Vacancy: Administrative Assistant (Full-time)

15 July 2021

Permanent contract, hybrid working, £20,500-£23,000 per year.

The Academy of Social Sciences seeks a highly competent and self-motivated recent graduate to join the organisation.

You will be an intelligent team player and will have a varied and vital role in supporting our administration and other activities in line with our new strategy. We seek someone with energy, great IT skills, attention to detail, good interpersonal skills and who likes to be busy. We are a small charity with a lot going on! We offer a warm and friendly environment in which to work and the opportunity to start your career in a supportive setting and to learn a range of work-based skills. This varied role is full time with the expectation of the applicant working five days a week. It’s a great first or second job. Common sense and a sense of humour are welcomed! We are ideally looking for a graduate in one of the social science disciplines.

It’s an exciting time to join the Academy as we welcome our new president Will Hutton and start to implement our new strategy and build on growth and development that has taken place in 2021. High quality and timely administration are essential underpinnings to the delivery of the strategy and to the day-to-day functioning of the charity and much of your work will be supporting the administrative team and the Chief Executive.  You will report to the Academy’s Head of Administration but work closely with the whole team. The role requires an appreciation of what it means to work in a small charity with highly distinguished Fellows, a sense of shared endeavour, a strong brand in the sector, and a growing reputation.

The Academy of Social Sciences

The Academy of Social Sciences is the national academy of academics, learned societies and practitioners in the social sciences. Our charitable purpose is to promote social science in the UK for the public benefit. Our membership is composed of around 1400 individual Fellows, both academics and practitioners, elected for their contributions to social science, and 47 member Learned Societies which serve individual disciplinary areas in the social sciences. As a charity the Academy exists for public benefit and, as such, serves the UKs social science community as a whole.

Our strategic and externally facing work to promote the social sciences is led by the Chief Executive. The latter includes awareness raising of the contributions of social science research to decision making, society and well-being through our Campaign for Social Sciences; advocacy, lobbying and other activities to help sustain the health of the social sciences in the UK, informed by our policy work; activities to promote the study of, and showcase employability in, the social sciences; and fostering cross sector innovation to enhance social science contributions to the challenges of our time.

The Academy legally is a charitable incorporated company and has responsibilities to both the Registrar of Companies and the Charity Commission. The Academy has a core staff team of 7 individuals; 21 trustees; and draws on Fellows for volunteer support in a number of other areas. For more details see the latest Annual Report.

The Role

The role provides administrative support across the Academy’s small core team. You will be working mainly with, and reporting to, the Head of Administration (Dr Sarah Jones). You will also be working on individual aspects of the role with the Membership & Database Manager, Senior Campaign Manager, Senior Communications Manager, Head of Policy and Chief Executive.

The main areas of work will include:

Assisting with the Fellows’ and Learned Societies’ annual subscription renewal process.

Maintaining up to date Fellows’ records on the central database (ThankQ), the searchable portal on the website and on e-communications lists.

Researching and maintaining key external contact lists for our policy, advocacy and campaign work and helping to disseminate electronic communications to them.

Undertaking fact finding tasks to help inform and develop web content and other activities across the Academy’s scope of work.

Assisting with updating basic information on the website.

Assisting with meeting planning, venue booking and diary keeping (for the Chief Executive).

Assisting with the organisation of the Academy’s Annual Lecture and of the President’s Lunch (or an equivalent annual event) for Fellows and, from time to time, with Campaign events.

Assisting with the establishment of liaison points in universities and of active regional chapters.

Any other duties as required by the Chief Executive or Head of Administration within the broad scope of this role.

In common with all staff, an individual work plan will be agreed at the start of each year and linked to the overall Academy work plan for the year and the strategy.


Salary: £20,500-£23,000 per annum; plus benefits including pension and generous holiday allowance.

We require contracted staff to be UK-based and either hold UK nationality or have existing rights to live and work in the UK.

The Academy is operating as a virtual organisation for the foreseeable future, with all staff working from home. It is currently envisaged that staff will be able to continue to work flexibly from home in the future, but they should live within sufficiently close reach of London to travel in for regular team meetings. We will reconsider whether to invest in a small central London office once again when the pandemic is suitably under control. This would provide hot desk facilities for those team members who prefer not to work from home for one or two days a week and would facilitate in-person meetings.

Skills and Attributes Requirements

Candidates will be expected to meet many of the following key competencies:

  • A graduate with a 2:1 or above degree, ideally in one of the social science disciplines, and an enquiring mind.
  • Some work experience, ideally in an office or administration setting.
  • IT competent and friendly: ability to use Word, Excel (spreadsheets), PowerPoint, Outlook, social media, and experience of/a willingness to work with databases.
  • Confident working with numbers, spreadsheets and websites.
  • Experience of/ or an appreciation of what it means to work in a small, tight knit team.
  • Good communication skills: a very high standard of written and spoken English.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a good sense of diplomacy and judgement.
  • Attention to detail and an ability to follow through on activities under one’s own initiative.
  • A willingness to turn a hand to whatever needs to be done at critically busy times.
  • An interest in higher education and social science is highly desirable.

Personal attributes sought:

  • Well-motivated self-starter, with a pro-active and thoughtful style.
  • Well organised with good time management skills and the ability to juggle priorities.
  • Friendly, positive, and open manner; and a good team player.
  • A willingness to work hard – this is not for those seeking a sleepy role.
  • Someone who seeks enjoyment in their work and brings a sense of humour to it.


Please forward a CV and tailored letter of application detailing your interest in the role and your suitability for it to [email protected] by 17.00 Friday 20 August 2021.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates are anticipated to take place on Wednesday 8 September 2021.

If you have any questions about the role or application process please contact Dr Sarah Jones, Head of Administration on [email protected].

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