Education and Research Programme Manager

  • Location: Post based at Why Comics’ Office in SOAS University of London, Russell Square
  • Reporting to: Managing Director

  • Salary: £28,000

  • Contract: 12 months

  • Holiday: 28 days per annum

  • Working Hours:  10:00-18:00 Monday-Friday (35 hours per week)

Job Description

Why Comics? Education Charity is looking for a multi-talented self-starter to become their new Education and Research Programme Manager. This is an exciting opportunity within a small, dedicated team of staff based at SOAS University of London, Russell Square and reflects our continued commitment to providing free educational resources for 7-18-year-olds around vital global humanitarian and social issues to help tackle racism and intolerance in schools.

Why Comics? exists to educate, inspire and engage students and teachers on important contemporary issues to promote equality and diversity through innovative educational resources. If you share our mission, are passionate about making it happen, and strongly believe you can contribute, then join us and we'll give you every opportunity to succeed.  

The Education and Research Programme Manager will be the vital member of staff with lead responsibility for our engagement work with primary and secondary schools across the UK, and the additional 26 countries worldwide that currently use our resources. The successful candidate will build on our existing work and shape our future education programmes over the coming year. The post holder will need to deliver effective, highly competent managerial support and consistently deliver in a person-centred environment which promotes positive relationships. 

Reporting to the Managing Director, and the Executive Director when required, this role will offer the successful candidate a great opportunity to work in a supportive working environment with lots of potential for learning and development. If you are an ambitious and driven manager, we are looking to hear from you.


Essential criteria

·       Educated to postgraduate level, with an enthusiasm for/knowledge of education, the arts and development studies/the humanitarian sector

·       Proven track record of excellent project management, research, written and oral communication skills

·       Highly motivated, keen attention to detail and flexible mindset to adapt to a variety of different projects

·       Ability to take initiative, and work autonomously and as part of various teams

·       Experience of managing staff, and multiple projects of 3-12 months in duration

·       Experience of fundraising from trusts, foundations or other sources (with proven success of substantial income generation), and budget management in a third sector or similar environment

·       A background in teaching or other aspects of formal education

·       Experience of public engagement work

·       Comfortable interacting with people of all backgrounds

·       Experience of managing social media channels

·       Excellent IT skills, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel

·       Be prepared to undergo, or already have a current, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check


Desirable criteria

·     Project Management Qualification (e.g. PRINCE2 Practitioner or similar)

·     Experience in the third sector as a volunteer or employee

·     Knowledge of the UK National Curriculum for Key Stages 2-5, and/or developments in education policy

·     Professional experience of proofreading

·     Experience of design/digital marketing

·     Experience of a Content Management System (CMS), such as WordPress

·     Experience of audience building and using social media analytics such as HootSuite and Followerwonk


The post has 28 days annual leave entitlement (inclusive of bank and public holidays, but exclusive of Why Comics? Team Privilege days).

Typical working hours are 10:00 to 18:00 Monday-Friday, however as this position involves travelling and meeting with stakeholders and attending events, flexible working will be required, including covering occasional early evening and weekend events.

How to Apply:

Candidates must submit a succinct covering letter (no more than 2 pages) explaining how they satisfy the requirements of the person specification, in addition to a CV highlighting relevant experience (no more than 3 pages).  The successful candidate will also be asked to provide 3 professional referees, one of whom must be from their most recent employer. 

Candidates are also asked to provide 3 examples of their writing (such as a press release/news article, funding application with the corresponding criteria, blog, mail-out, report, journal or strategy). All applications should be addressed to Dr Benjamin Dix, Executive Director (

You need to have the right to work full time in UK to be considered for this position


  • Closing date: 6pm, 5th October 2017

  • First interviews (telephone) will be held during the week commencing 9th October 2017.
  •      Second interviews will be held during the week commencing 16th October 2017


About Why Comics? Education Charity

Why Comics?  is based at the SOAS University of London where we are working with the University to humanise academic research to a wide audience. Why Comics? brings contemporary humanitarian and social issues (such as racism, conflict, migration, trafficking and climate change) into the classroom through interactive literary comic books based on real-life testimony.

Our resources build empathy and enhance learning for students and teachers alike alongside national-curriculum relevant lesson plans to support multiple subjects. Why Comics? encourages critical and reflective thinking on vital global themes, whilst encouraging learners to make connections between their own lives and lives of others throughout the world thereby promoting social change, and helping tackle racism and intolerance in schools.







The following job duties are not intended to describe, in detail, all the tasks that may be assigned but rather to give the job holder a general sense of the responsibilities and expectations of his/her position. As the nature of business demands change so, too, may the essential functions of this position. 

Specific duties include:

  • Line Managing our Education and Research Programme Officer, and our two current interns (one full-time, one part-time)
  • Working closely with our partners and other organisations with related aims, including but not limited to: PositiveNegativesSOAS University of LondonThe Choices ProgramHogan LovellsIDEOPaul Hamlyn Foundation, the Brooks Foundation, Think Global's Global DimensionPop Up ProjectsRefugee WeekYoung CareersHEC Global Learning CentreEmpathetic MediaSCOOP Magazine, and Common Everybody.
  • Engaging in regional travel to meet current, or potential, partner organisations and represent Why Comics? at relevant events/networking opportunities
  • Running presentations, workshops and focus groups in primary and secondary schools, mainly in London and the southeast, but occasionally further afield across the UK or abroad
  • Helping the Managing Director to work closely with the curriculum developers and innovation specialists to produce national-curriculum relevant lesson plans to harness our work and drive it forward into schools internationally.
  • Researching and writing Key Stage 2-5 Lesson plans in accordance with the UK National Curriculum
  • Overseeing with the labour-intensive research and development of each bespoke ethnographic resource (up to 100 relevant and age-appropriate contextual resources, and multimedia links need to be sourced for each of the literary comics in our portfolio, which are donated by PositiveNegatives)
  • Managing the monitoring and evaluation process of overseeing the efficacy of education and outreach activity supported by, and using, Why Comics? materials worldwide
  • Taking responsibility for researching and identifying new grants, trusts and foundations to fund Why Comics? Education Charity both in the UK and abroad from the public, private and third sectors
  • Implementing a rolling programme of submissions to Trusts and Foundations for both core and project grants with the Education Programme Manager
  • Tracking project deliverables using appropriate tools. Present reports defining project progress, problems and solutions. Implement and manage project changes and interventions to achieve project outputs when required
  • Overseeing the development of the Why Comics? website and social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram), with emphasis on audience building
  • Facilitating the Managing Director to improve and implement the social media and dissemination strategies
  • Ensuring that the Why Comics? brand is fully coherent and implemented effectively across all channels and materials
  • Working with the Managing Director to ensure that all work is in line with the communications and impact strategy, and 5-year Strategic Plan
  • Assisting the Executive and Managing Director to develop and maintain varied international stakeholder relations and develop collaborations to further our impact
  • Help the Executive and Managing Directors to attract new projects to develop bespoke education resources with key organisations and partners
  • Help the Managing Director conduct all the funders and Charity Commission reporting requirements
  • Working with the Managing Director to go over the quarterly reports and annual budget to report back to our Board of Trustees every quarter

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