Senior Communications Officer
Location:EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category:Staff Member
Contract Duration:3 Years initially (renewable)
Grading:6 or 7 (monthly salary starting at £2,855 or 3,250 after tax). For more information about pay and benefits click here
Closing Date:19th February 2018
Reference Number:EBI_01106

Job Description

This is a key strategic post reporting to the Head of External Relations and working closely with the Directors and faculty at EMBL-EBI.

The post requires the holder to build excellent working relationships with a wide variety of individuals within and outside the organisation, with a view to promoting the work of the organisation and raising awareness of its impact on society.

In this role, your main objectives would be to:

  • Devise and implement effective communications campaigns to engage life scientists, policy makers, funders, industry partners and journalists with the relevance, achievements and aspirations EMBL in general and EMBL-EBI specifically
  • raise awareness of EMBL-EBI as a global collaborator of pivotal importance to major European life science initiatives.

Working in a highly collaborative environment, you would be responsible for:

  • developing and implementing strategic communications campaigns with focused outcomes
  • gathering news and information from teams throughout the institute
  • writing stories and publications that showcase EMBL-EBI’s impact and relevance
  • leading content development for the main website, with strong reference to analytics
  • managing and guiding the work of the team’s two communications officers by editing copy, advising on campaigns and providing support and mentorship
  • supporting people throughout EMBL-EBI who promote the institute’s public data resources, for example by arranging workshops
  • liaising with the Strategic Projects and Scientific Services teams to provide communications support and inform editorial decision making.
  • liaising with Web Development team to ensure web functionality is fit for purpose, and that processes are communicated to staff as appropriate.

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by 23 member states and two associate member states and proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

About the External Relations Team

The External Relations team is based at EMBL-EBI on the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK. In addition to this post, the team comprises two Communications Officers, a Senior Graphic Designer, a Videographer, a Gender and Diversity Officer and the Head of External Relations.

EMBL-EBI’s External Relations team is part of EMBL’s Strategy and Communications team and some travel to other EMBL sites, in Europe is involved (~4 international journeys a year). External Relations also collaborates regularly with Genome Campus communications and public engagement teams.

Qualifications and Experience

  • The post holder should have at least five years’ experience working in life science communications, and should be comfortable applying basic digital marketing techniques.
  • Being at ease with written communication and able to engage widely, face to face are both critical to success in this role
  • Fluency in English (written and verbal) is a requirement. Knowledge of other languages, in particular French, German, Italian or Spanish, is an asset.
  • Some experience in journalism is preferred, as this demonstrates an understanding of key audiences and an ability to work to tight deadlines.
  • This is a busy role, and requires flexibility. Building excellent relationships with diverse people working at all levels is a big part of the job, so having an open nature is essential.
  • A strong understanding of content management systems (i.e. Wordpress, Drupal) is a must.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office.
  • The External Relations team is very supportive, however all members of the team work with a high level of independence. The post holder must be self-directed, motivated and have excellent interpersonal and leadership skills.
  • An international background is desirable.


EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

Application Instructions

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV, with two referees, through our online system.

Additional Information

Applications are welcome from all nationalities - visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

The initial contract is for a period of three years with the possibility of a fixed-term extension.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.

It is envisaged that interviews will take place on Monday 19th March 2018