Head of Media Relations
Location:Heidelberg, Germany
Staff Category:Staff Member
Contract Duration:3 years
Grading:Commensurate with experience and qualification
Closing Date:26 February 2017
Reference Number:HD_01032

Job Description

EMBL is looking for a Head of Media Relations to lead all of its international media activities and raise the organisation’s profile with the press worldwide. As Head of Media Relations you would work with a group of writers, designers, web producers and analysts in our Strategy and Communications team, promoting the work of EMBL at its five sites in Europe.

We are an international, friendly and supportive team, with ties to scientists and professionals throughout EMBL and to the broader science communication community. This position is a new role, based in Heidelberg, Germany, and will involve some international travel.


Responsibilities include:

  • Devising and delivering a media strategy to promote and raise awareness of EMBL’s research, scientific services, training and other activities
  • Establishing and maintaining active, effective media relations; initiating proactive press contact; handling requests and building lasting relationships with key journalists
  • Identifying opportunities to position EMBL as a leader in life-science research and training, and a trusted provider of scientific services
  • Supervising and clearing the production of press materials and activities, ensuring EMBL’s media communications are clear, consistent and well targeted. This involves working with the team to align strategic messaging across different channels (press, broadcasters, journals, blogs, social media).
  • Issuing statements, press releases and publications in collaboration with EMBL’s content-production team
  • Organising press conferences, and handling broadcaster visits and briefings
  • Acting as EMBL’s media spokesperson
  • Managing contentious issues and protecting EMBL’s reputation
  • Working with colleagues to identify newsworthy stories across the organisation’s five sites, and contribute to drafting and editing as appropriate
  • Advising and providing clearance for interviews and media appearances, and briefing spokespeople
  • Building close working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, both internal and external, for example liaising with press officers at collaborating organisations to ensure well-coordinated press activities
  • Monitoring and evaluating the impact of EMBL’s media relations

Qualifications and Experience

As our ideal candidate, you will have a university degree or relevant professional qualification with substantial experience in a media-relations role in a science-based environment at international level.

We are looking for someone with a proactive, open and professional attitude, excellent interpersonal and communication skills and an ability to communicate confidently and clearly about complex scientific issues. You will have the ability to develop a media engagement plan, and experience developing content and ensuring its effective distribution.

Calm and competent when faced with tricky reputational issues, you will have a track record for managing crisis situations and advising senior stakeholders.

To really excel in this role, you will need to have experience building and maintaining relationships with journalists, and come with a strong network of international media contacts. You will also need to be good at building close working relationships across a wide range of stakeholders within and outside the organisation.

An excellent command of spoken and written English is necessary; fluency in German is highly desirable. Experience working in an international environment is an asset.

About EMBL

EMBL is a world-leading life-science research organisation funded by over 20 governments. We are international, innovative, interdisciplinary and highly collaborative, with 1600 employees from many nations working on five sites near Heidelberg, Hamburg, Grenoble, Rome and Cambridge. Our mission is to perform basic research in molecular biology; to offer vital services to scientists in the member states; to train scientists, students and visitors at all levels; to develop new instruments and methods in the life sciences and actively engage in technology transfer activities, and to integrate European life science research.

Application Instructions

Please apply online through www.embl.org/jobs

Additional Information

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation.


Please note that appointments on fixed term contracts can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of the review.