[Job, London] @SMASHfestUK, Volunteer Co-ordinator, £28k pro rata, immediate start


Volunteer Co-ordinator (the post is paid, you’ll be co-ordinating volunteers!)
Pro Rata salary: £28,000

Volunteer Co-ordinator needed for exciting Science & Arts Festival. Immediate start. 

We are looking for a highly organised and adaptable volunteer co-ordinator to work at multi award-winning festival SMASHfestUK next month. SMASHfestUK is a narrative led arts and science festival based in Deptford, SE London which aims to increase diversity and participation in STEM. The festival runs from 12-16 February half-term 2018 at Deptford Lounge (Mon-Fri) and the Albany Theatre (Thurs & Fri). This role combines support and management of a diverse group of volunteers and assisting with our evaluation.

The volunteer co-ordinator is a hugely important and stimulating role at SMASHfestUK. Our volunteers are group of people from right across our local community and are at the heart of what we do. They include pupils at local schools, artists, scientists and students as well as a diverse group of adults from Deptford and the surrounding area. Ensuring that our volunteers have a positive experience is a priority for us and we are looking for someone who can help us deliver that.

We need someone who can start ASAP. The job is two to three days a week for the next three weeks (flexible working) and then full-time the week of the festival (12-16th February) plus one finishing up day.

We are a small and passionate team at SMASHfestUK. Please contact Sally Spurring sally@smashfestuk.com for more details if you would like to join us.



Posted in £25k to £30k, Co-ordinator of event volunteers | Tagged , | Leave a comment

[Not #scicomm] [Job, House of Commons, London] Snr Media & Comms Officer, £36.5k, clos 16 Jan 2018

This is not a science communication job but a more general media / comms one, however I present it as something of possible interest given the skills overlap 🙂 Note that this can be a job share.

House of Commons
Senior Media and Communications Officer (Select Committees)

Salary: £36,500 per annum
Salary Band: B1
Contract Type: Fixed term for 12 months, with the possibility of extension or permanency
Hours: Full time/ Job Share
Closing date: midnight on 16/01/2018
https://houseofcommons-careers.engageats.co.uk/ – click on ‘External’ and this one is on the front page

Copy of job desription (hosted here): Senior Media and Communications Officer Jan. 2018 

The Role
To provide strategic media and communications advice, handling and support for a group of select committees, and deliver the best possible coverage in print, broadcast and digital media, including mainstream national, regional and local news; trade, consumer and social media, and to assist in promoting and developing the work of committees overall.

The Person
The successful candidate will have the following skills/experience:

  •  Significant experience in a relevant environment in journalism and/or communications, with strong news sense and an ability to use this to deliver media coverage which supports the committee’s aims.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including the ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing, and the ability to persuade and influence at all levels, whilst upholding a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Ability to absorb complex and often technical subject matter quickly and thoroughly and to convey it accurately and in an engaging way


Annual leave starting at 28 days pro rata
Interest-free season ticket loan
Child care voucher scheme
Discounted membership of the in-house gym

All applications must be submitted on a House of Commons application form.

Posted in £35k to £40k, comms, government, not particularly scicomm-ish, press office | Tagged | Leave a comment

[Job, London] @POST_UK (Parl.Sci.Tech), Comms Mgr, £30.1k, clos 4 Feb

POST = Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. I’ve always been slightly smitten with them as they produce a range of short (usually 4 page) briefing documents ‘POSTnotes ‘ about a huge variety of science topics, aimed at ministers and anyone interested. They also produce POSTbriefs – “responsive policy briefings based on mini-literature reviews and peer review.”

Communications Manager
Payband B2
Salary £30,150
Contract Type Permanent
Working Hours Full Time, 36 hours
closing Sunday 4 Feb 2018
https://houseofcommons-careers.engageats.co.ukclick on ‘External’ button and go for a scroll through, today I found this job on the 5th page (there are other scicomm jobs too)

Copy of job description hosted on this site: Communications Manager

The Role
The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology is the UK Parliament’s in-house source of scientific information and supports both Houses of Parliament.  POST provides balanced and accessible overviews of research from across the biological, physical and social sciences, and engineering and technology. We place the findings of this research in a policy context for Parliamentary use.

As the POST Communications Manager, you will be responsible for developing and managing communications to promote POST products and services, (e.g. POST notes, fellowships and events) to internal and external audiences. You will have a background in science communication, and will be adept at communicating scientific information to specialist and non-specialist audiences alike.

