The British Academy is a voice that champions humanities and social sciences. As a national body, it supports the study of people, cultures and societies, past, present and future. Its purpose is to be an independent fellowship of world-leading scholars and researchers; a funding body that supports new research (nationally and internationally); and a forum for debate and engagement.
“The British Academy provides a vital national forum for the humanities and social sciences. These subjects make a fundamental contribution to our understanding of identity, humanity and community – and it is essential that the UK continues to recognise the competitive advantage this wealth of knowledge and expertise gives the country.”
Alun Evans, Chief Executive, British Academy
Alun Evans has been Chief Executive of the British Academy since July 2015. With a Communications background, Alun worked as Head of Strategic Communications at 10 Downing Street and as Director of Communications to the former Deputy Prime Minister, before taking up his role as Director of the Scotland Office, and other various positions across government departments.
The British Academy has three principal roles:
- A fellowship of distinguished scholars from all areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences elected by their peers, that facilitates the exchange of knowledge and ideas, and promotes the work of their subjects
- A funding body that supports the best ideas, individuals and intellectual resources in the humanities and social sciences, nationally and internationally
- A forum for debate and engagement that stimulates public interest and deepens understanding, enhances global leadership and policy making, and that acts as a voice for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The British Academy’s strategic plan published last year (and running to 2020) has four main objectives:
- Championing the Humanities and Social Sciences
- Advancing excellent research
- Shaping policy and public understanding
- Delivering global leadership in research
In January 2017, Liz Hutchinson was appointed to the senior management team as the Director of Communications and Engagement at the British Academy. She’s worked with many high-profile organisations within the education and public sectors and was previously Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Goldsmiths, where she led a team of eighteen working across all aspects of communications. She led the communications and corporate marketing strategy for the organisation, delivering an award-winning website and digital strategy, a brand refresh, new staff channels, and a public engagement strategy to promote research.
She has brought with her a range of expertise in strategic communications, change management, content strategy and integrated campaigns, as well as digital platform development. Her role involves reviewing and re‐energising all aspects of the British Academy’s communications activity, with a particular focus on how they use digital channels to communicate with their diverse audience. Alongside this her objective is to build a dynamic, agile, creative and effective communications department, supported by a team of twelve people.
Following a review, a number of roles have been created to play a central role in a communications transformation project placing digital at the heart of their strategy.
Head of News and Stakeholder Engagement
This role will lead the Academy’s strategic communications planning, to capture stories and disseminate them to a wide audience. It will deepen engagement with a wide range of internal and external audiences, coordinating stakeholder engagement across the Academy and strengthening the organisation’s profile with opinion formers.
- Leading the Academy’s media relations and stakeholder engagement strategy, securing greater visibility of the Academy’s role and value across traditional media, print and broadcast, and via the organisation’s owned and earned online media
- Leading the Academy’s strategic communications planning, to capture stories and communicate them to a wide audience
Head of Digital
This is a pivotal role in the business as they are currently reshaping their digital communications. You will own the entire digital department and develop and implement a new strategy, including formatting existing channels and introducing new ones.
- Managing and developing a digitally forward-facing team of staff
- Contributing to the communications strategy – this will also include working collaboratively with other managers across the disciplines and developing a community of editors
This is a new role that is designed to bring a fresh look to the British Academy’s events programme, as part of a newly integrated events team.
- Running the renowned conference programme
- Leading the organisation’s fledgling summer exhibition
- Working with the Head of Events to explore new partnerships with external organisations, and with the Head of Digital to integrate digital elements into the events programme
- Develop an evaluation framework to deliver robust and useful reports, and insights to shape the organisation’s activity
For full and detailed role descriptions along with additional information on the British Academy please select from these links:
Open letter from the Director of Communications
Recruitment pack – Head of News and Stakeholder Engagement
Recruitment pack – Head of Digital
Recruitment pack – Events Producer
British Academy website
Written by Renee Wo, James Green and Emma Harrison
Renee specialises in consumer PR and corporate communications. With experience across consumer PR, b2b technology and corporate communications, Renee recruits mid to senior PR professionals into some of the most desirable in-house companies. Some of her clients include Sainsbury’s, Deliveroo, Uber, McDonald’s, Value Retail and Zoopla Group. More stories from Renee.
James has recruitment experience which spans both agency and in-house for business to business technology, corporate communications, financial services and consumer. More stories from James.
Emma has recruited for clients across various sectors such as, Dentsu Aegis Network, TP ICAP and ICAEW. More stories from Emma.