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Science Writer for Mental Health Research Strategy

  • Time Commitment:Short term contract for Secondment to the Department of Health
  • Based at:Richmond House, London, SW1A
  • Position reports to:Alison Tingle, SRED


The recently published Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (A report from the Independent Mental Health Taskforce for NHSE) recommended that the Department of Health, working with others, should publish a report setting out a 10-year strategy for mental health research.

Working in conjunction with DH representatives and representatives from the major funders of mental health research, MIND, mental health research charities and the Royal College of Psychiatrists (collectively, the Steering Group), the post holder will be responsible for supporting the full development of the 10-year strategy for mental health research. This will involve coordinating steering and working group meetings, serving as a rapporteur to four working groups, and contributing to the development, production, and dissemination of the final report 

Key Responsibilities

Strategy, Planning & performance

  • Work with the Steering Group to develop and implement the plans and reporting framework for the 10 Year Strategy, including:

    o Role of chairs and working group members

    o Structure and framework for each working group report

    o Method and framework for collating four reports into one overarching cohesive document for approval by DH

  • Work with the Steering Group to deliver a final report by February 2017

Operational Responsibilites

  • Support the successful delivery of working group meetings as planned

    o Work to ensure seamless communication across multiple stakeholders involved the strategy development process

    o Work with the Steering Group and chairs to conduct working group meetings

    o Work with individual chairs to develop final reports from each working group

    o Coordinate with MQ and funder sponsors on working group matters

    o Accountable for providing accurate, high quality reports from each working group meeting

  • Work with Steering Group members to finalise the strategy document for approval and sign off by DH

  • Support the DH team in development and production of the report and any collateral materials as needed.

People Leadership Managment Responsibilites

  • Coordinate communications and relationships between DH, the Steering Group and the chairs and working groups.

  • Uphold and promote the DH vision and mission across all aspects of the project

  • Report to MQ and DH on progress as and when required.

Relationship Managment

  • Represent the strategy development process as needed amongst the stakeholder community; maintain confidentiality and professional relationships as required

Provide other support to the DH/funders team as and when required

Person specification


As the Science Writer for Research Strategy, you will be responsible for managing complex relationships across a variety of organisations and disciplines including those within the government. Consistent with MQ policies as a public charity and those of the Civil Service Code, you will be expected to embrace and support the following values:

  • ‘integrity’ - putting the obligations of public service above your own personal interests
  • ‘honesty’ -being truthful and open
  • ‘objectivity’ - basing your advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence
  • ‘impartiality’ - acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well governments and organisations of different political persuasions

Required skills

Role Specific

  • Demonstrated ability to develop cohesive, unbiased and informative policy reports from discussions involving diverse experts from a variety of fields and organisations
  • Demonstrated ability to write effectively for public audiences on a variety of science topic
  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with loosely formed teams to deliver information and reports on time
  • Be able to undertake a flexible work schedule – including meeting and event organisation.
  • Proven ability to communicate scientific topics effectively both orally and in writing.


  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint 

Literacy and Numeracy

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a working knowledge of scientific and policy writing method 
  • Ability to synthesise unstructured, disjointed materials into meaningful and coherent narratives
  • Analytical capabilities with the ability to communicate information and data in a clear format


  • Creative, innovative and adept at concept development


  • Knowledge of science, research and health sector issues, methods, tools and information resources
  • Understanding of policy, strategy, and planning factors intrinsic to health programme development
  • Insight and familiarity with one or more disciplines associated with mental health including research, mental healthcare and social or public health sciences is preferred
  • Demonstrated understanding of people management concepts


  • Track record of successfully working with diverse sets of experts
  • Track record of successfully working for multiple managers
  • Track record of delivering high quality projects at the interface of science and policy
  • Demonstrable ability to produce high quality work to tight deadlines and budget


  • Degree level or equivalent

Personal attributes & availability

  • Commitement to advancing work to benefit the public
  • Availability to travel within the UK
  • Must be eligible to work in the UK

Posting Date: 5 September 2016

Closing Date: 6am on 16 September 2016

Salary: Commensurate with experience (range: £30-45K pa)


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