Engagement and Communications Assistant


Direct Entry Job Permanent Harwell, UK

Uploaded 31 Aug 2019

Job Description

Salary: £24,777-£30,972 per annum
Grade: C
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time 
Closing Date: 15th September 2019


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe's largest research organisations. We're trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields.

STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.


RAL Space has over 260 staff who work on designing and building instruments for space, analysing data from space instruments, providing facilities for building and testing space instruments, managing space programmes, and conducting space research. RAL Space has significant involvement in over 212 space missions.

RAL Space have an embedded Communications team, who deal with a wide range of engagement from working with the media promoting the work that goes on in the department, to running the outreach programme which includes working with schools and visitors.

About the role

We are looking for you to be able to support and help develop our engagement and visits programme and assist with our communications. You will help support our aim to inspire and involve students and members of the public in our science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) programmes.

You will assist with planning and supporting engagement and outreach events both on and offsite for school and society groups and members of the public; guiding visitors and organising visits – some of which will be very high profile; organising displays at RAL and at exhibitions and conferences; assisting staff by improving their presentation materials; updating websites and creating a variety of display materials.

Although the topics and projects undertaken in the department are by their nature technical, a detailed technical or scientific background is not expected. You will however, work with scientific and technical people, so an appreciation of science and a readiness to learn will be very important.

An ability to simplify complex explanations and then summarise them clearly in good written and spoken English would also be an invaluable asset.

Summary of key duties & responsibilities

Engagement and Communications Assistant, working within the STFC RAL Space Communications team.

We are looking for a confident communicator able to liaise with both internal colleagues and research and industry stakeholders. You will have previous experience of event planning and will be able to confidently work alone, as well as having the ability to work supportively in a team. 

You will help develop and deliver our programme of strategically-planned activities to raise external awareness of and interaction with RAL Space with the public, government and space sector. You will liaise with and support events run by other parts of the STFC or UKRI to help deliver strategic stakeholder events and visits.

You will be confident to communicate with business and industry stakeholders as well as school children and members of the public. You will be confident raising your profile within the department, working with technical and scientific colleagues to deliver events and activities successfully. You will be able to work alone as well as supportively in a team. You will be able to manage your own workload and small projects.

List of Duties/Work Programme/Responsibilities

  • Co-ordinating the organisation and delivery of our events and visits programme
  • Pro-actively developing new partnerships to widen our engagement reach
  • Liaising with colleagues across STFC and UKRI to support, develop and deliver events and visits
  • Supporting staff with presentations, and guiding visitors around our facilities
  • Supporting the Communications Team with large conferences, exhibitions and events; such as creative materials for artwork and exhibition stand materials
  • Coordinate speakers, manage and support staff for off-site events and exhibitions
  • Manage the storage and maintenance of our visitor areas and engagement resources
  • Contribute to and assist with maintaining our in-house metrics and evaluation records
  • Support communication activities within the team, i.e. social media, written communication, newsletters and website editing
  • Assisting with media and production company visits, supporting filming and assisting with relevant communication and PR materials for these activities
  • Familiarity/proficiency with creative media software such as Adobe, Photoshop, InDesign Premier Pro, and/or Movie Maker
  • Initiative to suggest new ideas and carry them out
  • Assist with the management of our annual events calendar and co-ordinate resources for events
  • Creating event and web pages
  • Develop and maintain all event databases
  • Organise post-event logistics, i.e. feedback and evaluation reports.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at www.ukri.org

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Person Specification

Shortlisting Criteria (S) and Interview Criteria (I)


  • A level Maths and English A-C, or equivalent (S)
  • General computing skills and a working knowledge of commonplace office IT packages (S&I)
  • Attention to detail (S&I)
  • Organisational skills (S&I)
  • Oral, interpersonal and written communication skills (S&I)
  • Proven experience in an event planning or communications role (S&I)
  • Previous outreach and engagement experience with schools and the public (S&I)
  • Some out of hours working (e.g. if support is required at an event or exhibition off-site) and ability to undertake some travelling within the UK, and potentially overseas) (I)
  • Analytical and problem-solving abilities (S&I).


  • Qualification in communications, such as Chartered Institute of Public Relations or Chartered Institute of Marketing (S)
  • Interest in science and sharing and inspiring others through public engagement (S&I)
  • Proficient in creative media packages, such as Photoshop, InDesign, PremierPro and Movie Maker (S)
  • Experience producing content for social media including engaging images and video (S)
  • Experience explaining complex subject matter to a non-specialist audience (I)
  • Self-reliance, confidence and self-motivation (I).