Communications Assistant (28-2019)

Hours per week: Full Time, 35 hours per week
Contract Type: Fixed Term (12 months)
Grade: Grade 4
Salary: £21930 to £25217  per annum
Closing Date: 23.59 hours GMT on Thursday 31 October 2019
Interview Date: 14/11/2019

Who We Are

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a global research and learning organisation for equitable and sustainable change.

Our Vision

Our vision is of equal and sustainable societies, locally and globally, where everyone can live secure, fulfilling lives free from poverty and injustice.

What We Do

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a global research and learning organisation for equitable and sustainable change. 

In partnership with the University of Sussex, IDS is ranked first in the world for development studies by the QS University Rankings.

We believe passionately that cutting-edge research, knowledge and mutual learning are crucial in shaping the transformations needed to reduce inequalities, accelerate sustainability and build more inclusive and secure societies. In line with our engaged excellence approach, we are committed to collaborating closely with local civil society, governments, international NGOs, citizens, donors and many others to realise this positive change.

IDS has been working with partners to tackle complex development challenges in this way since 1966.  Our partnership with the University of Sussex supports and accredits our master’s degrees and PhD research programmes.  We also offer a range of thematically and approach-focused professional development courses, learning journeys and online and blended learning.  Through our learning offer we aim to strengthen the skills and capabilities of those already working within the development sector, as well as nurture a new generation of development thought, policy and practice leaders.  

IDS publishes a wide range of high quality and high impact outputs, including our flagship publication, the IDS Bulletin, an open access, peer-reviewed journal exploring emerging international development challenges.  

The Institute is home to over 200 staff and 200 students at any one time. But the IDS community extends far beyond, encompassing an extensive global network of over 360 partners, 3,000 alumni and hundreds of former staff.

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Job Description

Job Description - Overall purpose of the role

Knowledge, Impact and Policy Team

The Knowledge, Impact & Policy (KIP) Team supports both IDS and our international partners in universities, think tanks, donors, INGOs, governments and development agencies to broker knowledge more effectively and improve its use in research, policy processes, programming and learning. It strategically supports the use of ICTs to curate and share knowledge and develops innovative research communications products. It also provides projects and organisations with support around the development of monitoring, evaluation frameworks and facilitates organisational learning initiatives. The team also coordinates IDS’ own scholarly publishing programme, overseeing the publication of IDS’ in-house open access journal (The IDS Bulletin), the production and online curation of hundreds of research and policy articles, reports and briefings every year and the design and implementation of IDS’ open knowledge commitments including open access and open data management.

Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development (K4D) 

K4D is an exciting programme that supports DFID and other development actors to improve the impact of policy and programming through learning and evidence. It offers a research helpdesk, facilitated learning journeys, and is run by a consortium of seven leading UK knowledge institutions led by IDS. The programme generates numerous learning products using publications, film and social media to enhance uptake.   

Communications and Marketing Assistant

IDS is seeking a Communications and Marketing Assistant who will be responsible for supporting the delivery of high quality and targeted communications and marketing outputs and activities.  Based in the Knowledge, Impact and Policy Team, this role will spend 50% of its time with K4D to deliver innovative learning products. The other 50% of time will be dedicated to supporting communications around a portfolio of IDS research programmes and projects.  The postholder will need to combine excellent communications, marketing, editorial and organisational skills with creative flair and an interest in the use of digital technologies to help the team deliver against its goals and objectives in line with programme strategies. 

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Communications activities

General administration and support activities


Person Specification

Skills and experience
Selection Criteria Description Essential [E] or
Desirable [D]
by *
2 ‘A’ levels or NVQ equivalent and at least 1-2 years relevant experience in communications or marketing. E A/I
A degree and/or professional qualification in communications or marketing D A/I
A good working knowledge of Microsoft applications (Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook), including a good understanding and practical experience of using databases, spreadsheets and content management systems for websites
Use and application of digital technologies in communications and marketing
Good grasp of design principles for print and electronic media
Understanding of financial spreadsheets in Excel
Knowledge and interest in international development issues
Design packages such as InDesign
Knowledge of copyright
Strong all-round communication and marketing skills, including verbal and written communication skills.
Strong interpersonal skills
Writing for the web and use of social media
Strong organisational skills
Editing and proofreading
Multimedia and design skills including video and audio production D A/I
Experience of communications or marketing work
Experience of video editing and the production of short AV clips
Experience of using social media as part of wider communications/marketing plan
Experience of editorial and publications processes
Experience of supporting high profile events.
Experience of budget monitoring
Of working in a communications or marketing role in the international development or charitable sectors
Developing accessible and inclusive products
A team player with a creative flair and a pro-active approach to work.
Ability to work on own initiative and identify opportunities for communications and marketing activities.
Highly organised with an ability to work to deadlines by setting priorities and managing work loads
Strong eye for detail
There will be some UK travel involved in this role, and the possibility of occasional short overseas trips E A/I
*A - Application I - Interview

Information to Candidates

Benefits At IDS we offer a number of additional benefits to staff. These include:

The successful candidate will be based at the Institute of Development Studies on the University of Sussex campus. The University of Sussex is located 10 minutes away from the lively and cosmopolitan seaside city of Brighton on the UK South Coast, 60 minutes away from central London, 30 minutes away from London Gatwick Airport and is surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the Sussex South Downs. Situated between the sea and the South Downs, Brighton is one of the most vibrant and unique cities on the South Coast, for more information please go to

How to apply

Please apply using the online application form.