The Person
The successful candidate will have the following skills/experience:

  •  Excellent communications skills (written and verbal.)  Experience of writing and editing written copy on technical subjects for print and online outlets
  • Experience of using social media to promote and disseminate content
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with proven ability to work effectively across multiple teams and maintain relationships with diverse stakeholders at all levels

Annual leave starting at 30 days pro rata
Civil Service Pension scheme
Interest-free season ticket loan
Child care voucher scheme
Discounted membership of the in-house gym

All applications must be submitted on a House of Commons application form

This job was last posted here in 2014: https://scicommjobs.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/job-post-communications-mgr-25k-clos-3-august-2014-scicomm-jobs/ (it may have been vacant in between then and now, but I didn’t post it if so).

Posted in £30k to £35k, comms, government, scicomm, science communication, vacancy | Tagged | Leave a comment

BIG Chat talk 2018

Address for this page is https://scicommjobs.wordpress.com/bigchat2018

Shortened address is https://bit.ly/bigchatjobs2018
(here’s why I shorten URLs for talks).

On Wednesday 17th January 2018 I gave a talk at the British Interactive Group (BIG)’s Little Event on science communication jobs, at Birmingham’s Think Tank.

Screenshot 2018-01-17 18.38.09

Above (click the picture) are my talk slides (PDF for now until I’ve tidied up the speakers’ notes!). More to come! Slide transcript-y bits are in green below.

Topic headings below follow the outline of my talk, with extra bits to be added under new headings. Everyone is welcome to offer suggestions for inclusion.

Speaking of inclusion, here’s an interesting article on people from communities that tend not to go to science museums and don’t feel that that sort of thing is for them: Reimagining publics and (non)participation: Exploring exclusion from science communication through the experiences of low-income, minority ethnic groups (2018), see also a blog post about this Challenging social exclusion in science communication (2018).

Section Zero (yup)

Where science communicators work

When I started out in science communication I didn’t know about the variety of jobs that could be done and learned about this by collecting a massive list of vacancies pages from scientific organisations (in London, where I live). That lives at the first link below and is very London-heavy (see the red arrow pointing to 180. Outside London, other countries. I have been trying to expand this to include other cities and countries and have developed the second link, which is an editable Google Document – feel free to add a vacancies page if you know of one. Obviously all the mailing lists and resources in Section Four will also advertise jobs, but not all jobs will be posted there. You must be proactive!!

Screenshot 2018-01-17 18.42.33
Original blog post ” Where London science communicators might work” mentioned in the talk (London heavy) – this is a massive list of collected vacancies pages from various scientific organisations with offices in London, it has expanded beyond London too. I am keen to hear of people who’ve done similar for their own cities / territories.
Publicly editable Google Spreadsheet of scicomm vacancies pages around the world – please add more. I created this from the list above and made it open-edit.
Science communication in the United Kingdom (Wikiversity) – quite good for an overview of the field, who’s who (organisationally), what’s what.

Screenshot 2018-01-18 21.20.04

Section One

What do I mean by #scicomm and PE?
Below is a slide from my talk, the original has animations with things pinging up and I hopefully explain them. This is an oversimplification and just what I understand these terms to mean.

Screenshot 2018-01-17 18.25.54

Science is done in some research-doing organisation. Many things then happen one of which might be academic publishing (black). Along the way (green leading off black arrow) preliminary results might be published in ‘public media’ and once research is completed there might be further press releases and more publication. That can be pretty much it – a one way ‘science done’ to ‘science published’. People enjoy hearing about new scientific discoveries… some may want to get more closely involved (lower pink arrow). Public can get involved in process of research (orange arrow pointing to black arrow – eg taking part in clincal trials). Another output of research and its publication (upper pink arrow) is the decisions made about future research, public can get involved in those decisions too (lobbying, or as a lay member of a research committee). Twirly black arrow at far left is indicating scientists reaching out to the public and inviting them to get involved and even co-create, an example of which might be Citizen Science. The terms science communication and public engagement cover all stages of this diagram but I tend to refer to #scicomm as the stuff on the right hand side of the picture (communicating science already done) and public engagement as the stuff on the left (engaging the public with science / research). But I may be wrong 🙂 After all going and giving a talk about science is obviously engaging them with science.

I also quite enjoy this science flowchart 😉

Briefly mentioned in my talk
Citizen science
New free online course from UCL: Introduction to Citizen Science and Scientific Crowdsourcing

Julie’s thread is about scientists who communicate science and she points out that not every scientist is supported to do scicomm, or to do it well and some don’t really enjoy doing it and shouldn’t be pressured.

