Director of Public Engagement

Our Vision & Strategy

Over the past 18 months, the University has been developing a new Strategic Plan through extensive engagement with staff, students and external stakeholders.

QUB - Shaping a better world

Building on the success of our Corporate Plan 2016-21, Strategy 2030 sets out our ambition for the next ten years to shape a better world through life-changing education and research across our disciplines, investing in our people, both students and staff, to ensure excellence and impact.

Our new Strategy defines the response of the University in the COVID pandemic as we drive the social and economic recovery of Northern Ireland. The role of Queen’s in the recovery underlines our vision to meet the needs of Northern Ireland, driving social and economic change with global resonance.

The University’s success is a reflection of the success of our people and our core values of Integrity, Connectivity, Ambition, Respect and Excellence underpin all that we do.

Strategy 2030 was launched in July.

The Role & Requirements

The University is seeking to appoint a Director of Public Engagement. The post holder will be a specialist advisor and Institutional lead for the University on strategic engagement both nationally and internationally and will be responsible for the successful implementation and delivery of an engagement strategy to achieve the University’s corporate vision and ambitions.

The role of Director of Public Engagement

Acting as a specialist advisor, the Director of Public Engagement will provide direct specialist support and advice to the Vice-Chancellor and University Executive Board (UEB) on the University’s Political and Public Engagement agenda, both nationally and internationally.

This is a strategic collaborative role to support the Vice Chancellor; the post holder will be the Director providing institutional oversight of:

  • Strategic Political and Public Engagement in support of the University’s corporate vision and ambitions.
  • The University’s high-level engagement, lobbying and advocacy initiatives with governments, business representative bodies and other major stakeholders, including the NI Executive, the UK Government and the Government of Ireland.
  • The public engagement team, with line management responsibility for the Head of Public Engagement and oversight of community, business, political, and public engagement activities.

The post holder will have responsibility, as part of a senior team, for:

  • Supporting the Vice Chancellor in raising the reputation, profile and relevance of the University nationally and internationally.
  • Delivery of the University’s Strategy 2030 and particularly the aspects of the strategy relating to Social and Civic responsibility and economic prosperity; one of four strategic priorities.
  • Work with the Director of Marketing, Recruitment, Communications and Internationalisation in the development and delivery of public engagement campaigns aligned to the University’s strategic ambitions.
  • Work with all Schools and Directorates adopting a matrix approach to project development, to ensure a co-ordination in moving forward the ambitions of Strategy 2030.
  • The post holder will be responsible for the over-arching strategic leadership of the University’s Public Engagement portfolio. The post holder will be a member of the University Operating Board and will attend the University Executive Board as required.

    The post holder will be an organisational leader responsible for managing a team of professional specialists within the Public Engagement team.

    Key areas of Responsibility:
    • 1. Support the Vice Chancellor with the development of, and provide institutional level oversight to the University’s overall political and public engagement portfolio, nationally and internationally and direct the successful implementation and delivery of plans in order to achieve the University’s corporate vision and ambitions.
    • 2. Make a key contribution to the delivery of the University’s Strategy 2030 and particularly the ambitions focussing on Social and Civic responsibility, and economic prosperity; one of four strategic priorities.
    • 3. Provide strategic direction, leadership and oversight for Public Engagement including civic, community, governmental, political and business engagement.
    • 4. Working closely with the Vice Chancellor, providing specialist advice and guidance to the Vice Chancellor and the University Executive Board on international, national and regional policy and its potential impact to the University.
    • 5. Identify, prioritise and address the key challenges, risks and opportunities in the external environment, providing context and assessment analysis and developing options and potential initiatives for the University’s response, including areas of a sensitive and secure nature.
    • 6. Direct priority initiatives and ensure these are managed these through to fruition.
    • 7. On behalf of the University and in particular the Vice Chancellor, act as the University’s key liaison director and partner with a range of internal and external stakeholders on national and international platforms.

    The other duties and responsibilities associated with this role can be found in the Job Details, available to download from this page.

    The Person

    Applicants will be required to demonstrate the following:

    Education and Qualifications
    • Honours degree (or equivalent qualification).
    • Substantial relevant senior level experience gained in a public affairs or a related role at board or senior leadership/executive management level gained within a high performing complex structure/ organisation.
    • Substantial relevant experience and a track record of networking and lobbying; establishing, brokering and building major strategic relationships with multiple external stakeholders and networks on a national and international platform.
    • Relevant experience of environmental scanning.
    • Relevant experience in matrix management and people management.
    Strategic and Operational Leadership
    • Proven leadership in managing and developing an effective team.
    • Experience of developing innovative solutions and the practical implementation of strategy.
    • Proven ability to develop effective relationships with key stakeholders both internally and externally and influencing change through engagement up to and including government level.
    Transformational and Organisational Change
    • Proven ability to plan, implement and deliver successful project and change management initiatives.

