Head of Communications

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Wallingford, , GB

Are you a senior communications manager keen to join a leading environmental research institute to ensure world-wide research impacts are optimised and funding targets achieved through robust stakeholder engagement?


The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) is a world-class research organisation focusing on land and freshwater ecosystems and their interaction with the atmosphere. CEH is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) the leading funder of independent research, training and innovation in environmental science in the UK.

Working in partnership with the research community, policy-makers, industry and society, CEH’s research builds on an extensive monitoring network associated with a wealth of environmental information, and addresses some of the most complex environmental challenges facing humankind. CEH has an annual turnover of £35 million, and has over 600 permanent staff and students across four sites; the headquarters is at Wallingford with further sites at Bangor, Edinburgh and Lancaster.  

The Role

An exciting opportunity now exists to join CEH as the Head of Communications & Engagement. Reporting to the Director of Impact & Innovation, you will lead a team of six, based at Wallingford and Lancaster with responsibility for organisation-wide external and internal communications. The role will work to convey the impact and societal relevance of CEH science, promote public engagement with research, closely support CEH business development and commercialisation priorities via appropriate marketing and facilitate employee engagement. Key aspects of the role are promoting CEH’s capabilities on the international stage capitalising on recent successes in a number of territories and identifying new communications opportunities and needs arising as a result of likely transition of CEH to independent status.

Main Duties 

The responsibilities of the role, achieved through leadership and management of the CEH Communications Team, are as follows:  

  • develop, deliver and evaluate the Communications & Engagement Strategy for CEH through a defined Communications Plan. Working with the Executive Board and Science Area Heads ensure that the strategy realises the organisation’s Mission and objectives
  • provide expert advice on effective communications and stakeholder engagement within and beyond CEH facilitating successful science delivery, business development, public engagement with research and the recognition and optimisation of research impact
  • drive the successful delivery and continual improvement of the CEH communications strategy and plan through utilisation of all communications platforms and channels, including traditional media, digital, social media and website
  • develop an external communications plan incorporating events and associated materials to support the launch of CEH as an independent, not-for-profit research institute, subject to a final review
  • lead CEH’s Press Office function, and social media activity, responding effectively to media enquiries and identifying opportunities for proactive media engagement
  • act as a guardian of brand across all channels
  • plan, manage and implement events, accountable for successful delivery from inception to event and subsequent evaluation
  • manage website infrastructure and content management system including design and development
  • manage, guide and develop staff within the Communications Team to build a flexible and supportive team able to deliver creative solutions and a high quality service, able to react to urgent requirements
  • deliver an enquiries service, including Parliamentary Questions, and manage the collection and reporting of Output Performance Measures across CEH for the RCUK Research Outputs System
  • write and edit reports and case studies on the impact of CEH’s work for Centre Evaluation Exercises and marketing
  • evaluate and report on internal and external communications activities
  • define and manage the CEH communications budget ensuring value for money and optimising return on investment.