Senior Policy Advisor - Knowledge Exchange and Stakeholder Engagement

British Council
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Apr 14

Position description

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. 
We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. 
These connections lead to an understanding of each other's strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.



The Research and Policy Insight team aims to generate new and useful knowledge, analysis and insight to inform the strategy of the British Council and its partners. This relates to the discourse on cultural relations and soft power, to the organisation’s thematic areas and the geographies where we work. We are a corporate function working to ensure cohesion in the organisation’s external profile, protect and enhance its reputation and amplify the value of the work of the British Council, including demonstrating the benefit it brings to the UK.


This position will support the team’s role to generate new and useful knowledge, analysis and insight about cultural relations. It provides an exciting opportunity to shape how we share that valuable organisational resource for maximum impact. The goal is to enhance the exchange of knowledge and insight internally in the British Council as well externally to strengthen our relationships and influence among a diverse set of stakeholders.

Priorities include:

  • Positioning the British Council to engage, influence and benefit key stakeholders through our portfolio of research and policy insight, based on high quality and relevant knowledge exchange outputs, communications and interactions
  • Broadening the organisation’s engagement with external partners to support improved uptake of our research and insight, bringing new knowledge into the organisation and enabling credible partners to act as advocates for us
  • Advising on and designing strategically aligned communication platforms, channels and content which will underpin our knowledge exchange interventions
  • Using this platform to plan and deliver effective campaigns in collaboration with immediate team members, colleagues across the British Council and external partners


Main Accountabilities: 


Support all aspects of the British Council’s Research and Policy Insight Strategy, and specifically its knowledge exchange and policy impact goals, through:

Stakeholder insight and engagement

  • Map, research and identify new stakeholders and partners and use this to develop strategy for impact-led knowledge exchange that draws on the whole of the British Councils research and insight portfolio. Stakeholders include but are not limited to UK policymakers and partners from sectors with international interests or programmes, for whom insight and reseach from British Council can add value. It also includes their influencers and international counterparts
  • Plan and co-ordinate the organisaion’s development of new stakeholder relationships to increase demand for, and use of, British Council research and policy products. Lead on some relationships, as agreed
  • Design, commissioning and/or deliver stakeholder engagement opportunities (eg. policy seminars, webinars, round tables, launch events or other initiatives). This includes identifying and managing partners for events; securing, preparing and briefing key internal and external high level participants, and providing intellectual content
  • Manage liaison with senior stakeholders and partners involved in projects or initiatives you are leading on
  • Project manage the British Council’s role and contribution (whether as convenor, leader or partner) where it undertakes longer term collaborations or partnerships with relevant external contacts


Platforms and channels for communications and engagement

  • Provide advice on mechanisms, channels and platforms most suitable to reach priority stakeholders and partners, considering the available and potential insight and content from the British Council portfolio. This should inform our engagement strategy and planning
  • Identify appropriate virtual and physical external platforms and channels for engagement with UK stakeholders and establish, co-ordianate or manage these relationships for the British Council as appropriate
  • Advise on how to make best use of the British Coucnil’s suite of virtual and physical communications and engagement platforoms and channels, and identify gaps. This should inform strategy and the implementation of the whole RPI team’s engagement/comms plans
  • For the RPI team, establish systems and processes with colleagues who manage corporate British Council stakeholder engagement and communications platforms and channels to enable effective knowledge exchange and policy influence
  • Responsibility for the RPI owned Insight Newsletter and RPI section of the website
  • Liaison with relevant individuals in Digicomms and MarComms and Policy and External Relations to ensure corporate policies, standards and priorities are met


Analysis and content development

  • Provide advice on the most appropriate content and type of outputs for the portfolio (included but not limited to research reports, infographics, podcasts, film etc) for key target audiences. This should inform the strategy and plans for knowledge exchange with partners and stakeholders
  • Articulate what an appropriate suite of content from the British to target audiences should look like, based on the existing evidence base and available research and insight
  • Work with RPI colleagues to advise and support them in provididing relevant analysis and insight in appropriate format, style and struture depending on the channel. Commissioning of new types of content/output (eg. infographics, animations, podcasts etc.)
  • Plan and manage the pipeline of content for policy insight from RPI for deployent at the right time via the most appropriate channels
  • Provide analysis and develop content, including reports, briefings, policy papers, podcasts etc in your own area of expertise
  • Work with RPI colleagues to curate, knowledge manage and make effective use of the full stock of available data, reseach and insight in the organisation
  • Commissioning research, analysis and insight (internally or externally) for projects you are leading
  • Prepare and brief key internal and external high-level stakeholders involved in RPI’s knowledge exchange and engagement activities
  • Editorial responsibility for the publication of the Insight newsletter, including commisioning and sourcing content from across the British Council, setting standards for content, ensuring each article is in line with internal guidelines on tone and voice etc.


Management and cross-team duties

  • Budget responsibility for resources allocated to activities you lead on (including external partnerships, events and research).
  • Responsibility for procurement of research and other goods/services from external suppliers
  • Contribute to the wider work of the Research and Policy Insight team’s strategy
  • Provide cover as required and work with peers in Research and Policy Insight on team-wide programme, administration, and communication tasks.


Other important features or requirements of the job 

The job often requires attending external early morning meetings and evening engagements.  Some weekend attendance at events and engagements is also required.


  • Experience of successfully influencing a target audience of senior stakeholders (i.e. managers, politicians, civil servants and policy influencers) systematically with evidence-based content
  • Experience of Knowledge Exchange, policy engagement or other routes to research impact. 
  • Extensive experience of researching, analysing and preparing high quality content (ie. reports, research papers, policy briefings, news articles or other briefing materials) for a senior audience
  • Excellent and up to date knowledge of relevant UK and global politics and international relations 
  • Understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Project Management experience
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent editorial skills
  • Excellent research skills
  • Good working skills in Microsoft Office
  • Strong organisational ability



What you will receive:

  • Outstanding Civil Service Pension Scheme
  • 32 Days Holiday
  • Annual Travel Season Ticket Loan
  • Annual Performance related bonus



Pay Band 8 

Contract type: 12 month Contract with possiblity for extension 

Location:  Edinburgh, Manchester, Cardiff, Belfast or London 


Please note interviews are planned for 19 or 20 may 2021

If you feel that you are suitable and would like to be considered for this role, please apply before 23:59 UK time on the 28 April 2021 

A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.

Application instructions

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