Job opportunity: hiring a Communications Manager

Duration: Fixed term contract – 12 months with possibility of extension (Full time position)

Salary:  £50 – £55k (based on profile and experience)

Location: Remote

Application deadline10th July 2023, at 09:00

Only those with the right to live and work in the UK will be considered.

Job Description

The Degrees Initiative is seeking a Communications Manager to be a part of a dynamic expanding charity working on climate change and development.

The Degrees Initiative is a UK-based NGO that builds the capacity of developing countries to evaluate solar radiation modification geoengineering (SRM). We believe that the Global South needs home-grown evidence and expertise to influence this critical debate. After ten years as a project housed within other organisations, Degrees has registered as a UK charity and is in a phase of ambitious expansion. 

We are looking for a Communications Manager to work closely with the Degrees’ team, the researchers we support in the Global South, and our stakeholders around the world to further raise the profile of the Degrees Initiative – initially focusing on the specialist SRM expert community, but over time expanding to the broader climate science and policy arena.

The right candidate will run a multifaceted comms operation that will:

  • promote the work and achievements of Degrees and the Global South scientists it works with;
  • support and promote the work of SRM research projects that Degrees funds across the Global South;
  • promote a broader understanding of why SRM is being considered as a potential approach to reduce climate risk, and why Global South experts must be at the centre of those discussions;
  • manage the Programmes and Communications Officer.

Main responsibilities

Degrees is in expansion mode and operates in a controversial field, so the work will be varied and challenging. This role will not suit someone looking for structure and predictability, but should be fun and interesting for a self-starter who enjoys shaping events in a fast-evolving field. Within any given week the comms manager might have to:

  • Plan, create, and promote engaging written and visual content for sharing on social media and the website such as newsletters, blog posts, and press releases with the support of the Programmes and Communications Officer;
  • Liaise with Degrees Modelling Fund scientists and collaborators to promote awareness and understanding of their work;
  • Monitor and engage with journalists and commentators writing about SRM, track general developments in climate science and policy, and develop appropriate messaging in response to developments;
  • Engage and collaborate with other communications professionals, including in partner organisations;
  • Proactively develop relationships with leading climate science publications and place articles written by Global South scientists;
  • Develop and prepare statements, presentations, and correspondence for the CEO;
  • Oversee the daily handling of key communication infrastructure, including our website, newsletter, and social media accounts;
  • Track and report communication analytics;
  • Develop ex ante procedures for responding to possible communication challenges, should they arise;
  • Support the CEO and Comms Advisor on strategic planning and direction.

Ideally, the candidate will have: 

  • Ten or more years of experience of working in a science communications and public policy environment, producing a stream of accurate and compelling content targeted at specialist audiences. We do not require specific expertise in SRM, but would expect the candidate to have knowledge of climate science and policy, and to be ready to learn fast and hit the ground running;
  • Excellent writing skills, an eye for detail, a strategic and creative mindset including familiarity with a wide range of communications products and channels, as well as relevant digital skills; 
  • The ability to plan, manage, and oversee the work of colleagues and partners, under potentially tight time constraints, and will have a collaborative approach to teamwork. It would be preferable if they had previous line management experience; 
  • A readiness and flexibility to work within the constraints of a controversial and fast evolving field, grounded in our shared values of impartiality, commitment to mitigation, inclusiveness, and academic excellence. This may involve crafting responses to the misuse or misrepresentation of our work, and an ability to explain difficult concepts with patience and understanding; 
  • Strong people skills, and experience of working across different cultures and geographies will be essential.

Application Process

Along with your CV we would be grateful if you could share some examples of your work, and include answers to the following questions in your cover letter:

  • What are your signature skills, and can you tell us your achievements that make you most proud?
  • What are some of the biggest challenges you see (and have faced) in this kind of communications work?
  • Why are you interested in working for the Degrees Initiative, and what are you looking to achieve at this stage of your journey?

If we progress with your application, we will send you a short timed written test alongside the interview process.

About the Degrees Initiative

For over a decade, the Degrees Initiative has led the world in building the capacity of developing countries to evaluate solar radiation modification. We do this through outreach, research, and community-building activities, in collaboration with the world’s leading experts.

SRM — also known as sunlight reflection methods, climate intervention, or solar geoengineering — is a controversial proposal for reducing some of the impacts of climate change by reflecting away a small fraction of inbound sunlight. Its use or rejection could be one of the biggest decisions humanity has faced, and this matters most to climate-vulnerable regions.

We are impartial on SRM – and will neither promote nor oppose it. But we believe the world is going to need much more research if it’s going to make informed decisions, and a much broader conversation if it’s going to make equitable decisions. 

The Degrees Modelling Fund (DMF) is the first international SRM modelling fund aimed exclusively at scientists in developing countries, and is the largest SRM research initiative in the world by number of scientists, having supported over 150 researchers working across 26 projects hosted in 21 developing countries. Our work has been recognised as a crucial effort to bring new voices into the field, and we plan to expand our activities to promote and amplify Global South expertise in international forums and processes. It’s going to be a fascinating journey.

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