Job Vacancy Professional Officer Conference and Research Groups

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					Job Vacancy

  Professional Officer: Conference
and Research Groups

The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers), the leading learned and
professional geographical society in the world, seeks a Professional Officer to organise the Society’s annual
international conference, to support the Society’s 27 research groups, and to work with the Head of
Research and Higher Education to disseminate information on the Society and geography to the
geographical academic/research community. The Research and Higher Education Division is responsible for
all matters concerning research and higher education within higher education institutions.

This appointment would be suitable for someone who has an interest in contemporary academic geography
and for organising events, with very strong communication skills. It provides an excellent opportunity to work
alongside the academic community. The person appointed to the post is likely to have at least two years
work experience or a Masters (or further) degree and work experience.

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is a charity and the learned society and professional body
representing geography and geographers. The Society was founded in 1830 and has been one of the most
active of the learned societies. It was pivotal in establishing geography as a teaching and research discipline
in British universities, and has played a key role in geographical and environmental education ever since.
Today the Society is a leading world centre for geographical learning - supporting education, teaching,
research and scientific expeditions, as well as promoting public understanding and enjoyment of geography.

With an international reputation, the Society has an international membership of approximately 15,000, 27
specialist research groups, and a programme of activities that extends far beyond its membership. Over 150
lectures and conferences are organised each year including a major 4-day international Annual Conference,
a renowned programme of popular lectures for the geography enthusiast, the Environment and Society
Forum that promotes dialogue on policy-related issues. The Society also publishes under contract three of
the top scholarly journals and the popular Geographical magazine, and provides on-line resources for
teachers. It empowers others through a programme of grant-giving in support of research, fieldwork and
expeditions, and excellence in education and teaching. A specialist unit, Geography Outdoors: the centre for
field research, expeditions and outdoor learning, is devoted to training and advice for younger field scientists.
The Society’s information resources include its historic and world-renowned geographic collections of maps,
images, books, manuscript archives and artefacts, which were made widely available to the public in 2004 as
part of the Society’s ‘Unlocking the Archives’ project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. There is a full-
time staff of 50, together with part-time, temporary and volunteer staff. The Society is based in a listed
building in its own grounds in Kensington opposite Hyde Park

Salary and application details

Salary: £24,000 - £26,000 incl. London weighting

The position is initially for a fixed term of one year; potentially renewable subject to finances. There is an
initial three month probationary period.

To apply please send a CV with a covering letter describing previous experience and qualifications for the
post to Dr Catherine Souch, Head of Research and Higher Education, Royal Geographical Society (with the
Institute of British Geographers), 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR ( Applications,
preferably by email, must be received by noon December 14th 2009 and should include the names and
addresses of two referees who, unless clearly stated otherwise, may be contacted prior to the interview. It
should also include an email address and telephone number on which you can be contacted on day or

Interviews are likely to be held on December 18th and 21st at the Society’s premises.

Job description for the post of Professional Officer

Post:                      Professional Officer: Conference and Research Groups
Department:                Research and Higher Education Division
Responsible to:            Head of Research and Higher Education Division

The person appointed to the post of Professional Officer will be expected, working with the Head of
Research and Higher Education, to organise the Society's Annual Conference (, to
support the Society’s 27 research groups, and to disseminate information on the Society and geography to
the geographical academic/research community.

The full range of duties include

1.         Organisation of the Society’s Annual International Conference (~65% of time)

To organise and provide the administrative support to ensure the smooth running and success of the
Society’s Annual Conference and to:

      1.    Promote and market the Annual Conferences organised by the Society
      2.    Provide support for the Annual Conference Planning Committee of the Society
      3.    Administer all applications for participation in the Society's annual conferences (paying delegates
            and research groups)
      4.    Administer all logistical support for the Society's annual conferences
      5.    Maintain Annual Conference pages of the Society's web site
      6.    Administer all payments relating to the Society's Annual Conference
      7.    Coordinate all exhibitors
      8.    Oversee the creation of the programme book
      9.    Supervise part-time and work experience students supporting the work of the conference

2.         Support of the Society’s Research Groups and other RHED activities (35%)

     1. Maintain the Society’s database records of the 27 research groups and their online profile
     2. Support the work of the research groups – disseminating information, processing grant applications,
        soliciting reports, distributing subventions
     3. Serve as the primary point of contact and make arrangements for research group meetings at the
     4. Raise awareness of Research Group activities through enhanced web presence and creation of
        reports, supporting other Society initiatives
     5. Promote awareness of the Society’s work to the research groups
     6. Assist in the preparation of documents for committee meetings and the writing of minutes.

In addition to the above, any other duties that may be reasonably be required by the Head of the Research
and Higher Education Division.
Selection criteria

The following are the requirements for the post. These are the criteria against which candidates will be short-
listed and judged. Candidates are encouraged to outline how they meet the requirements in their application.

•   A degree or equivalent with a keen interest in contemporary academic geography
•   An interest and knowledge of academic conferences and research groups
•   Strong organisational and administrative skills, with previous office experience.
•   Excellent IT skills – proven experience with the range of Microsoft Office applications, including Excel,
    with a demonstrated interest in new web developments to support events, communication and
•   Well developed inter-personal skills; Good communication skills on the telephone, in person and in
•   Ability to follow through, and complete tasks successfully; and to multi-task and work efficiently under
•   Drive, enthusiasm, and initiative.
•   An attention to detail.
•   An ability to work independently and as part of a team
•   Sense of humour and team playing spirit

We thank, in advance, all candidates for applying and regret we are unable to write separately to those who
are not on the shortlist.

For further information on the RGS-IBG see:

The Society is an equal opportunities employer.

Dr Catherine Souch
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
1 Kensington Gore
London SW7 2AR
Tel 020 7591 3020
Fax 020 7591 3000

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