Education and Research Programme Officer

  • Location: Post based at Why Comics’  Office in SOAS University of London, Russell Square
  • Reporting to: Education and Research Programme Manager, and Managing Director as required
  • Salary: £23,000
  • Contract: 12 months
  • Holiday: 28 days per annum
  • Working Hours: 10:00 to 18:00 Monday-Friday (35 hours per week)

 Job Description

Why Comics? Education Charity is looking for a multi-talented self-starter to become their Education and Research Programme Officer. This is an important role within a small, dedicated team of staff based at SOAS University of London and reflects our continued commitment to providing free educational resources for 7-18-year-olds around vital global humanitarian and social issues to help tackle racism and intolerance in schools.   The Education and Research Programme Officer will be the member of staff with key responsibility for our engagement work with primary and secondary schools across the UK, and the additional 26 countries worldwide that currently use our resources. The successful candidate will build on our existing work and shape our future programmes over the coming year. The post holder will need to deliver effective, highly competent project support and consistently deliver in a person-centred environment which promotes positive relationships.    Why Comics? exists to educate, inspire and engage students and teachers on important contemporary issues to promote equality and diversity through innovative educational resources. If you share our mission, are passionate about making it happen, and strongly believe you can contribute, then join us and we'll give you every opportunity to succeed. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Essential criteria

  • Educated to post-graduate level, with an enthusiasm for/knowledge of education, the arts and development studies/the humanitarian sector
  • Excellent research, project management, written and oral communication skills
  • Highly motivated, keen attention to detail and flexible mind-set to adapt to a variety of different projects and tasks
  • Ability to take initiative, and to work autonomously and as part of various teams
  • A background in teaching or other aspects of formal education
  • Experience of public engagement work
  • Comfortable interacting with people of all backgrounds
  • Experience of managing social media channels
  • Excellent IT skills, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel
  • Be prepared to undergo, or already have a current, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of the third sector as a volunteer or employee
  • Knowledge of the UK National Curriculum for Key Stages 2-5, and/or developments in education policy
  • Experience of fundraising in a third sector or similar environment
  • Experience of a Content Management System (CMS), such as WordPress
  • Experience of audience building and using social media analytics such as HootSuite and Followerwonk
  The post has 28 days annual leave entitlement (inclusive of bank and public holidays, but exclusive of Why Comics? Team Privilege days).   Typical working hours are 10:00 to 18:00 Monday-Friday, however as this position involves travelling and meeting with stakeholders and attending events, flexible working will be required, including covering occasional early evening and weekend events.   How to apply: Candidates must submit a succinct covering letter (no more than 2 pages) explaining how they satisfy the requirements of the person specification, in addition to a CV highlighting relevant experience (no more than 3 pages).  The successful candidate will also be asked to provide 3 professional referees, one of whom must be from their most recent employer.   Candidates are also asked to provide 3 examples of their writing (such as a press release/news article, funding application with the corresponding criteria, blog, mail-out, report, journal or strategy). All applications should be addressed to Dr Benjamin Dix, Executive Director (

You need to have the right to work full time in UK to be considered for this position

  • Closing date: 6pm, Thursday 5th October 2017
  • First interviews (telephone) will be held during the week commencing 9th October 2017.
  • Second interviews will be held during the week commencing 16th October 2017

About Why Comics? Education Charity

Why Comics?  is based at the SOAS University of London where we are working with the University to humanise academic research to a wide audience. Why Comics? brings contemporary humanitarian and social issues (such as racism, conflict, migration, trafficking and climate change) into the classroom through interactive literary comic books based on real-life testimony.   Our resources build empathy and enhance learning for students and teachers alike alongside national-curriculum relevant lesson plans to support multiple subjects. Why Comics? encourages critical and reflective thinking on vital global themes, whilst encouraging learners to make connections between their own lives and lives of others throughout the world thereby promoting social change, and helping tackle racism and intolerance in schools.        

The following job duties are not intended to describe, in detail, all the tasks that may be assigned but rather to give the job holder a general sense of the responsibilities and expectations of his/her position. As the nature of business demands change so, too, may the essential functions of this position.

    Specific duties include:
  • Reporting directly to the Education and Research Programme Manager, and to the Executive and Managing Directors when required
  • Working closely and coordinating activity with our partners and other organisations with related aims, including but not limited to:PositiveNegativesSOAS University of London, The Choices ProgramHogan LovellsIDEOPaul Hamlyn Foundation, the Brooks Foundation, Think Global's Global DimensionPop Up Projects, Refugee WeekYoung Careers, HEC Global Learning CentreEmpathetic MediaSCOOP Magazine, and Common Everybody
  • Engaging in regional travel to meet current, or potential, partner organisations and represent Why Comics? at relevant events/networking opportunities
  • Assisting and running presentations, workshops and focus groups with the Why Comics? team in primary and secondary schools, mainly in London and the southeast, but occasionally further afield across the UK or abroad
  • Helping the Managing Director and Education and Research Programme Manager to work closely with the curriculum developers and innovation specialists to produce national-curriculum relevant lesson plans to harness our work and drive it forward into schools internationally
  • Researching and writing Key Stage 2-5 Lesson plans in accordance with the UK National Curriculum
  • Assisting with the labour-intensive research and development of each bespoke ethnographic resource (up to 100 relevant and age-appropriate contextual resources, and multimedia links need to be sourced for each of the literary comics in our portfolio, which are donated by PositiveNegatives)
  • Evaluating and reporting on the efficacy of education and outreach activity supported by, and using, Why Comics? materials worldwide
  • Take lead responsibility for updating and maintaining various records on relevant databases and project management tools. Will produce reports/updates as required
  • Seeking external funding from the public, private and third sectors
  • Developing and maintaining the Why Comics? website and social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram), with emphasis on audience building
  • Facilitating the Managing Director and Education and Research Programme Manager to implement the social media and dissemination strategies
  • Helping to ensure that the Why Comics? brand is fully coherent and implemented effectively across all channels and materials
  • Working with the Managing Director and Education and Research Programme Manager to ensure that all work is in line with the communications and impact strategy, and 5 year Strategic Plan
  • Assisting the Managing Director and Education and Research Programme Manager to develop and maintain key international relationships with schools, colleges and educational bodies and funders to ensure that Why Comics? is integrated into schools worldwide