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Public Engagement Officer

Do you believe in the power of data to improve people’s lives and know that working with the public is vital to our mission? Research Data Scotland needs you!

Are you a strong communicator with experience of developing and delivering content for multiple audiences? We’re offering a brilliant opportunity to work at the cutting edge of data research in Scotland. Working with Scottish Government, Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR) and Research Data Scotland (RDS), we’re seeking an engagement professional who has experience of developing and delivering successful consultations and an understanding of how to engage with relevant groups.

Key details

Role: Public Engagement Officer
Salary range: £36,822- £43,443 (B2)
Hours: 35 per week
Employment type: 2 year fixed term contract
Closing date: 12 November 2023

Download the full job description

About us

Research Data Scotland (RDS) is a charity set up by the Scottish public sector and leading universities. We help researchers find and make use of data that can improve the lives of people in Scotland. Working in partnership, we do this by widening the range of data available, creating new data assets and providing a single point of contact for safe, secure and effective access to public data in a trustworthy manner.

Data is often locked away in lots of individual systems, across many different organisations, and isn’t in a format that makes access or integration easy. We can help researchers to unlock the potential of this data by giving them information and advice that speeds up and simplifies their work.

RDS aims to provide a step change in the service to researchers, whilst maintaining the high standards of information governance and data security already in place. We aim to work as openly as possible, maintaining standards in transparency and ethics. Our focus is on providing a streamlined service for researchers, as well as extending the range of data available through the service, particularly in the areas of Covid-19, NHS imaging, geospatial data, children and justice services.

Our partners include: Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland, National Records of Scotland (NRS), and the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. We work closely with the national and regional safe havens. And we are in contact with other organisations in Scotland and across the UK in the data research sector, including public sector, research and commercial bodies. 

About the job

Public engagement is at the core of RDS's work and a commitment has been made to involve the public in the changes RDS is bringing to the data landscape as well as to carry out public engagement activities around data more broadly.

The Public Engagement Officer will lead and deliver specific work programmes related to RDS’s public engagement strategy and work closely with the Public Engagement Manager. This post will be varied and a mix of working with colleagues in RDS, our partner organisations and members of the public including the Scotland Talks Data public panel. 

There is a strong focus on public engagement, relationship management, project management and creativity. For instance, you will facilitate and create content for our public engagement initiatives such as the Scotland Talks Data public panel, public consultations on funded projects as well as at public facing events such as festivals. You will also support on user engagement activities, aimed at involving our stakeholders and users in the changes RDS are making. You’ll be an important member of our team, sharing your expertise with colleagues and partner organisations, as well as independently leading on activities.

About you

You are a self-starter, with experience of working with the public and potentially other groups.  You are organised, like to stay ahead of the curve on sector trends and thrive on managing multiple projects with different deadlines. You are keen to deliver. You will have a keen interest in how data, research and innovation can transform services and improve society. You’ll also understand the importance of engaging the public on how we use data in research and get their input into our work and support transparency.

Life at RDS

We are a small friendly and highly engaged team of people. We promote continuous learning and work hard to build an inclusive and supportive workplace culture. We live our values of; integrity, transparency, courage, collaboration and humility.

Our people typically work a 35-hour week, with hybrid working on offer from day one. You can choose to work flexibly from home or use one of our desks in the Bayes Centre in central Edinburgh. The whole RDS team meets one day per month in-person in Edinburgh or at an off-site away day in the Central Belt. Individual teams organise their own in-person days to collaborate, develop and socialise together.

We offer 33 days’ annual leave (including public holidays) and have no set closure days. We have a generous pension and enhanced pay for parental/adoption leave. This list of benefits is being added to as the organisation develops, and you can help shape it as part of the team. Our Culture Group helps us seek feedback from colleagues across the organisation to make RDS an even better place to work.

Job pack

Download the job pack for this role and find out more about how to apply.

Job Description: Public Engagement Officer (DOCX 106.20 KB)
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We like to keep our application processes as simple and human-centred as we can.

To apply, we just need your CV and a cover letter outlining how your skills and experience match the job and person specification.
If you’re ready to apply, send your CV and covering letter to Or email us for an informal chat about RDS and the role.

If we can make any adjustments to our standard application or selection process to make things easier for you, please let us know.