Section Two

Building a portfolio
On the origin of science writers (2010) Ed Yong’s piece on how people became science writers. He created a blog post and asked science writers to add their story in the comments.
How to be a science presenter (2011) a post I wrote for this blog after attending an event at Cheltenham Science Festival. Apparently BBC producers keep an eye on YouTube (or did in 2011) to find talent…

Section Three

Screenshot 2018-01-18 21.15.37.png

Finding opportunities – horizon scanning

• BIG-Chat mailing list
• psci-com mailing list
ABSW – Association of British Science Writers
Stempra – mailing list for people working in STEM comms / PR.
• NCCPE – National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement – “Funded by the four UK Funding Councils, Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust the NCCPE helps inspire and support universities to engage with the public. The Centre is hosted between the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England.”
Getting into science communication (2015) – from Leeds University careers
• Oxford Uni’s Careers Advice for scientists – Alternatives to R&D
How museum work can combine research and public engagement (2017)
Curation jobs are an ideal opportunity to showcase skills in collation and animation.

Entry-level job at the Royal Society (paid internship, London Living Wage): Public Engagement Intern, closes 2 Feb 2018.

Paid internships (month long, London Living Wage) at the Science Media Centre, call will go out in May 2018.

Suggstion: given that both these internships mention the words science, communication, living wage and intern/s/hip on the webpage about this this suggests that other jobs would too. When I was creating my Great List of Vacancies Pages I used that logic and applied that sort of search term strategy to uncover ‘more of the same’, so I’d suggest sticking similar search into your favourite search engine. Add your city too (you can force Google to return only pages that do contain a word with +Birmingham, for example, and you can get pages saying “science communication” with quotes around the phrase, as opposed to pages where science happens to appear on the same page as the word communication, but where it might not be about scicomm.

Section Four

Screenshot 2018-01-18 21.16.52

Qualifications: what do they offer?
Getting a PhD to become a science writer (2012) – Scicurious post on not needing a PhD to be a science writer, following some discussion from someone who suggested that they might do a PhD for that purpose.
Sheffield MSc Science Communication alumnae – what did they do next? A selection of people who’ve done the course and the jobs they went on to do.

Didn’t include in the talk but…
Scicomm and public engagement journals
• Journal of Science Communication – JCOM (currently doing a call for papers on user experience of digital technologies in citizen science, and have a series of essays on universities and science communication).
Public Understanding of Science (PUS)

Section Five

Screenshot 2018-01-18 21.18.19

Applying for jobs
How to write a CV without work experience (Guardian Careers)
Some general thoughts on filling in job applications (2011) – post by me
Freelance fees guide from London Freelance
Freelance rates from National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
Freelance word rates – from Scott Carney
ABSW’s Reading Room – you can see the list of topics but you’ll need to be a member (discounted for students) to view items. This is aimed at science writers / journalists.

Really helpful thread from Peter Matthews below. It’s aimed at Early Career Researchers (people with a PhD who are getting post-doctoral positions at research institutions, usually universities) but the info is widely applicable.

Section Six

Notes to employers

/jobs –
Make it easy for visitors to your website to find where you’ve hidden your vacancies page. Do you call it jobs, recruitment, careers, opportunities? Have you hidden it in ‘About us’ or similar (good) or left it languishing in your website’s hinterland (bad)?
How can I/we persuade employers to set up a /jobs redirect from their homepage? (2017) – tips on creating a page redirect from another of my blogs.
An earlier post on /jobs and the thinking behind getting companies to point (their website)/jobs to wherever they’re hiding their vacancies page.

More to come here!

Section Seven

Language – not in talk

Section Eight

Stuff that doesn’t fit into the headings above…

Working abroad
• British Council – in previous years the British Council has hosted science communication internships with people on them travelling abroad. I’m trying to find out some more about this, but this page is from 2015.

Section Nine

Further reading

A changing sector: where is science communication now? – British Science Association’s survey of scicomm people whether ‘scientist communicators’ or ‘science communicators’.



Posted in scicommjobs admin | Tagged , | Leave a comment

[Job, London] NDCS, Media Relations Officer, £27-32k, clos 13 Nov #scicomm

Screenshot 2017-11-11 21.40.55.png
NDCS – National Deaf Children’s Society

Media Relations Officer
£27,575 – £32,218 per annum, 35 hours per week, permanent, London
Closing 13 November 2017

Uploaded job description: Media_Relations_Officer_JD_October_2017

“Are you passionate about the power of the media to help create change? We are looking for someone with a sound knowledge of PR principles and practices to help us raise awareness of childhood deafness, drive forward our campaigns and motivate the public to support us.

You will work with a range of diverse teams across the charity to deliver integrated media and PR projects to a wide range of print, broadcast and digital media outlets. Your excellent communication skills, together with the ability to liaise with internal and external contacts, will make you an invaluable part of our Media team. This is an exciting and diverse role and will suit someone who enjoys working both independently and as part of a wider communications department.

Ideally you will have experience working within a charity environment but we are open to applications from candidates with agency or other relevant experience.”

