Placement Information

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Community Engagement Assistant

Company Name Edinburgh University
Location Edinburgh
Date Posted 4th July 2017
Category EPP
Placement Length 8 weeks

The Host Organisation

The University of Edinburgh’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability seeks to support opportunities for integrating SRS into research, learning and teaching activities and to use the campus as a ‘Living Lab’. This is partly delivered through providing students with opportunities to volunteer and undertake placements with the department on social responsibility and sustainability issues. Students are also offered opportunities to collaborate on projects across the wider university and also local community, supporting the learning, working and social experience of students. Some roles are extra-curricular, others allow students to fulfil academic course requirements at the same time.

In May 2016, the University of Edinburgh approved its new strategy for community engagement. The strategy reflects the University’s will to start contributing more to the city of Edinburgh and surrounding areas. Many areas of work were proposed in this strategy, including the need to find out what community engagement activity members of the University are already involved with.

The univesity is seeking a Community Engagement Assistant to undertake the initial mapping of the University’s community engagement activity. The map will list the community projects in which the University takes part, and will show where they are happening in the city, and which parts of the University are involved. This map will then be updated on an ongoing basis until at least 2020. 

Knowing more about what is happening will allow the University’s central community engagement team to raise awareness of examples of best practice, to coordinate activities better and to identify areas where members of the University need more support. The mapping builds on work already undertaken as part of the University’s Student Community Engagement project.

The Role

The Community Engagement Assistant will be based in the University’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, where he/she will work closely with the Community Engagement Manager and members of the Communications team. It will involve liaison with a number of other University departments and individuals.

The Community Engagement Assistant will generate a comprehensive snapshot of what the University is doing and has done with community partners in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas. Given the size and devolved structure of the University, this map cannot ever be exhaustive or fully up-to-date, but even an approximate picture will provide important information for use in the University’s strategic planning and delivery of community engagement activity.

The work will involve: 

• Extracting information about partners and projects from pre-existing print and online reports, and from specialised online databases
• Contacting individual members of the University to get information about community engagement activities involving their departments
• Inputting data into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database
• Working with colleagues to develop a plan for ongoing updating of the mapping
• Working with colleagues to develop engaging ways of communicating notable initial findings from the mapping

Key tasks will include: 

• Desk-based research
• Email and telephone communication with staff around the University
• Interviews and meetings with key staff around the University
• Data entry into a custom-built CRM database

The Candidate

All candidates must be studying toward or have a relevant degree (HND or higher) as well as an interest in social and environmental sustainability.

This project would suit an individual looking to gain work experience in social responsibility or social geography. In particular, it offers a chance to help a large organisation manage its impact on the communities geographically near it. Skills needed include:

• Strong communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to adapt to a range of audiences in both written and oral communication
• Desk-based research skills – document/web research, analytical skills
• Basic Excel skills and ability to learn / work with contact management software
• Ability to work independently and manage own time

The placement will be based in the Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability’s offices in Edinburgh. A desk and computer will be made available. The post-holder will report to the Community Engagement Manager but will also involve close working with the Community Engagement Communications Coordinator and the Department’s Communications Manager.

Deadline:  Wed 19th July  | Interviews: 14th August  |  Wage: £8.45/hour | Start Date: Mid August | Hours: Full-time