Policy Manager


28th July 2019

Location: Leeds (flexible working arrangements available)
Accountable to: Head of Engagement
Start date: August 2019 (negotiable)
Hours of work: 37.5 hours per week (Part time arrangements considered)
Contract: Permanent
Pay: £20,000 – £28,000 (depending on experience)
Purpose: To develop, coordinate and support the policy information and influencing needs of the charity.

About Student Minds

Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity. We empower students and members of the university community to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health, support others and create change. We train students and staff in universities across the UK to deliver student-led peer support interventions as well as research-driven workshops and campaigns. We also deliver research on student mental health and by working collaboratively across sectors, we share best practice to ensure that decisions about mental health are made based on evidence and students’preferences. Together we will transform the state of student mental health so that all in higher education can thrive.

About the role

Since 2011 we have worked with a range of students, professionals and academics to develop innovative ways to improve the mental health of students. Currently, Student Minds collaborates with over one hundred universities and Students’ Unions across the UK. We are excited to be recruiting for a Policy Manager to help us achieve our goals.

This is a crucial role where you will be providing policy support to members of our team and our wider network. You will do this by developing and improving the ways in which we support the information needs of our organisation. This will include designing a comprehensive briefing system, horizon scanning the different sectors that we operate in, keeping your finger on the pulse with policy developments within youth mental health, higher education, healthcare and housing. This role will also play an important par tin efforts nationally to improve how policy and sector practice is informed by research into student mental health and wellbeing.

Key responsibilities

Planning and organising work

  • Manage and prioritise your own work in order to work efficiently to support the policy needs of the organisation.

Providing policy support

  • Monitor the external environment and complete detailed desk research on a range of policy issues relevant to the work of Student Minds.
  • Prepare reports, presentations and briefings for internal and external audiences
  • Maintain the flow of clear and detailed policy information to the team, preparing policy briefings and also working to actively brief and debrief relevant meetings. This will include, but not be limited to, meetings with sector partners, government departments, working groups and committees.
  • Review, develop and improve the policy systems of the charity
  • Work with the Programme Manager (Health Inequalities) to ensure the Student Advisory Committee inform policy recommendations
  • Work with the CEO and Executive Assistant to ensure the Clinical Advisory Group inform policy recommendations
  • Support the Student Minds staff team to be research-led and understand policy developments that relate to their roles and projects via briefings, skillshares etc.
  • Support the team to understand and speak up about these issues in their training, conferences and other public appearances, in order that colleagues can equip Student Minds networks (staff, students etc.)
  • Advise appropriate members of the team in policy positions to take when preparing for committees and national influencing work.
  • Provide input into the development and delivery of the programme work of the charity (for example the University Mental Health Charter and the Students’ Union Support Programme)
  • Support and coordinate the charity’s work in responding to consultations and publications relating to student mental health

Public Affairs

  • Coordinate with relevant colleagues to develop our strategies and systems for liaising and influencing in the media and national press.
  • Create press positions as part of our policy briefing system
    Support relevant colleagues to be briefed for media, press appearances and other speaking appearances as well as supporting the organisation’s input to policy based platforms.
    Support volunteers and members of our wider network to brief and debrief media and press appearances/contributions
  • Keep the team appraised of relevant developments in the sectors that the work of the charity intersects with.

Leadership on Research Dissemination

  • Propose, plan and undertake short term research projects e.g. focus groups, literature reviews. Research focus will depend on agreed priorities
  • To be the link for the charity to academic researchers in the area of student mental health, including being the main point of contact for SMaRteN network.
  • Translate research findings into targeted briefings for team members where appropriate
  • To lead on primary and secondary research projects
  • Where appropriate to offer supervision to PGR students in completing their research projects

Campaigning and impact

  • Working with relevant team members to complete campaign briefings incorporating all available knowledge and sources of information. This could include primary/secondary research as well as more informal listening work.
  • Analyse the impact of the campaigning work of the organisation.
  • Analyse the impact of committee and meeting attendance and advise where to focus resources in order to best achieve our objectives.

Other duties

Attend team meetings with Student Minds colleagues

  • Undertake training and attend conferences as appropriate
  • Engage with and provide feedback on large projects and strategic reports developed by other members of the team
  • Ensure equality and inclusion responsibilities for your area of work
  • Recruit and manage charity interns, as appropriate
  • Support website development for sections within your portfolio
  • Support the development of funding proposals and opportunities for the programmes in collaboration with
  • Input into decision making for the charity.

How to apply

Applications can only be accepted via the online application process at www.studentminds.org.uk

The deadline for applications is Sunday 28th July at 11.59pm.