UKATC Communications Manager

STFC

Graduate Position Permanent Edinburgh, UK

Uploaded 3 Oct 2018

Job Description

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale.

A component Council of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), STFC funds frontier science, operates five laboratories across the United Kingdom including the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UKATC) and manages the UK’s involvement in major international science bodies including CERN in Switzerland and the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

As a result of an expanded role for UKATC, we require the services of an experienced and motivated science communicator on a part time (three days a week) basis.

You will work to inspire and excite the wider world about the research we support - whether it be particle or nuclear physics, space science, astronomy and cosmology, environment, biology, medicine, computing, the provenance of ancient artefacts or more.

Our goal is to ensure that STFC’s science, technology, facilities and the socio-economic impact of its research programmes receive regular and positive coverage in the national and regional mass media, trade and specialist media including lifestyle and consumer media when appropriate – with a particular focus on demonstrating relevance to Scotland and the North of England. 

STFC’s sciences are regularly front page news globally – and this role provides a key opportunity for an experienced communications professional looking for a more flexible working environment.

You will report directly to the External Communications Manager, with a dotted line relationship to the Director of the UK Astronomy Technology Centre.

The purpose of the role is to maximise positive promotional outcomes for UKRI through effective management of STFC’s activities in Scotland: media, events, public affairs, speeches and presentations.

In this capacity, you will interface as required with staff, the scientific community, industrial, national and international partners and third party stakeholders, whilst drawing upon and coordinating internal resources and external support services as necessary.

You will also have the responsibility of leading the communications function at and championing the communication of the successes of the UK Astronomy Technology Centre. In this role, you will work closely with the Director of the UKATC, other senior management, other laboratory staff and UKRI communications colleagues.

 Main duties will be to:

  • provide high quality, timely and politically sensitive advice on communications and engagement issues to the Director of the UKATC, their senior team and the wider STFC management structure
  • represent STFC/UKRI in direct engagement with MPs, MSPs, local Councillors, members of the academic and industrial communities and other stakeholders
  • proactively research and produce compelling content on the whole of STFC science and technology, with a particular focus on the work of the UKATC and Higgs Centre
  • assist with STFC/UKRI media and other events as required
  • respond to media enquiries by providing direct information or contacts
  • advise on and plan, promotional opportunities for STFC and its business units and in particular focus on UKATC and Higgs Centre
  • contribute to the maintenance of an effective issues management programme.

You will have no financial or line management responsibilities but will be required to work autonomously and to lead ad-hoc teams.

Person Specification

Shortlisting criteria

Essential:

  • significant experience in communications, public affairs and media relations in a high technology or science environment
  • Degree in physics, communications, or related field
  • experience in using social media to promote news stories to new and diverse audiences
  • experience of building stakeholder relationships
  • exceptional written and oral English communication skills.

Desirable:

  • demonstrated ability to lead and inspire small teams including line management experience
  • a current clean driving license.

Interview Criteria

Essential:

  • excellent organisational skills
  • self-reliance, confidence and self-motivation in order to work effectively on your own initiative, often under very tight deadlines, together with the capability and flexibility to work well within a small team
  • excellent interpersonal skills to develop quickly a good working relationship with academics throughout STFC’s science community and with internal colleagues and with contacts in associated/partner organisations and institutions
  • ability to undertake frequent travel between STFC sites and partner facilities and establishments across the country.  You must also have the flexibility to work longer than conditioned hours when necessary.

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