John Innes Centre – Science Policy Placement – 10th December


Name John Innes Centre
Placement base location Norwich
Contact for enquiries Dr Eva Gordon-Sharpe
Contact details Email:
Placement job title Science Policy placement
Potential start date Flexible timings
Potential working pattern 35 hours/week
Details of application method CV and expression of interest followed by informal interview
Application closing date 10th December
Overview of PIPS organisation

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science, genetics and microbiology. Our mission is to generate knowledge of plants and microbes through innovative research, to train scientists for the future, to apply our knowledge of nature’s diversity to benefit agriculture, the environment, human health, and wellbeing, and engage with policy makers and the public.

We foster a creative, curiosity-driven approach to fundamental questions in bio-science, with a view to translating that into societal benefits. Over the last 100 years, we have achieved a range of fundamental breakthroughs, resulting in major societal impacts. Our new vision Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet (www.hp3) is a collaborative call to action. Bringing knowledge, skills and innovation together to create a world where we can sustainably feed a growing population, mitigate the effects of climate change and use our understanding of plants and microbes to develop foods and discover compounds to improve public health.

Placement offered

A PIP placement is available within the John Innes Centre in Norwich to support its policy and public affairs work. You will work closely with the JIC’s Head of Strategic Engagement on our growing programme of policy and public affairs activity.

What you will work on specifically will depend on your interests and when you are able to undertake the placement, but topics we are currently working on include regulation of genetic technologies, food security, the role of agriculture in addressing climate change, and antimicrobial resistance.

Activities you could be doing include:
• working with staff across the JIC to draw up policy position statements
• writing responses to Government consultations and calls for evidence
• preparing internal briefings on relevant policy announcements
• organising policy round tables or visits to the site from politicians
• working with the Comms and Engagement team to help convey our policy messages to wider audiences
• working with partner organisations on the Norwich Research Park on joint activities

Over the course of the placement you will learn about the role that academic organisations play in shaping government policy and the different routes to contribute to policy development. You will gain experience of preparing targeted materials for policy makers and planning proactive public affairs campaigns in priority policy areas.

Person specification

An interest in science policy

Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Financial contribution/benefit(s)

The student will receive a limited budget to help support travel to and from the base location, and any accommodation, however, we do appreciate any additional financial support that the PIPS organisations may be able to provide. Please bear in mind that these students are based in different geographical locations so financial support will differ depending on the student that applies.

• The student will be receiving a stipend throughout their placement and so are not permitted to receive a salary.
• It is expected that the PIPS organisation will fund in-house costs and reimburse the student of any out of pocket expenses related to the placement business.

We will fund in-house costs and reimburse the student of any out of pocket expenses related to the placement business. We will also support you to attend relevant policy conferences and events during the placement.