Communications Officer

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Oxford, , GB

Employment type: Half-time, with future potential for full-time

Salary range: Commensurate with experience and qualifications

Duty station: Oxford, UK

Duration: 12-month position

Application deadline: 30 December 2016

Start date: February 2017

SEI’s Oxford Centre seeks a skilled writer and communicator to help us identify and tell stories from our work, raise our global profile, and increase our impact. SEI’s Oxford Centre focuses much of its work on climate change adaptation and vulnerability assessment, with strong stakeholder engagement and participation. The Centre also leads the global climate change adaptation platform, and collaborates with partners around the world on climate knowledge-sharing, learning and communication.

Along with supporting this and other research and outreach by the Centre, the communications officer is likely to work closely with the SEI Initiative on Climate Services, which brings SEI expertise to bear in the emerging field of climate services – the production, tailoring, interpretation and transfer of high-quality climate information to support planning and decision-making – with a focus on adaptation and disaster resilience. In addition, the Oxford communications officer will support SEI’s media outreach efforts in the UK.

Apply online

We are looking for a dedicated, creative and enterprising communications officer who will work closely with our team, get to know our work, and help us tell sharpen our messages and tell powerful stories. Excellent written and oral communication skills are top priorities, along with good instincts for identifying stories and tailoring messages to our key audiences.

This is likely to come with a background in journalism – but experience in organizations working on development and/or environment issues is also very helpful. Experience with editing and with coaching writers is also valuable. A media relations background is desirable but not required. This is a half-time position on a one-year contract, with the possibility to become permanent and expand. The Oxford communications officer is also part of SEI’s global communications team.

Primary responsibilities

The key responsibility of the SEI Oxford communications officer is to work with Centre staff to effectively communicate their research, developing and executing communications strategies in collaboration with the SEI global communications team. This includes:

• Helping researchers to identify key audiences for their work, and formulate key messages targeted to those audiences.

• Identifying the most useful outputs for a project, including publications, web stories, media outreach and multimedia, and connecting projects with relevant SEI global comms resources.

• Writing web stories, Q&As, blogposts and other materials for the SEI website, social media and other online venues, and helping researchers to develop such materials.

• Identifying opportunities to develop visual and multimedia materials, and developing or commissioning these materials, in collaboration with SEI global comms colleagues.

• Identifying opportunities for media outreach, and pursuing these opportunities; this is likely to include written and phone-call pitches to journalists, as well as occasional press releases.

• Collaborating with the weADAPT team to identify opportunities for cross-promotion and to strategically combine content on weADAPT and other channels to maximize SEI’s impact.

It is likely that the SEI Oxford communications officer will also play this role for the SEI Initiative on Climate Services, supporting initiative staff all across SEI.

In addition, the SEI Oxford communications officer will help SEI to strengthen its relationships with UK-based media outlets. This requires getting to know the media landscape, cultivating relationships with key journalists, and becoming a trusted resource for those journalists.

Additional responsibilities

• Represent SEI Oxford on the global communications team, helping to raise the Oxford team’s profile within SEI and collaborating with colleagues worldwide.

• Support the Oxford Centre Director with internal reporting and planning, including highlights from our research and achievements and the communications aspect of the Centre workplan.

• Contribute to proposal-writing, both to ensure a strong communications component, and to ensure the proposals are clear, compelling and well written.

• Prepare marketing materials for the Oxford Centre and projects and programmes, such as brochures and online materials.

• Help organize events related to SEI Oxford projects and programmes, including communications and logistical support.

• Help build communications capacity within the Oxford Centre, by providing advice, one-to-one coaching and group trainings, as appropriate.

• Provide light editing and advice on overall content/messaging, as needed, for Oxford publications and other writing (full editing of publications is done by SEI’s core publications team).


• University degree in journalism, science communications, or a field related to our work (e.g. environmental governance).

• Professional experience in journalism, or equivalent experience involving journalistic skills, demonstrating an ability to accurately and effectively communicate complex science and/or public policy issues.

• Excellent written and oral communications skills (to be demonstrated, in part, via a short writing and editing test).

• Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work with a diverse team and partners around the world.

Desirable additional qualifications:

• Proficiency in French, Spanish and/or Portuguese.

• Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, and/or familiarity with audio and video editing software.

• Proven interest in sustainable development, environment, resource management and related issues.

How to apply

Please submit your application onlineby 30 December 2016, including:

• Cover letter indicating relevant experience and why you are interested in this position;

• Curriculum vitae; please include your name in the filename;

• 3 writing samples involving journalistic writing (e.g. published articles, blogs, website stories).

Please be advised that as part of our screening, a selection of candidates will be asked to take a writing/editing test, and finalists will be asked for 2–3 references. No calls, please!

Candidates must be eligible to work in the EU.

The SEI Oxford Centre is a not-for-profit Limited Company registered in the UK. We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our organization. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability status.