Communications and Policy Officer
Guild of European Research - Intensive Universities
The Guild is a new and transformative alliance of leading European research-intensive universities committed to creating a distinct and innovative voice in response to current scientific and societal challenges. Composed currently of 18 members in 13 countries, the Guild aspires to be truly representative of some of Europe’s best universities from across the continent. Through the commitment of its members for collaborative exchange, the Guild actively works to engage with policy-makers, enhance public debate, promote excellence in higher education and collaborate with private and public institutions to solve global challenges. A particular challenge for the EU and for European universities is how we can communicate the value of research and innovation effectively, without enhancing a sense of distance between citizens and ‘elites’. The Communication and Policy Officer will have a central role in this particular endeavor, facilitating better understanding of the Guild, its members, and of the EU’s research and innovation policies, amongst politicians, civil servants, journalists, academics, and a wider general public. Further information about the Guild, which was formed in 2016, is available on our website: www.the-guild.eu.
This is an exciting opportunity to join this visionary and ambitious alliance in its earliest stages, communicate its views and objectives to its target audiences, and work with a range of member organisations from across Europe committed to making the Guild a success.
The Communications and Policy Officer (CPO) will support the Secretary General in developing and maintaining a strong public profile for the Guild, ensuring the Guild communicates with a clear message that is heard and understood. The CPO will work with the entire team to ensure that all external communications are appropriate for their target audience, to ensure their maximum reach and effectiveness. The CPO will enhance the Guild’s website and its social media communications, lead on an innovative communication strategy, and develop further the Guild’s brand identity in all forms. The CPO will also lead on the development of effective communications with members, building excellent relationships with their Press and PR offices. The CPO will develop a sophisticated understanding of media stakeholders at the national and regional levels, in order to ensure the Guild enhances the visibility of each member. The communications strategy will also entail optimal communications with members, to support them with relevant and timely information on the Guild’s activities and policy developments in the EU. The CPO will also have an excellent command of policy issues, and work on a number of policy briefs as appropriate.
The position will involve:
- Ensuring that the Guild is heard in relevant social and print media;
- Maintaining and developing the Guild’s website;
- Developing the Guild’s brand identity, at events, in electronic and printed media, and in printed/pdf materials;
- Ensuring that all texts sent out for external circulation are formulated and designed optimally, and reach their target audience;
- Working with other members on the team, advising them on how particular messages can be at their most effective;
- Developing – and executing – a communications strategy, in partnership with member universities and with a clear eye for relevant stakeholders in Brussels and in our members’ states;
- Liaising with members to ensure that the Guild genuinely reflects the input of its members;
- Policy support for the Secretary General by developing particular expertise on policy areas relevant to research, innovation and education;
- Building and maintaining strong relationships with other appropriate influencing groups in Brussels, to ensure effective collaboration with them where possible and appropriate;
- Maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of European research and innovation policies;
- Promoting the excellence and reputation of member universities;
- Fulfilling other responsibilities and tasks as directed by the Secretary General;
- Developing close working relationships with other members of the team.
Profile and Competencies
The successful candidate should demonstrate the following competencies:
Education & Experience
- University degree, at Bachelor’s level or higher;
- Experience in marketing and communications, preferably in relation to EU and/or higher education;
- Good understanding of the functioning of European institutions and decision-making process;
- Good knowledge of the Higher Education Sector;
- Native or native-equivalent standard of spoken and written English, knowledge of another European language is an asset.
- Excellent command of the English language, and ability to write fluently and effectively in English;
- Excellent understanding of social media, website development, and brand development;
- Outstanding interpersonal and intercultural communication skills;
- Thorough understanding of how to enhance the Guild’s profile and message amongst relevant stakeholders, notably the EU (esp. the Commission, Parliament), member universities, national university bodies, and other university networks;
- Experience in developing, reviewing and synthetizing policies and EU documents, and communicating outcomes to a diverse and broad audience;
- Ability to work with all parts of our member organisations, in particular their press and PR offices, and their academics, to ensure that the voice of academics and students are heard – within the Guild and in Brussels;
- Ability to handle confidentiality in relation to members, and to the Guild;
- Good, practical working knowledge of MS Office systems (especially MS Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint), as well as key social media (twitter, facebook, instagram, etc) and web platforms;
- Excellent presentation and communication skills necessary to represent the Guild externally.
- Good research, analytical, and organizational skills;
- Highly motivated;
- Prepared to travel and undertake additional duties as required;
- Ability to tackle challenges in a creative and dynamic manner;
- Proactive and flexible, with an ability to work on multiple projects in a fast-paced environment;
- Ability to network and build relationships with outside organizations;
- Excellent inter-personal and communication skills within a multi-national context;
- Action-oriented, responsible and self-motivated;
- Dedication to the Guild’s objective;
- Positive and constructive attitude in an evolving environment.
The Guild offers
- Full-time position under Belgian law;
- Start date: As soon as possible;
- A European working environment located in Brussels;
- Unless a national of the ‘EU and EEA’, candidates must be eligible to work in Belgium and must have a work permit.
Further Enquiries, and Electronic applications (to include: a letter of application, CV in English (including current salary), the names of two referees who can provide a reference in English), should be submitted to email@example.com. The letter of application should include why you are interested in the post, and what you can contribute to it that is distinctive. The deadline for applications is 10 March 2017 3pm CET. We will be interviewing shortlisted candidates within three weeks of the application deadline.