    Job Specification

    Click here to download job details for the Director of Public Engagement

University Overview

The successful candidate will join a globally connected University that is committed to bringing together world-leading researchers and students to tackle some of the biggest global challenges of our generation.

Queen’s is one of the oldest universities in the UK with a rich and distinguished heritage. The University recently celebrated its 175th anniversary, having been established in 1845 as part of the federal Queen’s University of Ireland with Colleges in Belfast, Galway and Cork. It was awarded independent degree awarding powers in 1908 when it became a university in its own right.

Our Economic Impact

Today, Queen’s is a dynamic and diverse institution with a thriving multicultural community of over 4,300 staff and 24,000 students, including 3,500 international students from 80 different countries.

The University’s focus on quality teaching, research excellence and a student-centred culture endures. A member of the Russell Group, it is ranked joint 1st in the UK for research intensity (Complete University Guide 2021), while ten of the University’s subjects are in the top 200 in the world (QS World Rankings by subject 2021).

The University persists in growing its global reputation and outlook. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2021), Queen’s was placed 21st in the world for international outlook and is in the top 25 universities in the world for international joint publications, according to U-Multirank 2020. Global partnerships and academic alliances continue to grow and develop with leading institutions in America, China, India, the Middle East and Asia.

Queen’s plays a key role in Northern Ireland’s social and economic development. As well as contributing over £1.6bn to the local economy, the University has a proven track record in commercialisation and has been ranked first in the UK by Octopus Ventures for entrepreneurial impact. The University’s central involvement in Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) further cements its role in supporting and accelerating economic growth in Northern Ireland and ensuring a talent pipeline of equipped, future ready graduates to meet demand.

Recent Achievements

Placed 200 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021
Ranked 43 in the world in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021
8th in the UK for Research Intensity

(Times Higher Education, based on REF 2014 results)

14 of the individual areas of research assessed were ranked in the Top 20 in the UK

(REF 2014)

Over 75% of Queen’s research activity was judged to be internationally excellent or world-leading

(REF 2014)

7 Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, the latest in 2019 for Shared Education
One of only 19 universities in the UK to hold an Athena SWAN Silver Institutional Award
Awarded Northern Ireland’s first Regius Professorship in 2016
96% of our graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation

(HESA Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, 2016-17)

No. 1 in the UK for research commercialisation

(Octopus Ventures Entrepreneurial Impact Ranking 2020)

14 Queen’s subjects in the UK top 10

(Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021)

Ranked 21st in the world for International Outlook

(Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021)

Contributes £1.9 billion to the UK economy

(London Economics Report)

Investing in Excellence

Effective governance and strong financial performance is critical to the success of Queen’s and we are well positioned to meet the challenges facing the sector. Our primary financial objective is to generate surpluses sufficient to sustain our ongoing activities and to maintain the necessary investment in our estate and associated infrastructure. We have a successful track record in delivering against this objective, with a broad range of income streams from public and private sources.

Queen’s had a satisfactory year in 2019-20 with an operational surplus generated of £4.9m and total net assets at 31 July 2020 of £629.7m.

Financial Highlights 2018-19

Faculties & Directorates

Engineering & Physical Sciences

The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) at Queen’s is unique. It brings together 6,500 students and over 600 academic and research staff to create a dynamic, multidisciplinary setting that is focused on creating impact.

The Faculty spans a wide range of disciplines and its configuration of subjects provides an unusual breadth of expertise that enables the discovery and exploitation of unique opportunities to meet global challenges. Ranging from Psychology to Geography and Archaeology, allied with the core engineering and science disciplines, the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences offers leading edge education and world class research from our deepest past to our exciting future.

Faculty of EPS

The Faculty is comprised of six Schools – Mathematics and Physics; Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Natural and Built Environment; Psychology - and one Global Research Institute (GRI) - the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT).

In the REF 2014 exercise, the Faculty submitted 100 per cent of its academic staff to 7 of its 10 Units of Assessment (UoA). EPS has an outstanding foundation of disciplinary research in basic science and engineering. Coupled with excellent industrial connections and practical application of research we are building ambitious programmes to address multidisciplinary research challenges.

One of the Faculty’s core strengths is the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT). ECIT has a unique environment that encourages collaboration among academics, researchers, engineers, industry and government to accelerate commercial uptake and application of research results. ECIT hosts the Centre for Secure Information Technology (CSIT), one of only seven UK Innovation and Knowledge Centres (IKCs). Funded by EPSRC and Technology Strategy Board, IKCs are a key component of the UK’s approach to the commercialisation of emerging technologies through creating early stage critical mass in an area of disruptive technology. In 2015, CSIT won a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize Award for Further and Higher Education, and in 2016 ECIT was awarded a prestigious Regius Chair.

