Communications Manager

UKRI - UK Research and Innovation

Direct Entry Job Permanent Didcot, UK

Uploaded 23 Jun 2022

Job Description

We are looking for a talented communicator, with the skills provide leadership for our departments’ external communications activities, a flair for developing engaging content and a keen interest in space. The role is part of RAL Space’s small, embedded communications team which is helping to connect the work of our department with our audiences through compelling storytelling.

We are looking for someone to join the team with strong interpersonal skills who will be able to quickly get to grips with complex subject matter and build relationships across the department. You will proactively seek out stories and ensure we are using best practice to share them with our audiences. You will be an experienced professional, confident to provide advice and support to our staff and to work with external partners to help protect and promote our brand in new and innovative ways.

This role is varied and interesting, with the opportunity to apply your full communications skillset in a fascinating subject area. Our team delivers stakeholder engagement, public outreach and marketing as well as internal and external communications, so you will be adept at managing multiple project and supporting the work of the wider team. You could find yourself commissioning videos of a new facility one day and writing a case study for a novel Earth observation technology on the next. 

Our team is small and friendly and punches above its weight on behalf of our department while being well respected within the wider STFC communications teams. This is a fantastic opportunity to work within the flourishing space sector and within a unique and influential organisation.

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

Summary of key duties and responsibilities 

  • Develop and implement communications strategies and campaigns that deploy a range of tools to raise awareness of RAL Space science, technology and facilities to key stakeholder groups
  • Manage the RAL Space brand; lead on creating and maintaining consistent and appropriate messaging and visual materials
  • Provide expert communications counsel to colleagues
  • Oversee RAL Space’s social media presence, keeping up to date with best practice
  • Oversee RAL Space’s website content including directing the ongoing update programme
  • Build relationships across the department to develop an understanding of the departments' work and needs of its communities
  • Source and share newsworthy information from the department by producing articles, features and news stories.
  • Proactively explore and develop relationships with partner organisations and key stakeholders
  • Brief and liaise with journalists, opinion formers and production companies where required, working in conjunction with STFC central communications team
  • Deputise for the Head of Communications where needed
  • Manage direct reports in the team

Contacts and Communication
RAL Space Communications Team, RAL Space staff (all levels), STFC and UKRI Communications and Engagement Teams, STFC business development teams, internal design teams

Industry and academic partners, key government, space sector, Harwell Campus stakeholders, members of the public, potential partners in traditional and non-traditional media  

Person Specification


  • Educated to degree level or with relevant equivalent experience
  • Experience of planning, delivering, and evaluating communications campaigns
  • Experience of a wide range of communications tools and skills including:
    • media relations
    • digital media platforms, including website and social media
    • events and stakeholder relations
    • managing creative suppliers
  • Experience managing a brand and developing messaging
  • Excellent communication abilities, both written and oral – quality of cover letter and presentation in interview
  • Good organisational/ resilience/ determination skills
  • Good interpersonal skills with experience managing small (virtual) teams to deliver projects
  • Enthusiasm for space, science and communications


  • Qualification in communications, such as Chartered Institute of Public Relations or Chartered Institute of Marketing
  • People management experience
  • Understanding of marketing and website management
  • Proficient in creative media packages, such as Photoshop, InDesign, PremierPro and Movie Maker
  • Experience explaining complex subject matter to a non-specialist audience