Festival Engagement Manager

British Science Association

Closing date 03 October 2022
Location Office and home-based working
Position type Permanent
Role Conferences / Events
Education College
Experience >3 years
Salary GBP 31,200–41,600
Benefits See below

Job description

Role overview

The British Science Association is looking to recruit an experienced Festival Engagement Manager to manage the development of the Festival programme and to support the wider team with the delivery of the British Science Festival. The postholder is also expected to manage some of the UK Science Festivals Network (UKSFN) associated projects. 

The British Science Festival is Europe’s longest standing science festival which connects people with researchers from across the scientific spectrum. It is hosted by a different UK university each year and offers an inspiring programme of free events to the public over four or five days. The events span a diverse range of formats and subjects that encompass science in the broadest sense.​

​Our vision is to establish the Festival as a leader in inclusive science engagement for younger adults (16-34) who are underrepresented in science and who either see science as not for them or who are interested in science but make no particular effort to engage. The 2022 Festival is being hosted by De Montfort University in Leicester in September. The host for the 2023 Festival has been confirmed and will be announced shortly.​

The role will involve frequent travel to the Festival location plus a week on-site during the Festival itself.​

The UK Science Festivals Network (UKSFN) was established to unite, celebrate and develop science festivals in the UK. It meets several times a year to share best practice and discuss the future of the science festivals sector. The UKSFN is managed by the BSA and we advocate for the importance of science festivals in conversation with funding bodies and decision makers.​ 

’Making Connections’ is one of the UKSFN programmes and aims to engage young people from low socioeconomic backgrounds with science and research and to provide a ‘safe’ place for science festival researchers to test out public engagement activities on topics which are relevant and of interest to the young people.

Key responsibilities

The main responsibilities of this role are:

For the British Science Festival:

  • To project manage the development and delivery of the content of the British Science Festival (including leading on the Festival programme call outs, programme scheduling, managing the Festival programming budget etc)
  • To create and deliver unique Festival events and experiences which are relevant to the Festival target audience (younger adults underrepresented in science)
  • To develop partnerships with local communities and stakeholders who are underrepresented in science, and other non-science organisations, and support them to take part in the Festival.
  • To support the Festival evaluation
  • To line manage and support the Festival Engagement Officer
  • Manage our Scientific Sections events by supporting them in developing suitable content for the Festival target audiences and advocating to increase diversity in Festival events 

For the UKSFN:

  • Attend UKSFN meetings, representing the British Science Festival
  • Manage the UKSFN Making Connections project from initiation through to the evaluation and final reporting
  • To support the Head of Festivals with the delivery of other UKSFN associated projects including developing content for the UKSFN conference
  • Manage the UKSFN demographic survey analysis, dissemination and recording findings

In addition, the post-holder will be expected to:

  • Pro-actively strengthen the organisation’s profile and reputation among external stakeholders
  • Support colleagues across the organisation especially at busy times or on specific areas of expertise
  • Other duties as reasonably required by the line manager

Key working relationships

The post holder will be expected to liaise with colleagues across the organisation and its partners, but is likely to develop significant working relationships with the following people:  

  • Head of Festivals
  • Engagement Officer
  • Festival Operations Manager
  • External stakeholders

Person specification

Below is a summary of essential and desirable criteria needed for this role, as well as how we will assess a candidate’s suitability.

  • Knowledge and understanding of the UK Science Festival sector and experience of developing content for festivals or large-scale events
  • Knowledge of different approaches to science communication, particularly staying abreast of innovative activities, new platforms and learning from other sectors
  • Experience of working with underrepresented audiences to co-create events and experiences which are relevant to them.
  • Experience of working with scientists and researchers to co-develop content for events
  • Experience commissioning and/or developing engaging content that is audience specific
  • Line management experience
  • Excellent project management and planning skills
  • Good spoken and written communication skills, including the ability to write for a range of external audiences
  • Resilience – ability to remain calm and effective when working on fast-moving, high-pressure projects
  • A self-starter, able to work on their own initiative and manage their own time effectively
  • A good team player with a positive and flexible approach to work
  • Experience of developing and maintaining partnerships and meeting stakeholder needs
  • Experience of evaluating programmes and writing evaluation briefs and/or plans
  • Experience of developing funding proposals and relationships with funders & partners
  • An interest in science


  • Agile working policy enabling you to work at home or in another UK location up to 4 days per week, if office-based, and to vary your working hours outside our 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm core hours, subject to the needs of the BSA;
  • 27 days holiday per annum plus bank holidays (pro-rata for part-time employees); 
  • Up to two days paid leave per year for significant voluntary commitments in support of professional and personal development, such as being a trustee of a charity or a school governor;
  • Auto-enrolment pension scheme (4% paid by employer);
  • Up to five days’ unpaid leave per year (this is down to the Manager’s decision and ensuring it does not affect work); 
  • Life assurance from your first day, subject to scheme rules;  
  • Occupational sick pay: up to six weeks’ full pay per year (pro-rata for part-time employees); 
  • Confidential telephone counselling service, offered by our legal insurance;
  • Interest-free loan for season ticket, bike to work, and assisted study;
  • Discounts may be offered on Science Museum tickets and in the shop.

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter (each of no more than two A4 pages) that summarises your interest in the role and details your ability to match the criteria.

Applications should be made via this link: https://app.beapplied.com/apply/9jtxbvr7a0

The closing date for applications is 9am Monday 3 October 2022.

Interviews are due to take place on 10, 11 or 12 October 2022. 

You will be informed as soon as possible after the application deadline whether you have been selected for interview.

As part of the British Science Association’s commitment to being a Disability Confident employer, all disabled* applicants who meet the ‘essential criteria’ for this vacancy will be offered an interview under our guaranteed interview scheme.

If you wish to apply under the guaranteed interview scheme, you will be asked to indicate this when you submit your application by selecting ‘yes’ in the relevant box when asked during the application process. Applicants do not need to state any further information or declare their disability at the application stage.

The BSA follows government advice in that it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practicable or appropriate to interview all disabled people that meet the minimum criteria for the job. For example, in certain recruitment situations (such as a high number of applications), we may wish to limit the overall numbers of interviews offered to both disabled people and non-disabled people.

In these circumstances, we could select the disabled candidates who best meet the minimum criteria for the job rather than all of those that meet the minimum criteria, as we would do for non-disabled applicants.

Whether you are applying under the scheme or not, if you are successful in being shortlisted, we will ask candidates with disabilities or long-term health conditions to let us know if they need any adjustments during the recruitment process.

If you have further questions or would like this information in a different format, please contact: recruitment@britishscienceassociation.org  

Terms & conditions

From time to time the job entails working extended hours and occasional weekends, for which no overtime payments are made. The BSA operates a time off in lieu policy for weekend working and some other out-of-hours instances.

Only applicants who have a legal right to work within the UK will be considered. You will be asked to bring along proof of nationality and/or proof of ability to work in the UK.

You will also be asked to declare any previous convictions in line with your rights under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) order 1975.

This is a description of the job as it is presently constituted. It is the practice of the Association to examine job descriptions from time to time and to update them to ensure they relate to the job as then being performed, or to incorporate whatever changes are reasonably required, in discussion with the postholder.

It is the policy of the BSA to offer starting salaries at the bottom end of the salary band where appropriate.

A copy of our Privacy Notice is available on the vacancies page of our website.

*The Disability Confident scheme’s definition of disability is in line with the Equalities Act 2010: “a physical or mental condition which has a long-term and substantial effect on your daily life”.

Further information about our Disability Confident commitments can be found on the Disability Confident page of our website.