Policy and Research Manager


4th May 2019

Accountable to:  Head of External Relations

Location:  Sheffield

AGCAS mission

AGCAS is the [UK and Ireland] expert membership organisation for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals. Through our members, we support the best possible career outcomes from higher education for individuals, institutions, society and the economy.

AGCAS vision

Through the reach and expertise of our members, AGCAS is to be recognised as the [UK and Ireland] expert organisation for policy consultations and opinion on higher education student career development and graduate employment.

Job summary

Key deliverable: To deliver AGCAS’s vision to be recognised as the experts in HE student career development and graduate employment. To support AGCAS in influencing policy.

Supporting the Head of External Relations and Executive Director to deliver the strategic plans for the Research and Knowledge and Advocacy areas of the AGCAS strategy. Ensuring the delivery of the strategic and operational objectives for these areas.

As the first point of contact for AGCAS research, coordinate the AGCAS research effort and manage the delivery of the AGCAS research programme.

Use research insights to develop policy recommendations and help raise AGCAS’s external profile.

Support the positioning of AGCAS as thought leaders.

To be an active member of the Research and Knowledge Committee and Advocacy Committee.

Main responsibilities and duties

  • Drawing policy and practice implications from research findings
  • Reporting effective conclusions from research findings through a range of communications platforms
  • Writing articles, blogs, papers and briefings on key sector and policy issues in a style/format appropriate to the intended audience, for internal and external publication
  • Monitoring and evaluating developments in policy issues to inform AGCAS’s work on strategic themes and producing digests for the Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors.
  • Developing consultation responses and AGCAS position statements
  • Engaging members with the wider benefits of research, particularly its role in developing the AGCAS voice and positioning AGCAS as thought leaders
  • Contributing to proactive and reactive press releases on issues relating to policy and strategic themes
  • Project managing AGCAS’s central research projects, including drafting research briefs and specifications
  • Supporting AGCAS task groups and working parties in developing research projects aligned to AGCAS strategy
  • Supported by the Communications Support Officer, promoting and raising awareness of AGCAS research and policy activity
  • Contributing to the development of the Research and Knowledge and Advocacy business plans and budgets
  • Horizon-scanning to identify relevant funding for AGCAS research activity
  • Optimising the use of publicly-available data sources, which can be used to inform AGCAS research and policy activity
  • Managing relationships with key partners and stakeholders for the benefit of AGCAS, its services and its members
  • Representing AGCAS internally and externally, as required
  • Supporting ongoing change projects, from initiation to completion that affect AGCAS, as set by the Senior Leadership Team
  • Working within and ensuring compliance with relevant data protection, health and safety, equal opportunities and other relevant related legislation
  • Undertaking any other duties as required by the Senior Leadership Team that are commensurate with the grade


Due to AGCAS’s size, there is a need for all team members to undertake a variety of work and help others during periods of higher workload. The post holder may therefore be required to undertake duties not specifically referred to above. In line with the AGCAS strategy, it will be necessary to work in a matrix structure so that staff are working collaboratively on the organisation’s aims.

Occasional UK travel and overnight stays will be required.

Person Specification

Education and qualifications
  • A first degree or equivalent experience
  • A further qualification relating to any aspect of the role

Method of assessment: CV and covering letter

  • Experience of policy, public relations or journalism
  • Experience of developing and managing own projects
  • Experience of working with volunteers within a membership organisation
  • Experience of drafting research project specifications and designing methodologies

Method of assessment: CV and covering letter, interview

Aptitude and skills
  • Knowledge of the HE policy landscape and current trends in the field of student career development and graduate employment
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and CMS platforms
  • Excellent verbal, written communication and presentation skills
  • Strong editing/proofreading skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to assimilate and interpret complex information and data
  • Ability to summarise detailed policy and research reports
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas and findings clearly and accurately to a wide range of audiences, both in writing and face-to-face
  • Ability to respond to changing external agendas
  • Ability to persuade, influence and respond to stakeholders
  • Ability to establish, manage, develop and sustain working relationships thoughtfully and sensitively
  • Ability to work with initiative and minimal direction
  • Ability to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information
  • A proactive, collegiate, flexible, hands-on approach
  • Excellent organisational and project management skills
  • A demonstrable interest in keeping skills up to date

Method of assessment: CV and covering letter, interview, written test, presentation

How to apply

Applications can only be accepted via the online application process at http://www.agcas.org.ac.uk