Posted in £25k to £30k, £30k to £35k, comms, health / medical, jobs, press office, scicomm, science communication | Tagged | Leave a comment

[Job, London] AMRC, Policy Officer, £25k clos 22 Mar #scicomm #scicommjobs

AMRC (Association of Medical Research Charities)

Policy Officer
£25k, clos 22 March 2017

permalink for job description: policy_officer_2017

Copy of text of job description and person specification.

Policy officer
Salary: £25,000 pa inclusive of location allowance
Central London, WC1
Closing date: 22 March 2017
Interviews: 29 March – 5 April 2017
Anticipated start date: April/May 2015 [I think they mean 2017!]

About the role
This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a small but highly-influential policy and public affairs team at the heart of the medical research community. You will work with other members of the team and engage with our member charities to develop and communicate AMRC policy.

About you
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential. You will be highly-organised, educated to degree level with ability for grasping and communicating complex issues. You’ll need to be self disciplined, adaptable and able to thrive in a busy environment with lots of challenges and tight deadlines. Experience and understanding of the role of medical research charities and the biomedical research environment in the UK are desirable, but not essential.

This job may suit someone with experience of working in a science; biomedical research or health policy environment, looking to rapidly develop their skills and experience and gain greater exposure to the medical research community.

About AMRC
The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) is the national membership organisation for the health and medical research charity world, influencing the policy and research environments by harnessing the collective strengths of our members, to demonstrate the sector’s positive impact on health and wellbeing.

We work with a range of opinion formers in the government, industry and academia, to ensure the best possible environment for health and medical research charities in the UK, so patients benefit from the fruits of research.

How to apply
Please send your CV and a covering letter, explaining what makes you a strong candidate for this role, to Nisha Tailor at n.tailor@amrc.org.uk. If you have any questions about the role or wish to have an informal conversation, please contact Nisha.

Policy officer
Reporting to: Head of Policy and Public Affairs
Responsible for: Liaising with AMRC members and partners to monitor developments in the medical research sector, developing policy that reflects the views and needs of our sector, and working with team members to effectively communicate AMRC policy to stakeholders.

Overall objectives:

  • Develop and amplify the medical research charity sector’s voice in policy development to improve the research environment to help charities fund the best research.
  • Support AMRC member charities to interpret and respond to policy developments.
  • Develop AMRC’s policy positions based on evidence and reflecting member perspectives.
  • Deliver the relevant strategic and operational parts of the AMRC plans, including supporting public affairs activities to increase AMRC policy impact.


  • AMRC is a small team and good communication between all team members is essential to working productively.
  • Stakeholders – build up relationships with policy and public affairs teams at our member charities, related
    organisations and civil service.

Key responsibilities

  • Support the head of policy and public affairs to develop policy positions.
  • Respond quickly and efficiently to enquiries.
  • Respond to consultations on behalf of AMRC.
  • Build relationships with policy and public affairs teams among the AMRC membership and work with the head of policy and public affairs to share information and provide any tailored support required through AMRC’s policy networks including the public affairs working group (PAWG).
  • Support the head of policy and public affairs in meetings with key individuals to promote AMRC’s policy and public affairs work at a devolved, UK and EU level.
  • Conduct policy, political and media monitoring for the AMRC team.
  • Work with the AMRC team to identify data and develop case studies to support AMRC policy and media work.
  • Work with the AMRC team to draft briefings and copy for AMRC’s website and blog on policy issues.


  • Maintain customer relationship management (CRM) database and networks to support public affairs work.
  • Office administrative support and other duties as needed.



Posted in charity, health / medical, policy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

[UK] Home-based citizen science jobs going with Parenting Science Gang #scicomm

Two jobs with Parenting Science Gang, from the Nappy Science Gang crew. Full details at https://nappysciencegang.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/do-you-want-to-work-for-parenting-science-gang/

Project co-ordinator (full time)

Employment details

  • Full time (37.5 hours a week, with 28 days annual holiday)
  • For 23 months
  • Salary £22,750 pa


Live chat co-ordinator (freelance, 1 day a week)

Employment details

  • We estimate, based on the earlier project, that your duties will take no more than 1 day a week (roughly 8 hours, but this can be spread around the week. You will need to manage your own time and there might be more to do some weeks than others. You are free to do more work in some weeks than others, as long as it gets done.)
  • 92 weeks spread over 23 months (allowing for holidays)
  • Pay £80/week

Closing date for both roles is 5pm on Friday 10th March. We will shortlist and telephone interview in the week commencing 13th March. The jobs will ideally start on Monday 20th March.

To apply, email Sophia Collins with your CV and a SHORT covering email, telling me why you’d be great for the job and one mistake you’ve made in your life that you learned something from.

Posted in citizen science, comms, community building, curation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment