Returning Candidate?

Policy Adviser

Policy Adviser

Job ID 
Job Locations 
Posted Date 
International Affairs
Closing Date 
Position Type 
Permanent Full-Time

More information about this job

Job Scope

The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth, dedicated to promoting excellence in science. It is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering and medicine.


International activities are embedded across the work of the Society. They feature within many of the Society’s core programmes and targeted activities are led principally by the International Affairs, Science Policy, Grants and Scientific Programmes teams. Cross-sectional teams are often pulled together, to cover our work on Brexit for example. The Society’s international objectives are to:

  • Encourage and support excellence in science internationally:
  • Take a lead in ensuring that the UK plays an influential role in international science, and science policy
  • Support developing countries especially in Africa and the Commonwealth The Society works closely with other academies and networks of academies, governments, funding agencies, industry and the diplomatic corps around the world to build partnerships and promote international relations. With knowledge and a real enthusiasm for the scientific aspects of international affairs, the post holder will join a small International Affairs team of five. S/he will work flexibly on a number of projects, often in cross-sectional teams involving external partners, whilst also contributing to the work of the section as a whole. S/he will be expected to hold geographic expertise in at least one the Society’s priority countries or regions and to work with others on delivery.


 Interviews will take place week commencing 6 November.


  • Monitoring developments in international science and policy, horizon scanning and producing regular briefings and updates for Fellows and colleagues
  • Organising meetings and events in the UK and overseas for senior academics and Royal Society leadership
  • Preparing agendas, background papers, briefings, presentations and speeches, and meeting minutes on a range of topics
  • Managing discrete projects ensuring they are delivered on time, on budget and in scope
  • Cultivating and maintaining a relevant network of contacts in governments, academia, and around the world in relevant organisations
  • Promoting the Society’s work to increase its impact with international audiences in the UK and around the world
  • Contributing to other activities within the Royal Society as required such as cross-sectional groups and committees, social media and blogs

Key Knowledge and Skills Required


Skills and experience


Knowledge of and some experience in international science, policy or international relations         

Excellent writing skills with the ability to write for a variety of audiences                                          

Able to convey complex and sensitive information and ideas effectively

Excellent organisational skills with the ability to manage conflicting deadlines                                 

Ability to use own initiative and contribute new ideas                                                                        

Ability to work effectively in a small team and interact with people at all levels of seniority

Understanding of diplomatic and international business etiquettes




Able to be flexible about working hours and undertake travel on rare occasions


Personal qualities


A proactive self-starter, who is open and curious about international science, international politics and relations issues and able to draw on this to seize opportunities and improve performance

A confident communicator, who acts with honesty, integrity, professionalism, manages expectations and considers wider political, social and cultural contexts

An adaptive and resilient team player, able to plan, deliver and prioritise under pressure, proposes solutions to problems that take account of risks and how to manage them


1. Self Management (Intermediate)

Key Indicators:

Managing stress/ effective & efficient/ self motivated/ enthusiastic/ confident/ self awareness


  • Works unsupervised and can motivate self
  • Produces results under pressure
  • Can manage in stressful situations
  • Pushes for the best results


 2. Working with others (Essential)

Key Indicators:

Collaborative/ shares knowledge/ giving & receiving feedback/ engaging & networking/ negotiation/ influencing/ presentation skills/situational & organisational awareness


  • Willing to cooperate and share knowledge within the team
  • Willing to help others in times of need
  • Listens to and acts upon feedback from senior colleagues
  • Able to give simple presentations to sectional colleagues
  • Understands that one’s own actions and behaviours will influence how others perceive and engage with the Society


3. Resource management (Essential)

Key Indicators:

Planning/ organisation/ prioritising/ results focus/ quality focus


  • Is aware of and works within budgetary and resource constraints
  • Organises own workload prioritising according to business need
  • Is flexible and adapts to changing circumstances and priorities
  • Looks for ways to improve quality or results
  • Meets the standards of quality expected for their role


4. Critical thinking (Intermediate)

Key Indicators:

Accuracy/ attention to detail/ analytical/ decision making/ judgement/ problem solving/ creativity/ innovative


  • Determines and clarifies the exact requirements of any situation
  • Checks information for accuracy and raises concerns if information is inaccurate
  • Extracts the key points succinctly, clearly and accurately
  • Puts forward suggestions for improvement concerning current processes or systems
  • Tries different ways of doing things to get the best results


5. Adaptability (Intermediate)

Key Indicators:

Adaptable/ flexible/ dealing with new situations


  • Overcomes obstacles and is not deterred by setbacks
  • Questions assumptions and works out alternative approaches
  • Reacts proactively to new challenges and works in a flexible manner to produce solutions
  • Provides feedback and participates on discussions surrounding new ideas approaches or projects


6. Managing people and relationships (Essential)

Key Indicators:

Motivates others/ builds rapport/ customer focus & stakeholder engagement/ discreet/ empathetic/ diplomatic/ managing conflict


  • Shares responsibility for the performance and workload of the team where appropriate
  • Handles requests promptly and politely.
  • Participates in stakeholder engagement
  • Respects opinions and deals appropriately with complaints