Join our policy team

13 October 2017

The Academy of Social Sciences and its Campaign for Social Science

The Academy of Social Sciences is the national academy of academics, learned societies and practitioners in the social sciences. Its mission is to promote social science in the UK for the public benefit. It is composed of around 1200 individual Fellows, 43 member Learned Societies, and a number of affiliates, together representing nearly 90,000 social scientists. Fellows are distinguished scholars and practitioners from academia and the public and private sectors. Most learned societies in the social sciences in the UK are represented within the Academy.

We promote research, publish learned material, distribute information, organise workshops and events, and contribute to public debates on issues affecting the social sciences. We also respond to Government and other consultations for the social science community. Our focus is multidisciplinary and encompasses both theoretical and applied work.

The Academy sponsors the Campaign for Social Science, which was launched in 2011 to promote social science to UK Governments and the wider public. We campaign for policies that support social science inquiry in the UK, such as the retention of large-scale longitudinal research programmes. We raise the profile of social science in the public, press and parliaments and seek to:

  • inform and influence public policy with social science evidence
  • be regularly in the media with comment on social science issues
  • speak with authority on the state of social science
  • promote the benefits of investment in social science education and research

The role

The Policy Officer or Senior Policy Officer (depending on qualifications and experience) will undertake research and work on policy advice for both Academy and Campaign. You will play a vital and exciting part in creating and communicating our high level work for and on behalf of social science, working closely and collaboratively with colleagues from across the social science landscape.


Working with and under the direction of the Head of Policy (primarily) and the Executive Director:

  • Undertake research and background intelligence gathering relevant to current areas of policy interest
  • Produce written submissions and responses to consultations, inquiries and calls for evidence by government, parliament, the EU, research and funding councils and other related consultative bodies
  • Undertake policy analysis and help develop policy positions on behalf of the Academy/Campaign
  • Consult the Academy’s Policy Working Group (PWG), Campaign Board, Learned Societies and others as appropriate to gain input and in some cases approval for policy responses, especially where there are departures from previous practice
  • Work with the Communications Manager to maximise coverage of our research and policy agenda in the media, including by writing, or briefing for, articles, opinion-pieces, blogs and commentaries for our own and external platforms
  • Work with the Communications Manager and wider team to present our research in formats appropriate to stakeholder groups (e.g. academics, social-science practitioners, policy-makers and the informed general public)
  • Maintain a watching brief for news, reports, blog pieces, events and policy developments relevant to our research and policy agenda, and keep team and Board members informed
  • Represent the Academy and Campaign at external events, including public speaking and presentations
  • Perform other tasks within the research and policy brief as agreed with the Head of Policy and Executive Director
  • Attend the Campaign Board and Policy Working Group

Skills required

  • Broad knowledge and understanding of the social science disciplines
  • Broad knowledge and understanding of the policy and practice landscape affecting the social sciences
  • Hands-on research experience of some sort, with an ability to distinguish rigorous research from less robust evidence
  • Understanding and experience of presenting evidence and policy recommendations within at least one of government, think tanks, learned societies, subject associations, academe or campaigning bodies
  • Evidence of experience of or contacts and networks with one or more of research, higher education, government and practice.
  • Able to identify and initiate comment on current issues affecting the social sciences
  • Fluent, advanced and clear written English
  • Strong analytical skills and experience
  • Good communication skills
  • Experience of translating robust and rigorous research for policy audiences
  • Educated to at least graduate level in one of the social science disciplines
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently
  • Willing and able to work flexibly as the role requires


Salary: £28,000 to £35,000 pro rata (commensurate with experience) + benefits inc pension and generous holiday allowance

Hours: 3 – 5 days per week, negotiable.

Location: 33 Finsbury Square, London EC2A. Flexibility for home working and attendance at meetings at various locations. You would need to work from the office at least 2 days per week (on average).

To apply

Please supply a CV and a covering letter highlighting relevant experience and particular skills and ability to Helen Spriggs, Office and Membership Manager, on [email protected] by 9am Monday 13th November 2017

For further information about the role, please contact Sharon Witherspoon on [email protected]


For background information about recent policy consultations and research projects see:


Policy Officer – Senior Policy Officer (Word Docx)

Policy Officer – Senior Policy Officer (PDF)