Head of Communications
Post Details
Job Title
Head of Communications
Post Number
1003771
Closing Date
22 Sep 2019
Grade
SC4
Starting Salary
£49,540 - £60,430
Hours per week
37
Months Duration
Indefinite
Interview Date
03 Oct 2019

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Lead the communications activities at EI, by developing and delivering highly effective internal and external communication and engagement strategies, aligned to EI’s strategic science programmes. This will build on our existing reputation as a leader in genomics and computational science across a biodiverse range of species. The Head of Communications will develop and promote a clear, coherent and consistent brand, that is recognised nationally and internationally. They will be part of a wider team that engages with national and international debates on issues relevant to our mission, with the aim of fostering greater engagement with our science and support from policy makers and the public.

Key Relationships

Internal: Reporting to the Director of Operations, the Head of Communications will work closely with all members   of the Executive Team, including the Institute Director and Director of Science, all members of the Senior Management Team, Heads of Genomics Pipelines, Research e-infrastructure, Research Faculty Office, Plant Genomics, Business Development and Impact, Science Faculty Groups, Business Support and the Scientific Training groups.
Other: Board of Trustees and EI’s subsidiary Directors.
External: Media and Engagement organisations in the widest sense. Funding bodies including; Government, UK Research and Innovation, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council, Medical Research Council, Food Standards Agency and Wellcome Trust. Other; University of East Anglia, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, John Innes Centre, Quadram Institute Bioscience and the Norwich Research Park.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Communication Delivery - Communicating the outputs and impact of EI’s research, in a professional manner, suitable for the target audience and across all media platforms, including PRs, blogs, vlogs, advising Directors and Scientists on media handling. Supporting the Institute with key reporting material for annual reports and annual grant reporting cycles. Managing the EI contacts database and ensuring systems comply with GDPR requirements.
25
Public Engagement (PE) Strategy - Working with researchers and the PE Manager to review the existing PE Strategy and revise where needed to: (i) align with and provide opportunities for researchers to have dialogue on their research programmes with different PE audiences. (ii) consider how we can deliver PE via other media such as our website. (iii) have local and national reach.
10
Internal Communications - Delivering internal communications to enable effective engagement of staff and students with the strategic objectives of the Institute.
10
Leadership and Management - Lead and manage the Communications Group to promote a clear, coherent and consistent internal and external brand, which is recognised regionally, nationally and internationally. Member of the Senior Management Team.
10
Websites - Working with the digital specialists to ensure EI’s website (and any subsidiary websites) meets the needs of the wider communications strategy, is easy to use, contains content that users find useful, is robust and follows good practice. Monitor the users’ website experience, review and amend the website structure/content based on website trends/feedback.
10
External Communication Strategy - Working with Institute Directors, lead and develop a communications strategy that maximises the impact of the Institutes’ research outputs and Capabilities and Technology Platforms by: (i) aligning with and promoting the outputs from the research programmes to different target audiences. (ii) promoting EI’s capabilities, expertise, and technology platforms, within the context of being a National Capability site for our strategic partner (https://bbsrc.ukri.org/). (iii) ensuring key stakeholders and members of the public are aware of the work and impact that EI undertakes. (iv) building EI’s research profile and reputation for research excellence. (v) using all media platforms, with a focus on social and digital.
10
EI Subsidiaries - To build a communications strategy, brand and communication tools (including websites) that work with EI’s ‘parent brand’ for existing and emerging subsidiaries.
5
Stakeholder Awareness - Working with our Public Affairs team to ensure a joined up, and coordinated approach to influence policy makers and funders, to make a real measurable difference to our stakeholder/media awareness and understanding, leading to the adoption of opinions and behaviours favourable to achieving EI’s strategic objectives.
5
Media Relationships - To act as the senior point of contact between EI and news media. Working with the team to build strategic relationships with relevant journalists by providing them with comment, signposting and background briefings.
5
Brand Identity and Marketing - To build creatively on EI’s brand and its sub brands across all external communications, to ensure EI’s key messages and ensure brand identity. Work with the communications team to deliver high quality creative communications that enhance our brand/outputs.
5
Other - As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role
5

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
Degree or equivalent in relevant subject
Essential
Marketing and communications qualification
Desirable
Relevant scientific degree
Desirable

