JOB TITLE:                               Communications Assistant

REPORTING TO:                       Marketing Officer

RESPONSIBLE FOR:                 No staff

BASED:                                    Wellcome Wolfson Building, Queens Gate, London, SW7 5HD

TERMS:                                     Full time 35 hours per week. Fixed term contract until end of September 2016. Dependent on funding, this post could be extended until end of December 2016. Requests for part-time or flexible working will be considered.              

SALARY:                                  £19,500 per annum pro-rata

Overall Purpose of the job

The British Science Association (BSA) is a charity that aims to make science a fundamental part of culture and society. We want to support, grow and diversify the community of people interested in and engaged in science; and to strengthen their influence over science’s role in their lives.

The BSA organises major initiatives across the UK, including British Science Week; the annual British Science Festival; regional and local events through our network of volunteer-led Branches; the CREST Awards, and other programmes for young people in schools and colleges. We also run specific activities and training for professional science communicators.

We are seeking a Communications Assistant to join our centralised comms team at the BSA’s head office during the busy period before and during the British Science Festival.

The British Science Festival attracts thousands of visitors each year, with hundreds of events, talks and performances being held in just four days. This year, the Festival will take place from 6-9 September 2016 in Swansea. For further information, visit:

Each year, the Festival generates a great deal of press interest and the British Science Association runs a strong press operation to facilitate this. In the run up to the Festival the BSA provides support and guidance for researchers presenting at the Festival and we also assist the journalists in early engagement with the research by providing press papers. On site during the Festival week, the BSA holds a number of press conferences and operates a Press Centre.

We also produce a Festival magazine, Ignite, which includes editorial content based on events in the programme as well as celebrating the work of our partners and sponsors. In addition to the magazine, we also run a blog, run social media campaigns and send newsletters to our members and supporters in order to promote the Festival and boost bookings ahead of the event.

As well as assisting on the communications plan for the British Science Festival, the successful candidate will also be expected to work on the comms delivery for the other programmes at the BSA, including our education programme, the CREST Awards, and other upcoming events for science communicators.

Key responsibilities

The Communications Assistant will be expected to work on a range of projects alongside colleagues in the Communications team. The main tasks include:

  • Delivering the social media strategy for the British Science Festival across a number of platforms;
  • collating the press papers for the British Science Festival by liaising with the many different speakers who will be at the Festival;
  • writing press releases, collating the press programme documents, and responding to media requests;
  • updating the BSA website with news stories and blog posts;
  • providing content for the BSA’s regular e-communications;
  • assisting on the media evaluation after the Festival, and providing press clippings, coverage and data to the Development team;
  • other tasks as reasonably required by the line manager.

Full job description (pdf)

To apply

Please send us your CV and a covering letter that summarises your interest in this post, and details your ability to match the criteria outlined in the Person Specification. Applications should be made via email to, with the subject “Comms Assistant Job Application”.

The closing date for applications is 13 July 2016 at 5.00 pm

The interviews for this position will be on w/c 18 July 2016

Terms and conditions

The Communications Assistant will ideally begin work in mid-July, although this is negotiable, and will work until the end of September. Dependent on funding, the role could be extended until the end of December 2016.

Some weekend work and extended hours may be required in the run-up to the Festival. You must be available to attend the Festival in Swansea for its duration as well as a few days beforehand, 2-10 September (inclusive) – accommodation is provided in Swansea during this period and related travel and subsistence expenses will be paid.

The position is offered at a salary of £19,500 pro-rata per annum.

From time to time the job entails working extended hours, for which no overtime payments are made. However, The British Science Association does operate a time off in lieu policy. Applicants should note that hours may be particularly demanding, including weekends, during the British Science Festival in September of each year.

The Association offers a number of benefits to employees including a contributory pension for eligible employees after three months’ service. Employees are also entitled to either an interest free season ticket following their probationary period or after three months' service (whichever is the longer) or a bicycle loan following the probationary period. All employees are eligible to have death in service insurance from day one of service.

Candidates selected for an interview will be asked to bring along proof of nationality and/or proof of ability to work in the UK. Do you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings that are not “protected” as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013)? The amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975 (2013) provide that certain spent convictions and cautions are ‘protected’ and are not subject to disclosure to employers, and cannot be taken into account.

It is the policy of the British Science Association to appoint successful candidates on the lower end of the pay scale. This allows for progression for the successful candidate during their time at the BSA.

Due to number of responses we receive we are unable to respond individually to each application. If you have not heard from us within three weeks of the closing date then please assume that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

The British Science Association is an equal opportunities employer and a company committed to diversity. The British Science Association is committed to the fair and equal treatment of potential and existing employees irrespective of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, ex-offending background or any other potentially discriminating factor. Only applicants who have a legal right to work within the UK will be considered.

This is a description of the job as it is presently constituted. It is the practice of the Association to examine job descriptions from time to time and to update to ensure they relate to the job as then being performed, or to incorporate whatever changes are reasonably required, in discussion with the post-holder.