Job Offer: Digital Communications Officer at SAPEA

SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) is currently seeking a


Digital Communications Officer


to join its team in Brussels as soon as possible on a part-time basis (0.6 FTE) for an initially fixed-term until the end of the current SAPEA project on 30 April 2022. It is expect that the contract will be up for renewal beyond that date, subject to funding from the European Commission.

  • Start date: As soon as possible in autumn 2021.
  • End date: In the first instance, the contract is fixed-term until the end of the current SAPEA project on 30 April 2022. We expect that it will be possible to renew the contract beyond that date, but this is subject to renewed mandate and funding from the European Commission.
  • Location: The SAPEA office is in central Brussels. At present, our team is working flexibly between the office and home; similar arrangements will be discussed with the successful candidate.
  • Type of contract: The contract will be in accordance with Belgian labour regulations.
  • Leave allowance: ALLEA offers a generous extra-legal leave allowance (applied pro rata to this post) in addition to the Belgian annual leave allowance.
  • Salary: The monthly basic gross salary during this employment term will be in the range of 2200€–2500€ (for 1.0 FTE, calculated pro rata for 0.6 FTE), corresponding to the candidate’s level of experience. Common net benefits and additional remunerations are provided according to Belgian employment practice.


About the role

SAPEA is seeking to strongly increase the scope and impact of our digital communications, to promote a wider understanding of our activities, support our events, and lead conversations about science and policy in a wide range of public and stakeholder audiences. The Digital Communications Officer will play a key role in proposing and creating attractive content for all our current channels (website, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, email newsletter, event streaming, podcast).

We are especially keen to support the Digital Communications Officer in developing innovative channels and methods of communication to reach new target audiences. We anticipate that this may include less ‘traditional’ social media platforms and apps. In general, we are seeking someone with creative and unexpected ideas, who can think outside the constraints of a ‘traditional’ public sector or academic communications role, while maintaining a laser-sharp focus on reaching the audiences which are relevant to our overall strategic objectives, and on maintaining the high quality of all our public outputs.

As a small team, we also expect all colleagues to pull their weight in the general activities of the communications team. In particular, we are planning a major public event in spring 2022 and we expect that this will be an important focus of work for the whole team starting in the autumn of 2021.


Responsibilities and tasks

As Digital Communications Officer, your responsibilities and tasks will include:

  • Contribute and publish regular, lively content across SAPEA’s digital communications channels.
  • Propose, develop, execute and monitor social media campaigns to support our activities and messages, including social media advertising, graphics and short videos.
  • Propose, develop and maintain innovative forms of digital communication to reach new target audiences.
  • Propose, contribute and develop lively content for the websites developed by SAPEA.
  • Propose, develop and collect data to demonstrate the impact of our digital communications activities, including for the purposes of continuous evaluation and improvement.
  • Engage in active horizon-scanning, especially on social media, to alert colleagues to current and upcoming opportunities for effective communication.
  • Regularly update your own awareness and skills regarding the latest digital communication idioms, platforms, tools and software, and provide guidance to colleagues in these.
  • As required, contribute more broadly to communications and public engagement activities in a range of formats.
  • Assist with the general smooth running of the SAPEA communications team.


Personal profile

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • 1–2 years of relevant professional experience.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant area.
  • Experience of managing a website using WordPress or another common CMS.
  • Experience of managing an organisation’s social media activities.
  • Excellent oral and written proficiency in English, including clear and confident communication skills.
  • Experience in writing and developing content in styles and formats appropriate to websites and other digital media, including graphics and short videos.
  • Creative and artistic flair.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to build strong working relationships with colleagues, including in the absence of strict lines of accountability between different parts of the organisation (e.g. in a consortium of independent organisations).
  • Interest in and commitment to the importance of scientific evidence in policymaking.

Additional desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Experience or demonstrated interest in science communication, public policy, EU politics or public engagement work.
  • Experience of working in a scientific or academic institution.
  • Experience of working in a small, flexible team or an informally-structured organisation.
  • Knowledge of another EU language (besides English).
  • A broad understanding of policymaking processes at European level.
  • Technical skills in one or more of the following: video editing (e.g. Premiere Pro); audio editing (e.g. Audition), graphics editing (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator); page layout (e.g. InDesign); coding for the web (e.g. HTML); web streaming (e.g. Streamyard, YouTube); mobile apps.
  • Experience in implementing and monitoring paid social media campaigns.

Because of the nature of this role, we anticipate that the right candidate might have a more unorthodox background or range of experiences than would be expected for other roles in academic or public policy communications. For this reason, if you believe your skills and experience would make you an excellent candidate for this post, but you are not able to meet all of the above requirements, we would still welcome an application from you.

We are open to applications from candidates proposing flexible working arrangements such as job-shares and hybrid home/office working.


How to apply

To apply, please send your CV, motivation letter and further application documents and/or references to (pdf documents, not larger than 2 MB) by 08:00 CEST on Monday 20 September 2021.

Interviews are expected to take place in Brussels on 28 September. Reasonable travel expenses can be reimbursed. We will also consider an online interview process.

We apply an equal opportunities policy. We accept applications without distinction on the grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation. Please let us know in your application if you require any adaptations to the interview process because of a disability or other circumstances.


More information available on the SAPEA website here.