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PARKINSONS DISEASE SOCIETY (PDS)

JOB DESCRIPTION
RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
1. MAIN PURPOSE OF THE JOB
The role has two principal aspects:

Inbound - To elicit ideas from the members and from the research community
regarding priorities in Parkinson’s disease Research and Development (R&D) and
their information needs.

Outbound - To communicate the results of Parkinson's Disease Society (PDS)-


sponsored (and other) research into Parkinson’s, to the members, researchers,
healthcare professionals, donors and groups whom the PDS may wish to
influence.
2. POSITION IN ORGANISATION
Reports to Research and Development Director
Responsible for Research Communications Officer
Main relationships External - Researchers, potential researchers and
recipients of Parkinson’s Research Information.

Internal:
• Members, especially those with an interest in
research,,
• Communications – provision of expert
information in research-related matters
• Colleagues in R&D
• Fundraising
3. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DIRECTORATE
The Research Directorate is responsible for:
• the design and implementation of the PDS Research Strategy;
• monitoring the main issues that require research and funding which form the
basis of the Research Agenda;
• the operation of the grant-making process;
• the identification of new research workers and provide mentorship when they
need help in developing applications;
• the identification of the communication aspects of the Society’s Research and
Development in collaboration with the other relevant Directorates.
4. SCOPE OF THE JOB
A. Responsible for contributing the R&D elements to general Society
communications (e.g. The Parkinson)
B. Responsible for the R&D component of the PDS Internet site, including use
of the site as a means of communicating research findings, updates and
current news

Job Description
C. Responsible for the provision of information in response to research
enquiries
D. Responsible for the provision of information on the PDS research
achievements
E. Line manage the activities and development of Research Communications
Officer

5. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITITES


A Responsible for contributing the Research & Development elements to
specific Society communications
• Take responsibility for producing research specific publications, including the
“Progress” research magazine
• Work with PDS members and other Directorates to ensure that the publication
meets the needs of the evolving organisation
• Direct research composition of the general Society publications (e.g. “The
Parkinson”)
• Timely preparation of lay summaries of recently awarded grants for use in
PDS publications and by other PDS directorates
B Responsible for the R&D component of the PDS Internet site, including use
of the site as a means of communicating research findings, updates and
current news
• Work with the Web Manager and Research Communications Officer to
develop and maintain the R&D section of the PDS website
• Develop a strategy for the future development of the research component of
the website
• Ensure the website is updated to reflect the wide variety of the research
funded by the Society
• Identify key current topics that may be appropriate for highlighting on the main
page
C Responsible for the provision of information in response to research
enquiries
• Work with the Research Communications Officer to provide information to
answer questions that may be received via the research email address
• Assist the helpline team with any research associated enquiries
• Provide details of appropriate external experts to deal with specific enquiries
• Signpost specific enquiries to appropriate information sources
D Responsible for the provision of information on the PDS research
achievements

Job Description
• Proactively work with the members of the Society to increase their knowledge
of PDS funded research
• Give oral presentations on the PDS funded and other Parkinson’s research to
members of the PDS and other lay groups
• Provide appropriate information on the results of PDS funded research
(research outcomes) to a variety of stakeholders
• Correlation of “end of grant” information and its dissemination in PDS
publications, on the web page and in other formats such as fact sheets.
• Identify mechanisms by which annual and final grant summaries and reports
of site visits can be used to increase awareness of PDS funded research
E Line manage the activities and development of the Research
Communications Officer
• Manage, supervise and develop the Research Communications Officer
including annual reviews, to ensure high quality service and achievement of
annual objectives.
• Provide regular supervision and one to one support in a learning environment.
• Conduct monthly supervision meetings in which achievements and challenges
are discussed and objectives set.
• Promote team building, open and clear communications, co-operation and
appropriate networks of support for staff.
• Ensure the Research Communications Officer is aware of relevant legislation
and is kept up-to-date with developments at the PDS as well as policy and
procedural changes.
6. GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES
• Contribute positively to the Directorate and team meetings, team working and
implementing organisational priorities
• Be flexible within the broad remit of the post and be prepared to work some
evenings and weekends
• Take direction on projects and priorities, which may vary from time to time
• Abide by organisational policies and practices, including the equal opportunities
policy
• Be self-servicing and able to act on own initiative where necessary

7. DIMENSIONS AND LIMITS OF AUTHORITY


Disciplinary Action: None
Budgetary Limits: N/A
Authorises expenditure within a budget to a limit of: £5,000
Signs contracts and contractual matters on behalf of N/A
PDS:

This job description does not form part of your contract of employment. The duties laid
down in this job description may change from time to time following a review and in
consultation between post holder and line manager / Director.

Updated November 2009

Job Description
Signed by post holder: Date:

Agreed Correct and


signed by Line Manager: Date:

Agreed Correct and


Signed by Director: Date:

PARKINSONS DISEASE SOCIETY (PDS)

PERSON SPECIFICATION
RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
Essential Desirable
Experience Experience in working with healthcare 
professionals
Experience in working with research 
workers and an appreciation of the
‘research process’ in the UK
Interaction with “customers” of research – 
e.g. people suffering from a specific
condition, government or NHS managers
responsible for clinical or prioritisation
decisions
Experience in ensuring a high quality in 
some aspect of the work (e.g. judging
projects, reviewing manuscripts, examining)

Job Description
Experience of working as part of a small 
team of professionals, contributing mutual
support and encouragement
Experience of line managing staff 
Skills and Good communication skills, with a track- 
Abilities record of success in the following
(a) Presentations to professional and/or lay
audiences
(b) Acting as a “link person” between (i)
professional and/or lay audiences and
(ii) an organisation
(c) Use of research findings (e.g. in papers,
journal articles, magazines, verbal
communication)
Ability to communicate with a range of 
people including senior clinicians,
fundraisers and people with Parkinson’s
Mentorship and development of potential 
communicators (verbal and/or written)
An understanding of the importance of R&D 
to the PDS, and a commitment and
enthusiasm to investigate innovative ways
of using the findings of PDS sponsored
research projects
Administrative efficiency, and commitment 
to tracking progress against objectives
Staff line management 
Setting and monitoring of budgets and 
financial forecasts

Job Description
Knowledge Knowledge of the scientific process and/or 
generic research grant application
processes
A commitment to developing knowledge at 
a level sufficient to discuss the use of
research findings
Knowledge of one or more aspects of 
Parkinson’s
Education/ Educated to at least primary degree level in 
Training the life sciences
Computer literate 
Other Commitment and enthusiasm for the 
Requirements Parkinson’s Disease Society and to be able
to act as its ambassador

Job Description

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