Communications Manager- UKCDS


UKCDS are currently seeking a Communications Manager to oversee the delivery of all UKCDS’ communications activities and to help achieve the vision and objective of UKCDS for the period 2016-2018.

The UKCDS Secretariat works with funders of research relevant to international development to bring people together, share information and promote opportunities. The aim is to maximise the impact of UK research investments on international development outcomes. This role will initiate and develop appropriate, cost-effective processes for the promotion and dissemination of UKCDS activities and publications, and to explore new communications approaches to achieve UKCDS objectives.

Main job activities

1. Management and oversight of the UKCDS website and other promotional and awareness raising materials:

a) Manage the strategic oversight of the UKCDS website by:

  • Writing original content and developing content by editing, optimising and adapting existing material for the website, newsletter and other communications materials.
  • Working with UKCDS Secretariat, members and stakeholders to write reports of events for the website, and where appropriate, to produce and edit audio and video content related to events.
  • Manage routine web updating and social media presence.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the usage of the website.
  • Developing strategies for increasing visitors to the website and raising UKCDS’s profile through social networking platforms.
  • Liaise and coordinate effectively with other communications staff across UKCDS members and stakeholders.
  • Develop the UKCDS monthly newsletter and identify opportunities for expanding its audience.
  • Lead on the development of other communications materials and their dissemination.
  • Develop and maintain the brand and style guide.

2. Work with and coordinate research communication activities with members and stakeholders, to ensure added value, coordinated messages and maximum outreach, by:

a) Identifying key opportunities and leading media relations work for relevant Secretariat or member activities.

b) Initiating or supporting communications activities that help raise awareness of UK research contributions to international development and/or  mutual benefits for the UK science community.

c) Proactively working with members and key stakeholders to facilitate sharing of best practice in research communication and uptake.

3. Take the lead role in organising communications activities at UKCDS events such as conferences and workshops, by:

a) Working with staff, members or stakeholders to agree target audiences and methods of communication for maximum PR and impact.

b)Designing and preparing relevant materials, such as press releases, summaries or case studies.

c) Ensuring all materials are high quality, and consistently branded.

Person Specification 


1. A first degree, preferably in a science or social science, and appropriate communications experience, with a broad knowledge and understanding of science’s contribution to society.

2. Experience of managing and leading communications including:

  • developing a strategic approach to communication and taking initiative to explore new modes of communication to help achieve organisational or team objectives.
  • commissioning/managing work contracted out to other suppliers; for example, creative agencies, web developers, PR advisers.
  • knowledge of good web design principles and awareness of good practice, including accessibility and usability issues.
  • ability to recognise interesting and relevant material and synthesise it in a clear, concise and accurate way.
  • proven editing and writing skills, including experience of working with journalists, copy-editors, writers and designers.
  • working with or leading research communication activities, such as conferences, showcases or media campaigns

3. Relevant technical experience, including:

  • experience of using content management systems
  • good understanding of search engine optimisation
  • familiarity with social networking applications, including Twitter and LinkedIn
  • some experience of using Photoshop and InDesign
  • Google Analytics and other communications monitoring tools

4. Excellent planning and organisational skills.

5. Ability to work in a small team or independently, with minimal supervision, and to use initiative.

6. Ability to reason accurately and quickly, to learn quickly and to handle complex ideas.


1. Previous experience of journalism, PR or marketing.

2. Familiarity with audio and/or video editing software in order to produce web-based materials.

3. Experience of report and/or publications production, including working with designers.

4. Experience or knowledge of the international development sector.

Applications for this role are restricted to current Civil Service employees. This includes individuals currently employed by Government departments, Agencies, and Non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs).

The deadline for applications is 28 June 2016.
For further information and to apply please visit the UKCDS jobs page.