Communications and Engagement Officer

London (Greater) (GB)
£32,676 - £37,297 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Thursday, 6 May 2021
End of advertisement period
Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Communications and Engagement Officer

Job ID: 021924

Salary: £32,676 - £37,297 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance

Posted: 04-May-2021

Closing date: 25-May-2021

Business unit: IoPPN

Department: Vice Dean Research/Research Office 

Contact details: Franca Davenport, NIHR Maudsley BRC Communications and Engagement Manager,

Denmark Hill Campus   Professional and support services    

Job description 
The NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is a joint Partnership project of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM) and King’s College London.
Established in 2007, the BRC was awarded a further £66m for the period 2017-2022 to deliver an ambitious portfolio of experimental medicine and early phase translational research in mental health and neuroscience. The BRC operates within the framework of the King’s Health Partners (KHP) Academic Health Science Centre.
A new, open competition for NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) will be launched by NIHR and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in April 2021: our NIHR Maudsley BRC will be applying for its fourth cycle of funding for the period 2022-2027. This role is critical in ensuring communications and engagement remain prominent throughout the competition period.
The BRC is researching novel tests, treatments and technologies to understand and treat mental disorders. Our aim is to accelerate the  translation of the latest scientific discoveries into first-in-man clinical trials and other well designed studies. The findings from these studies can then be developed and implemented to produce new tests and treatments for people with mental and neurological disorders.
The Communications and Engagement Officer will be responsible for supporting the Communications and Engagement Manager in delivering the NIHR Maudsley BRC communications and engagement strategy (job share). Working closely with the core BRC Administration Team and joint Research & Development Office at Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and SLaM. They will promote the BRC’s expertise and facilities and enhance the influence and impact of its research via the website, social media and to journalists, patients and the public. They will produce a newsletter for the BRC, organise events to engage key internal and external stakeholders, ensure the website is up to date, draft and issue news on NIHR funded research and help ensure affiliations in research papers are correct.
An additional element of the role is to work one day a week delivering the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) Research & Development Communications strategy. Our service users are at the very core of SLaM's R&D strategy: our principal aim is for all our service users to have the opportunity to choose to participate in research appropriate to their interests, supported and informed by research-engaged clinical staff. This in turn will help the BRC and researchers across the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience as well as SLaM to recruit participants into studies.
This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract until 30 November 2022.
This is a full-time post.

Key responsibilities

  • The Communications and Engagement Officer for the NIHR Maudsley BRC will be expected to work autonomously, proactively managing and prioritising their workload under the direction of the NIHR Maudsley BRC Communications and Engagement Manager.
  • Plan, coordinate and deliver internal and external communication projects and campaigns using a variety of traditional and digital communication channels, aimed at key stakeholder groups including staff at SLaM, the IoPPN and King’s College London, patients and the public, the NIHR and Department of Health and Social Care, policy makers, industry and the wider UK life sciences sector.
  • Support implementation of communication strategies to promote BRC-funded facilities and strategic research programmes.
  • Draft communications that effectively inform, motivate, engage and involve internal and external stakeholders, ensuring they are consistent with BRC and SLaM R&D strategic objectives and promote and enhance our position in relation to delivery of translational research and its benefit to patients, the public and the UK life sciences sector.
  • Build effective relationships with internal audiences including communications departments across King’s Health Partners, to agree strategies for collating and promoting BRC/R&D activities and outputs.
  • Undertake administrative functions to facilitate the smooth running of the BRC/R&D Communications and Engagement function.
  • Support the communications requirements of the BRC (and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and IoPPN) and specific projects requiring communications expertise.
  • Plan and, where agreed with SLaM and IoPPN communications departments, undertake proactive media relations work, working with the BRC Communications and Engagement Manager.
  • Support the Communications and Engagement Manager with media relations activity by drafting media materials, press releases and liaising with journalists.
  • Manage the website and digital content strategy for the Maudsley BRC, R&D activity and associated programmes and infrastructure, ensuring the websites are kept up to date, coordinating input from SLaM and IoPPN staff and students, and managing external web development and maintenance agencies.
  • Use digital and social media channels to promote the work of the NIHR Maudsley BRC.
  • Write and edit web content. 
  • Write engaging content and coordinate the design and production of key publications including brochures, leaflets, staff newsletters, posters and other materials, sourcing photography and liaising with partner organisations where necessary.
  • Edit and proofread articles, blogs, brochures, patient information leaflets, posters and PowerPoint slides as necessary.
  • Facilitate effective networks internally and externally to maximise knowledge and understanding of BRC/R&D work and new developments.
  • Act as a point of contact for internal and external audiences, including service users, monitoring and responding to enquiries and providing communications advice and expertise as appropriate.
  • Coordinate event management, including playing a key role in the organisation and planning of major events and exhibitions, identifying suitable venues, marketing, communicating with guest speakers and delegates, managing attendance of guest speakers, including hospitality, accommodation and travel, arranging exhibition stands, planning ahead materials and logistics, liaising as needed with senior colleagues within and external to the BRC/R&D teams.
  • Troubleshoot any problems or issues that occur in relation to BRC/R&D events activities.
  • Manage a busy workload and ensure appropriate prioritisation of projects and deliverables to meet a range of deadlines.
  • Manage administrative systems relating to the BRC/R&D communications function including finance systems, contacts databases, distribution lists, preparation of reports and documents, image databases, and telephone cover as required.
  • Support the BRC Communications and Engagement Manager in performance of their duties and responsibilities as well as provide general communications support to the BRC as required.
  • Provide communications advice and guidance to BRC/R&D staff, including branding; identifying media and communications training needs and organising appropriate training.
  • Maintain and enhance own personal and professional skills and competencies.
  • Keep abreast of professional, technological and digital best practice, methods and services that could enhance the role or the team.

Any other duties as required by the line manager.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

  • Excellent communication skills including a high standard of written and spoken English.
  • Educated to degree level, with a science degree, or equivalent science-related work experience.
  • An interest in mental health and neuroscience research.
  • Ability to translate and interpret research papers and BRC activities into accessible communications suitable for dissemination to non-specialist audiences, such as the media, patients and general public.
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills, able to manage own workload and prioritise tasks in a busy work environment.
  • Good working knowledge of all communications disciplines, including social media and traditional media   and their use as part of an integrated communications strategy.
  • Sound news sense and direct experience of writing, editing and proofreading copy for a wide range of audiences and for different channels, including digital and social media.
  • Ability to network and develop new relationships both externally and internally, with a collaborative approach to work, supporting others, demonstrating tact and diplomacy.

Further information 
The role is currently working from home but normally based 4 days a week in the IoPPN Main Building at Denmark Hill; with one day a week at  SLAM offices in Denmark Hill.

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.