Organisation BBSRC
Organisation Detail BBSRC - External Relations Unit
Reference Number IRC239693
Location Swindon See on Map
Salary £29900
Date Posted 11 January 2017
Grade RC-D
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 31 January 2017
Interview Date 06 February 2017

Salary: £29900
Grade: D
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 31 January 2017
Interview Date: 6 February 2017

BBSRC’s Communications and Engagement Team (CET) works to secure and maintain the best possible environment for the UK bioscience community to undertake research and to realise the potential of bioscience to deliver economic growth, wellbeing and improved quality of life in the UK and beyond.

CET leads BBSRC programmes to raise awareness of BBSRC, BBSRC research, its impact and relevance with the aim of creating advocates and supporters. It owns strategies to build and maintain trust with stakeholders by being open, transparent and by considering a diversity of views in strategic decision making.

The team works across projects and campaigns to deliver communications and engagement objectives using integrated campaign approaches employing media, social media, public affairs, digital communications, events, content development, stakeholder management and advocacy, public engagement and audience insight.

CET staff work closely with the other Research Councils as part of the Research Councils Communications and Engagement Group and with partners such as BBSRC strategically funded institutes, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, strategic partner universities, charities and industry.

The team has been independently assessed through a Government Communications Service review as high-performing. 

The focus of this role is to:

  • identify research and write media releases, and create social media content, features and other placed articles as part of a self-managed programme of proactive communications activity
  • contribute to normal newsroom and social media channel cover, with flexibility for extraordinary reactive media office cover as required. Take responsibility, in discussion with colleagues, for responding to media requests and delivering a high quality reactive service
  • develop or manage the delivery of appropriate and supportive content in support of integrated communications plans, for example use of social media, visuals, animation, video and, in discussion with colleagues, consider opportunities for utilising alternative channels and platforms
  • deliver a bespoke media training programme for the BBSRC research community, including providing personalised advice
  • contribute proactively to wider Research Councils UK (RCUK) group activities and work streams – including the RCUK News Planning Group
  • gather news for, edit and manage BBSRC’s monthly e-news
  • work in a supportive, collaborative and integrated manner with colleagues to ensure integrated communications campaigns including a digital element
  • contribute to evaluation programmes and take responsibility for evaluating own programmes of work.

Person requirements


  • Degree level qualification in relevant field or equivalent experience
  • an ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing; understanding the importance of the role of media and digital content in delivering a targeted integrated communications strategy
  • ability to deliver high impact, audience-focused media coverage, including appropriate media targeting
  • demonstrable skills in social media particularly relating to Twitter and Facebook. Other digital channel experience including Tumblr would be advantageous
  • excellent interpersonal skills and a demonstrable ability to form effective networks of contacts across the media, communications offices, the research community and internally
  • a demonstrable ability to work with and advise internal and external contacts at all organisational levels
  • ability to manage own work plan and to contribute to wider team activities and priorities as required
  • excellent writing skills and ability to present complex information concisely under tight deadlines
  • ability to respond to media demands flexibly and, if necessary, outside of normal office hours
  • willingness to travel, with occasional overnight stays
  • a full UK driving licence.


  • excellent understanding of UK media landscape, specifically in science and trade press relevant to BBSRC
  • postgraduate qualification in communications, public relations or journalism, or equivalent experience
  • demonstrable experience of working in the research sector, with researchers or in communicating research through the media
  • demonstrable experience of working with sensitive and complex issues and of presenting these effectively using a range of media approaches
  • demonstrable experience of communications evaluation approaches.

Further details of the Council’s activities can be found on the BBSRC website

Underlying these aims is our belief in valuing the diversity of our employees and stakeholders in the scientific community. We are committed to eliminating unjustified discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity and good relations across and between equality groups. BBSRC strives to make decisions based on individual merit and ability and does not discriminate on the grounds of age, disability, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership, gender reassignment or on other grounds that cannot be justified.


Please submit your CV (ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded) detailing your educational and professional background and a covering letter (no more than two pages) outlining how your experience meets the criteria described within this advertisement, coupled with your reasons for applying to BBSRC.

Applicants who would like to receive this advert in an alternative format (e.g. large print, Braille, audio or hard copy), or who are unable to apply online should contact +44 (0) 1793 867000 (8.30am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday). Please quote the appropriate IRC reference number when calling.