Another key area of focus for the Faculty - Advanced Manufacturing – demonstrates the Faculty’s interdisciplinary approach. We have invested in a cross-school Pioneer Research Project, the Centre for Intelligent Autonomous Manufacturing Systems – iAMS, to develop innovative technologies and solutions to address the challenges of Industry 4.0 in a rapidly evolving digital manufacturing world.

This expertise, combined with that of ECIT has positioned the Faculty to play a key role in the development of two of the innovation projects going forward as part of the Belfast Region City Deal -a key initiative for the Faculty in the future. These projects will enable the Faculty to have a transformative effect on the economy of Northern Ireland and beyond.

Another key area of strength for the Faculty, and second Pioneer Research Project is the Sustainable Energy Research Centre that reflects our commitment to meeting the greatest global challenge of our time. Focused on interlinking areas including marine and bio-energy generation, future vehicle technologies including biofuels and low-carbon chemical manufacturing, the Centre brings together researchers from across the Faculty and has been successful in securing substantial international research funding.

Research in EPS has significant and strong connectivity with industry that underpins much of our activity and enables us to create real-world impact. We have a strong track record of working on cutting-edge research with leading organisations such as Seagate, Rolls-Royce, Petronas and Airbus. The Northern Ireland Technology Centre is a shining example of industry, government and academia working in partnership which received £7.5m investment to support its mission to enable more competitive supply chains with increased productivity. A long established relationship with Seagate has resulted in the ANSIN centre, a leading unit for advanced photonic research with industrial applications. Both of these initiatives have resulted in the Faculty hosting two Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chairs in the past five years, a great achievement.

EPS is a faculty looking forward to the future. Over the last three years external research awards have totalled just over £100m and in the last year, we have increased our EPSRC portfolio overall by 30% to £43m and we are driving to increase similarly over the next 5 years.

The Faculty is active in the international arena with well-established links across the globe. This is exemplified by our recent success in being selected to lead other members of the Russell Group in the UK-China Universities Consortium on Engineering and Education Research. This ambitious collaboration is forging links with the top engineering institutions in China (the E9) and aims to promote and facilitate strategic engagement and bilateral cooperation in transnational joint programmes on postgraduate higher education and engineering research between the UK and China.

Schools in the Faculty are at the forefront of implementing practices and policies that recognise and promote the advancement of women in science, technology and engineering disciplines. All have an active engagement with Athena SWAN. Four Schools hold Athena SWAN Silver awards and Psychology hold a Gold Award.

See below for list of our other faculties and directorates:

  1. Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
  2. Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
  3. Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
  1. Academic & Student Affairs
  2. Development & Alumni Relations
  3. Estates
  4. Finance
  5. People and Culture
  6. Information Services
  7. Research and Enterprise
  8. Student Plus
  9. Marketing, Recruitment, Communications & Internationalisation (MRCI)

Belfast & N.Ireland

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and is one of Europe’s most friendly and fashionable regional cities. Lonely Planet described Belfast and the Causeway Coast as the number one region in the world to visit in 2018.

Northern Ireland is renowned for its beautiful beaches and coastal scenery. It has a fascinating history and cultural heritage and is known as the country that built the Titanic, has the world-famous Giant’s Causeway and world class golf.

Belfast Skyline

People from all over the world are now making an important contribution to life here – in medicine, business, industry, science, education, sports, music and the arts. Queen’s University is proud to be a driving force in Northern Ireland’s cultural, artistic and economic renaissance, celebrating the innovation and creativity of its people and enhancing its reputation as an international centre of learning.

Belfast, Easy travel

Travelling to and from Northern Ireland is both easy and economical. Most major British cities are within an hour’s flying time from Belfast’s two regional airports, which are both easily accessible from the University. These airports provide flights from many locations in the UK and mainland Europe as well as North America. Belfast has regular ferry services from Scotland and England, and Dublin is just a two-hour train journey away. As a compact, easily accessible city which is rich in culture, it is easy to see why many visitors chose to make the region their home.

Terms & How to Apply

It is hoped that the successful applicant will be able to take up the post as soon as possible, subject to existing contractual obligations.

An attractive remuneration package, commensurate with the seniority and responsibilities of the role, will be provided. The successful candidate will also be eligible to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Key Dates

Closing date for receipt of applications is 9 August 2021. It is anticipated that interviews will take place in early September 2021.

How To Apply

Perrett Laver are managing the recruitment of this. To apply for this role click here or call Perrett Laver on +353 1 9053537.

D&I Statement

Queen’s University Belfast is recognised as one of the most diverse organisations in Northern Ireland. We are committed to equality of opportunity, fair participation and welcomes applications from all.

For further information on our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, including our work in relation to Gender Equality (Athena SWAN), LGBTQ+ inclusion (Stonewall Workplace Equality Index), Disability and Race (Race Equality Charter) please visit our Diversity web section and/or our Gender Initiative web section.

For further information and details on the University’s Staff Networks please visit our Staff Networks web section.

Key Documentation

To help you learn more about Queen’s University, a range of publications is available. These publications include: