• Senior Policy Adviser, Education

    Job Locations UK-London
    Posted Date 1 week ago(14/03/2018 17:43)
    Job ID
    Science policy
    Position Type
    Permanent Full-Time
    Salary Max
    GBP £48,000.00/Yearly
    Salary Min
    GBP £41,400.00/Yearly
  • Job Scope

    The Royal Society’s mission is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. Science is vital to many areas of government policy making and the Society seeks to ensure the government and the public have access to impartial and independent expert advice to inform debate and guide good decision making. The Royal Society provides independent, timely and authoritative scientific advice to UK, European and international decision makers. We champion the contribution that science and innovation can make to economic prosperity, quality of life and environmental sustainability; and we are a hub for debate about science, society and public policy. We are committed to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to appreciate the value of and engage with science through top quality education.


    We undertake the following activities, on topics that reflect the Society’s priorities:


    • Projects: Analysing the scientific evidence relating to major policy issues in collaboration with other experts.
    • Reports & publications: Producing reports, statements, consultation responses and other publications on a regular basis.
    • Events: Bringing together policymakers and scientists to discuss current topics in science policy.


    The Society’s policy work is led by the science policy team, working closely with the Media Relations, Public Affairs, Public Engagement, International Affairs and Diversity & Industry Programme teams. Activities are undertaken by a team of Senior Policy Advisers and Policy Advisers who work across a range of themes and policy issues, according to priorities and their own expertise.


    The Society’s partners include other Academies, learned societies, funding agencies, government, industry, charitable bodies, businesses and the public sector.


    With knowledge and a real enthusiasm for education policy, you will lead and deliver programmes of work. You will be expected to develop external briefings, conceive and deliver workshops and other meetings as well as provide advice for senior management, Fellows, the Society’s Vice Presidents and Council. You will enjoy exceptional visibility and variety. A creative thinker and effective problem solver, you will be adept at networking, motivating colleagues, building interdisciplinary relationships and working with committees, and you will bring a flexible approach to hours and working locations. It is essential that you are a fluent and persuasive writer and have experience analysing or commissioning analysis of data on education systems.


    Salary: £41,400 - £48,000 per annum

    Reports to: Head of Policy, Education

    Hours: 35 Hours per week



    The core of the job is to lead our broadening curriculum programme, which seeks to ensure all young people have access to education that supplies the knowledge, skills and experiences they will need to thrive in a changing world of work.


    This will involve:


    •  Building the evidence base for curriculum models.
    • Working with stakeholders to test different approaches to curriculum broadening.
    • Developing new projects that take forward this goal.
    • Building influential relationships with stakeholders in industry, higher education, teaching and government.
    • Overseeing projects undertaken by others, for example Policy Advisers and Project Coordinators.
    • Ensuring agreed projects and other activities are delivered on time, on budget and on scope.
    • Coordinating, drafting and editing policy studies, reports and other outputs.You will also be responsible for:

      Policy advice

    • Ensuring our advice is informed by robust qualitative and quantitative analysis.
    • Closely monitoring UK, International and EU policy developments in a policy area.
    • Identifying and analysing scientific and policy issues of relevance to the Society’s priorities, in order to scope new project opportunities.
    • Providing frequent advice to senior management, relevant Vice Presidents, Fellows and committees.


    • Providing Secretariat functions for committees and working groups
    • Drafting clear and succinct papers to gain advice and agreement for your programme of work.
    • Ensuring quality assurance processes are followed for your programme of work and other outputs.

     Corporate responsibilities

    • Supporting the Policy Leadership Team to develop and implement the overall strategy for the Society.
    • Working with other groups in the Royal Society to ensure that Science Policy programmes coordinate with other activities.
    • Ensuring key messages are communicated clearly internally and externally to appropriate audiences.
    • Contributing to other activities within the Royal Society as required.

    Key Knowledge and Skills Required


    A degree (or equivalent) - Essential



    To have worked on a variety of policy programmes at the national and/or international

    level - Essential

    Expertise and experience in one or more areas of education policy- Essential

    Skilled oral and written communication for technical and non-technical audiences - Essential

    Assessment and reporting of technical information in a clear and concise manner - Essential

    Self-organisation and management of several tasks simultaneously - Essential

    Highly motivated and an ability to generate similar motivation in others - Essential

    An enthusiastic team player, with experience of collaborative working - Essential

    Creative thinking and problem solving -  Essential.



    To have worked on a variety of education policy projects - Essential

    Delivering complex projects on time, on budget and on scope - Essential

    Writing, editing and disseminating reports - Essential

    Establishing and maintaining a network of contacts - Essential

    Effective interaction with people at all levels of seniority - Essential

    Data analysis to inform policy advice - Desirable

    Managing staff or virtual teams, either formally or informally - Desirable

    Working with committees - Desirable



    Able to be flexible about working hours on occasions - Desirable

    Able to undertake national and / or international travel on occasions - Desirable



    - Identifies difficult situations
    - Recognises stress in others and takes steps to reduce it
    - Controls pressurised situations
    - Effectively enthuses those in the team
    - Proactively sets goals and targets for own work

    Working with others 

    - Actively seeks ideas and criticisms from within the team
    - Resolves conflicts within and between teams
    - Embeds feedback processes within the team
    - Seeks out  new networks that will create opportunity for the Society
    - Able to present complex issues simply  Uses discretion, tact and empathy when negotiating with and/or seeking to influence others
    - Understands the need to manage expectations and to only promise what is deliverable

    Resource management 

    - Determines strategy and deployment of resources, balancing cost and benefit; risk and potential for maximum impact across significant business areas

    - Manages complex cross-cutting projects to time, budget and specification
    - Ensures others accept responsibility towards results or quality
    - Sets the quality standards for own business areas in accordance with strategy and contributes to the formulation of quality standards across the Society
    - Sets and monitors priorities
    - Identifies and manages risk effectively

    Critical thinking 

    - Uses questioning, analytical and probing skills to ‘dig deeper’
    - Knows when enough information has been obtained and adapts presentation of information to the needs of the audience
    - Evaluates the benefits, practicalities and value for money of ideas and obtains feedback
    - Makes sound decisions in a complex or ambiguous environment and is able to gain support and manage challenges confidently



    - Actively seeks the input and opinions of others, often outside his/her section and accommodates and incorporates this thinking into any output.
    - Actively seeks new challenges and projects; leads discussions surrounding new ideas, approaches and projects
    - Anticipates need for innovation and seeks new ideas, approaches and solutions


    Managing people and relationships

    - Sets expectations of others and ensures they deliver
    - Demonstrates a positive attitude towards work, celebrating success and instilling confidence, which encourages the same from others
    - Encourages others to share ideas and participate in the discussion and decisions of the team
    - Assesses needs of clients/stakeholders/staff and makes plans to meet these needs


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