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Knowledge to lead on the development of the Institute’s communications strategy and channels, with a particular emphasis on digital content and distribution
Essential
Knowledge and experience of high profile media issues management
Essential
Budgetary management skills
Essential
Knowledge of the quantitative and qualitative research methodology
Desirable
Knowledge of crisis communications management
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
A track record of successfully delivering impactful communications strategies with measurable outcomes in an academic, public or third sector organisation
Essential
Evidence of strategic leadership in communication and/or marketing, including setting strategy and policy development
Essential
Managing a team and motivating staff to deliver a high standard of service
Essential
Successfully developing and maintaining key relationships with diverse stakeholders including the public
Essential
Leading on contentious issues, or crisis management, under considerable time pressure (anticipating, analysing and prioritising, ensuring that statements and briefing materials are prepared and, where appropriate brief staff)
Essential
Experience with performance targets and working with a range of key stakeholders, including funders, media and industrial partners
Desirable
Relevant experience of managing and processing communications and engagement within national policy and public opinion.
Desirable
Leading a Public Engagement (PE) Programme
Desirable
Experience of PE in a scientific setting
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Highly effective influencing skills
Essential
Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
Essential
Ability to prepare and coach scientists, senior managers and directors for media engagement
Essential
Excellent interpersonal, collaboration and relationship building skills
Essential
Ability to communicate with gravitas and conviction to influence the national and international reputation of the organisation
Essential
Proven ability to manage communication channels appropriately to effectively communicate the organisation’s outputs
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Willingness to be flexible about working hours in order to attend /host appropriate events
Essential
Willingness to travel in the UK and abroad and be away from home for short periods of time
Essential
An ability to fully support the type of research undertaken by EI and the wider Norwich Research park
Essential
Attention to detail
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Essential

Who We Are

Earlham Institute

Earlham Institute is a vibrant, contemporary research institute and registered charity, working in an area of rapid technological development and innovation.

Earlham Institute is strategically funded by the BBSRC to lead the development of a skill base in bioinformatics and a genomics technology platform for UK bioscience. The Institute is located on the Norwich Research Park, together with its partners: the John Innes Centre, the Institute of Food Research, The Sainsbury Laboratory, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The research park has an excellent reputation for research in plant and microbial sciences, interdisciplinary environmental science and food, diet and health, to which Earlham Institute contributes strengths in genomics and bioinformatics. Close links exist between the NRP partners and new opportunities for collaboration in exciting new initiatives are under development. The NRP recently received £26M of government investment to facilitate innovation and further develop infrastructure to attract science and technology companies to the Park to enhance the vibrant environment and realise economic impact from research investment.

Earlham Institute is a UK hub for innovative Bioinformatics through research, analysis and interpretation of multiple, complex data sets. It hosts one of the largest computing hardware facilities dedicated to life science research in Europe. This has been boosted recently by an e-Infrastructure grant to expand the data storage capacity to a multi-petabyte unit, deploying a high performance cluster and large-memory server enabling the allocation of processes requiring several terabytes of computing memory.

Earlham Institute’s state of the art DNA sequencing facility operates multiple complementary technologies for data generation that provide the foundation for analyses furthering our fundamental understanding of genomes and how they function. We aim to be at the forefront of technological advances and are developing and implementing technologies to generate and analyse new types of data. We also develop novel platforms to provide access to computational tools and processing capacity for multiple academic and industrial users and promoting applications of computational bioscience. Earlham Institute has one fully owned subsidiary, Genome Enterprise Ltd (GEL) via which it offers genomic and bioinformatics services on a trading basis and works with commercial providers on a partnership basis. Earlham Institute also receives specific funding to enable knowledge exchange programmes which are supported across the institute teams.

Department

Business Development and Communications Group

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Head of Communications

An exciting opportunity has arisen to lead the Communications Group at the Earlham Institute, a research organisation on the Norwich Research Park, working in genomics and computational and synthetic biology. Earlham Institute is core funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). To find out more visit www.earlham.ac.uk
 
The successful candidate will work alongside our scientists, students and support groups to lead, direct and manage a proactive, strategic communications service for the Institute. They will coordinate both internal and external communications, public relations, marketing, branding, social media, digital and stakeholder engagement activities. They will be a senior member of the Institute and an ambassador for our research.
 
Candidates should be educated to degree level and have an excellent understanding of the landscape for our research. They will be an experienced strategic communications lead in a similar organisation, with proven ability to develop and promote a clear, coherent brand.
 
Please click here to view the Head of Communications vacancy pack.

Informal enquiries about the role can be sent to sarah.cossey@earlham.ac.uk. For any queries relating to the applications process, please contact our HR team at nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk or 01603 450462.
 
We welcome applications from candidates that are seeking full or part time work.
 
Salary on appointment will be within the range £49,540 - £60,430 per year (pro rata for a part time appointment), depending on qualifications and experience. This role is offered on a permanent basis.
 
Closing date for applications is 22nd September 2019. Interviews will take place across two days 03 - 04 October 2019.