. An important objective will be to ensure the institutes’ research is continuously informed by society’s hopes, concerns and aspirations for science. The successful applicant will possess exceptional communication skills and an ability to engage a wide range of potential interlocutors. They will also have a strong track record in scientific public engagement activities.

This part-time post offers the opportunity to work with two institutes at the top of their scientific field and to have an impact on their future. We offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience. We are equal opportunity employers and actively support inclusivity and diversity. Interviews will be held on 28 June 2017.
Key relationships Internal: All staff at JIC and TSL, including scientists, the Director, the Head of Communications & Engagement, the Director of International Strategy and the Head of Business Development.

External: RCUK, BBSRC, Gatsby Foundation, UEA, the Norwich Research Park, other educational bodies and scientific institutions, the public, and the science communication community.
Main Activities & ResponsibilitiesPercentage
Identify and develop the range of outreach and engagement activities and opportunities.15
Seek innovative ways in which to develop the institutes' outreach activities, including digital options and events.15
Identify and develop engagement activities to support delivery of ISP pathways to impact10
Monitor research on UK public attitudes to science and on specific issues (e.g. GM and gene editing technologies) and work with the Head of Communications and Engagement to ensure the institutes' engage effectively to inform public discourse on biotechnology and to be informed by public opinion and expectation.10
Represent JIC and TSL at local, regional and national events. Ensure written, digital and verbal engagement reflect JIC and TSL brand values and takes into account principles of equality and diversity.5
Make new links with stakeholders and respond to requests from external enquirers - advise on proactive visit invitations.5
Liaise with peer and partner organisations providing support for external organisations/campaigns to achieve mutual engagement objectives as appropriate.5
Supervise and support development of creative, interactive materials for science communication events and outreach activities at local, national and international level.5
Support and coach speakers and volunteers through participation public engagement and outreach events and activities5
Evaluate and report on impact of public engagement and outreach activities5
Ensure the C&E team-lead engagement activities align with the institutes' communications and engagement strategies, are targeted at priority stakeholders and deliver identified objectives.5
Maintain a calendar of C&E team-led activities and outcomes and track investment (time and cost)5
Work closely with colleagues in the Communications and Engagement team using project management tools and techniques to deliver the communication and engagement strategies of both institutes.5
Use internal communications channels and events to drive employee engagement to meet the institutes' strategic objectives.5
As agreed with the line manager any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post.

Education & QualificationsRequirementImportance
Education to degree level or equivalentEssential
Qualification in a communications discipline or equivalentDesirable
Bio or life science backgroundDesirable
Project management qualification or equivalentDesirable

Specialist Knowledge & SkillsRequirementImportance
Knowledge of science communication and public engagementEssential
Specialist knowledge in the area of communicationsEssential
Excellent budget and time management skillsEssential
A broad theoretical and practical knowledge across the communications portfolioDesirable

Relevant ExperienceRequirementImportance
Project management expertise with a proven track record of delivering complex projects to deadlineEssential
Substantial experience in a similiar role, with experience of working with a range of high level stakeholders, Essential
Experience in influencing and persuading senior members of staffEssential
Experience of managing complex stakeholder relationships and communicating sensitive or complex issues to a variety of audiencesEssential
Experience of delivering engaging and effective internal communications and eventsEssential
Experience of managing issues under pressureEssential
Experience of working effectively in a small team with diverse skillsEssential

Interpersonal & Communication SkillsRequirementImportance
Excellent writing and communication skills with a high level of attention to detailEssential
Ability to process complex information and present targeted messages to different audiencesEssential
Promote quality approaches making others aware of the impact of qualityEssential
Highly organised, priorities own workload and manages own time effectivelyEssential
Ability to work as part of a team and establish and maintain good working relationshipsEssential
Interacts enthusiastically with science leadsEssential
Appraise, interpret and apply suggestions, recommendations and directives to improve servicesDesirable

Additional RequirementsRequirementImportance
Promotes equality and values diversityEssential
Provide professional public engagement support out of working hours when neededEssential
Takes responsibility for meeting own development needsEssential

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