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Role description: Public Engagement Secretary

Role title: Public Engagement Secretary
Accountable to: Board of Trustees
Term of office: Four years

Scope and purpose

The British Society for Immunology (BSI) is a dynamic membership organisation and learned society, with a mission to drive scientific discovery and make a positive impact on health. With over 4,400 members and a remit across academia, industry and healthcare in the UK and globally, we run many valuable initiatives, to connect our community, champion career development for our members and to catalyse change for the benefit of research, clinical delivery and public health.

The role of the Public Engagement Secretary is to oversee the strategic development of the BSI’s public engagement initiatives, working with members, trustees and key members of staff. This supports a core priority area in the BSI’s new strategy, catalysing change, and expanding our innovative engagement work to increase public understanding and improve health.

General responsibilities

The Public Engagement Secretary is a key role for the BSI, taking a lead for the Society on the strategic development of our public engagement work.  This includes public engagement activities that the BSI develops for the public and their delivery, as well as what support the BSI provides to members in developing their skills and confidence to carry out public engagement themselves.

The role holder will work closely with the Director of External Affairs, and the Public Engagement Manager to ensure there is proper planning and thought given to our work in this area.  The Secretary will also ensure that members have an opportunity to take part in these projects, and that they meet our charitable purpose.   

The Public Engagement Secretary is expected to:

  • Attend quarterly Member Representative Forum meetings, virtually or face-to-face where needed (estimate 1-2 meetings per year)

  • To attend the BSI Board of Trustees once a year to give an update on progress of activities.

  • To input to the Society’s strategic plans regarding public engagement.

  • To work with Society staff to advise on and oversee the implementation of the Society’s strategic plans on public engagement.

  • To ensure the mission and values of the Society are reflected in its public engagement activities.

  • To attend and contribute ideas to the development of public engagement initiatives such as events, digital products and partnerships with other bodies.

  • To identify areas of focus, including incorporating feedback from members, in terms of areas of need for public engagement activities and support/training. .

  • To represent the BSI and its public engagement activities to members and external bodies as well as at events such as BSI Congress.

  • To oversee the Society’s Communication & Engagement grant scheme, including sitting on panel of judges

Person specification

  • The Public Engagement Secretary must be resident in the UK

  • Membership of the Society is required under the rules

  • A demonstrable commitment to the Society and to immunology

  • A passion for engaging with different audiences and an inclusive approach to engagement

  • Aligned with the BSI values – ambitious and committed, evidence-based and responsible; collaborative and inclusive; agile and energetic

  • Adhere to and promote the BSI Code of Conduct

  • An ability to work collaboratively and collectively, accepting consensus

  • A good knowledge of the UK public engagement landscape and experience in working on, delivering and evaluating innovative public engagement initiatives

  • A strategic vision, with willingness to lead on the generation of ideas and their development, with support from BSI staff

  • A willingness to engage with BSI members, act as an ambassador for the BSI and promote its values and mission