SKA Chief Communications Officer

Job Title: SKA Chief Communications Officer

Reports To: Head of Administration

Date: 2 May 2012

Organisation Background

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a multi-purpose radio telescope that will play a major role in answering key questions in modern astrophysics and cosmology. It will be one of a small number of cornerstone observatories around the world that will provide astrophysicists and cosmologists with a transformational view of the Universe. The SKA Organisation is based in the Alan Turing Building, The University of Manchester and will move to a purpose-built building at Jodrell Bank Observatory in October 2012. General

You will be an experienced outreach/communications professional, with a track record of working in an international organisation. You will be educated to degree level or equivalent.

Overall Purpose of the Job

You will develop a progressive communication and outreach strategy and align this with the goals of the Company. You will also direct the development of the SKA corporate identity and manage all outreach activities including the ongoing development of the website, media relations and coverage, the design, content and production of promotional materials, and the production of teaching resources and study aids.

Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties

Under the direction of the Head of Administration, you will work closely with the Director General to develop and implement the SKA Communication and Outreach Strategy. You will be responsible for all aspects of the Companyˇs communication and outreach activity, such as:

  • Developing, implementing and monitoring an SKA Outreach Strategy;
  • Maintaining a roadmap of outreach activities to document future outreach tasks,
  • resource requirements and schedules;
  • Building relationships and engaging with all the SKAˇs stakeholder groups, such as
  • media, politicians, funding agencies, scientists, engineers, etc;
  • Managing the activities of outreach staff;
  • Managing the activities of external consultants, as and when required to support the
  • implementation of one or more aspects of the outreach strategy; Disseminating information about scientific objectives and engineering progress of the
  • SKA to the astronomical and broader scientific communities;
  • Helping present the SKA to funding bodies and government;
  • Supporting the presentation of SKA project requirements to Industry;
  • Providing members of the SKA committees and working groups with material to assist
  • them in their work;
  • Increasing awareness of the SKA amongst the general public and responding to
  • enquiries from the press and general public;
  • Providing educational material for use in schools;
  • Producing, organising publication and distributing outreach materials, such as annual
  • reports, newsletters, leaflets, posters, brochures, press releases, articles, and multimedia
  • material;
  • Chairing meetings of Outreach and other SKA-related committees as required, with
  • responsibility for the agenda and minutes of these meetings, and for monitoring
  • progress of action items arising;
  • Maintaining the content of the international SKA website; and
  • Representing the SKA at international seminars and conferences.

Essential Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • University degree or equivalent;
  • Proven track record in written corporate or science communication, with particular
  • emphasis on editorial and presentation of information at an international level;
  • An ability to communicate complex and technical information in terms that can be
  • understood by non-specialist audiences;
  • Demonstrated experience of establishing and managing an international network of
  • media contacts;
  • Proven ability to proactively identify communications opportunities, particularly within
  • new (online) media;
  • Demonstrated experience of working in an international and multi-disciplinary team
  • environment;
  • Demonstrated experience of working with a broad range of stakeholders, such as
  • scientists, engineers, funding agency representatives, government officials, industry
  • representatives and the general public;
  • Proven ability to deliver results within tight deadlines;
  • Excellent communication, proof-reading and interpersonal skills, with a high standard of
  • written English; and
  • Willingness to travel and work outside normal business hours, including evenings and
  • weekends.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • The following competencies are desirable:
  • Staff supervision;
  • Knowledge of radio astronomy; and
  • Presentation skills, e.g. at conferences and on radio/television.

For informal discussion of the post, please contact Colin Greenwood, Head of Administration, Email:, Tel: 0161 275 4063. To apply, send your CV and cover letter to Closing date: 8 June 2012. If you have not been contacted within four weeks of the closing date you should assume that, on this occasion, your application has not been successful. Thank you for your interest in the SKA Organisation.