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Published on January 12, 2018

VACANCY: Senior project officer – Citizens’ Assembly for Northern Ireland

By Tim Hughes

Tim is director of Involve. He took over leadership of the organisation in January 2017, having previously led Involve’s open government programme and the UK Open Government Network (OGN).

UPDATE (29/01/18): The application deadline for this position has been extended by two-weeks from 5th February to 19th February.

We have an exciting new vacancy at Involve! Could you be our Senior Project Officer for the Citizens’ Assembly for Northern Ireland?

Salary: £30,000 – £35,000 (fte) (negotiable depending on experience)

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Hours: Full time. Flexible working arrangements considered.

Contract: Temporary (6 months), with opportunity for extension

Application deadline: Midday, 19th February 2018

This is a unique opportunity to take a leading role in establishing a Citizens’ Assembly for Northern Ireland – a democratic innovation that will put Northern Irish citizens at the heart of decision making on an important regional issue.

The Northern Ireland Citizens’ Assembly will consist of 50 to 100 citizens selected to be broadly representative of the Northern Irish population. It will meet over two weekends in Autumn 2018 to consider and give recommendations on an issue of regional significance (to be selected in due course). As well as helping to break the deadlock on the issue in question, it is intended that the Citizens’ Assembly demonstrate a model of decision making that may be adopted by the Northern Irish Executive, Assembly, and/or Northern Ireland Office to address further contested issues.

As Senior Project Officer you will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the Citizens’ Assembly for Northern Ireland project, including project management, fundraising, research, stakeholder engagement, governance and communications. You will report to Involve’s Head of Democratic Innovation, who will be leading the project with your support.

This will be a diverse and demanding role. To succeed, you will be an enthusiastic and committed individual with experience of project management, research and communications. You will be excited by the diversity of the role and unfazed by the prospect of juggling a number of demands at the same time, whilst keeping a clear focus on priorities. You will committed to the success of the Citizens’ Assembly and inspired to play a leading role in such a unique and potentially transformative initiative.

This post is for an initial 6-months, with a further 6-months dependent on the project’s success in hitting its fundraising target. Our long-term ambition is for this to become a permanent post to establish a full-time presence for Involve in Northern Ireland, but this will depend on further successful fundraising beyond this project.

This is a full time role, but flexible working arrangements, job shares and secondments will be considered.

Download the Job Description

Download the Application Form

Key responsibilities

Day-to-day running of the Citizens’ Assembly for Northern Ireland

  • Project management of the Citizens’ Assembly for Northern Ireland, ensuring that the project runs on time and to budget;
  • Liaising with and coordinating the input of senior Involve staff (including the Head of Democratic Innovation and Director);
  • Supporting the development of fundraising proposals to secure the remaining budget required for the Assembly;
  • Developing and implementing a communications plan (e.g. establishing and managing a suitable social media and website presence);
  • Overseeing press and political engagement;
  • Overseeing research and the preparation of evidence packs for the Assembly;
  • Providing secretariat support to the advisory group;
  • Stakeholder engagement (e.g. communication with participants, experts, etc.);
  • Logistical administration (e.g. booking of venues, transport, etc.);
  • Drafting of reports and outputs from the Assembly.

Contributing to core Involve activities

  • Including team meetings, strategy- and away-days

Other relevant duties may be undertaken as agreed with the line manager.

Key competencies

  • Excellent project manager, able to manage and prioritise a diverse workload; deliver key project elements on time, on budget and to a high standard; and provide robust management of project finances, budgets and reporting;
  • Excellent communicator, able to communicate (writing, telephone, in person) appropriately and successfully with a wide range of public and professional audiences including communicating with senior figures about sensitive issues;
  • Committed team player, embodying our values of collaboration, equality and purpose, and passionate about furthering Involve’s vision of a democracy that works for everyone.
  • Educated to degree level.

Desirable competencies

  • Effective fundraiser, able to identify and secure funding for programmes and projects;
  • Experienced researcher, able to produce accurate and accessible briefings;
  • Intelligent campaigner, able to oversee and develop impactful parliamentary and political strategies, with a good understanding of the workings of the Northern Irish Executive and Assembly;
  • Experience of press work and social media communications;
  • Deliberative democracy enthusiast, with a knowledge of deliberative democracy processes such as citizens’ assemblies.

Practical Information

Job title: Senior Project Officer

Pay range: £30,000 – £35,000 (negotiable depending on experience)

Contract: Temporary (6 months), with opportunity for extension

Hours: Full time. Flexible working arrangements considered

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Reporting to:   Kaela Scott, Head of Democratic Innovation


Involve is an equal opportunities employer and, true to our mission, we take inclusion in the workplace seriously.  The following benefits are available to staff:

  • Annual training budget of £1,000
  • Workplace pension with employer contributions of 3%
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Phone/data allowance of £13.50 per month
  • An enhanced maternity leave package (14 weeks full pay, followed by 8 weeks of 50% pay; followed by 17 weeks of statutory maternity pay; followed by up to 13 weeks unpaid) for qualifying employees
  • An enhanced paternity leave package (14 weeks full pay, followed by 8 weeks of 50% pay; followed by 17 weeks of statutory paternity pay; followed by up to 13 weeks unpaid) for qualifying employees

Making an application

Please send applications to

Candidates must submit a CV and a completed application form.   

  1. The CV should be no more than two sides of A4. The CV should include:
    1. A full education history from GCSE (equivalent) onwards including dates
    2. A full employment history, stating whether employment has been paid or voluntary
    3. An indication of interests and activities outside education and work.
  2. The application form can be downloaded from our website.

Key points

  • Any CVs that are over 2 sides and any application forms that include answers that are over the specified word limit may be automatically discounted depending on the volume of applications.
  • We appreciate it when candidates merge their CVs and application forms into a single file document.
  • Candidates invited to interview will use their CV and the application form to demonstrate their ability to perform the role, using examples from their career and volunteering experience to-date.
  • Candidates are unlikely to be invited to interview if they: state they meet the criteria without providing supporting examples and evidence; or ignore the application instructions above.
  • This post is only open to applicants who have the right to work in the UK.

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

Application deadlines

Applications must be submitted by Midday, 19th February 2018.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified no later than 23rd February.

Interviews will be held on 27th February.

2 Responses to “VACANCY: Senior project officer – Citizens’ Assembly for Northern Ireland”

  1. Brigid palmer
    January 19, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Would like to know who is eligable to apply for position on the Northern Ireland assembly ?what is the criteria for membership

    • Tim Hughes
      Tim Hughes
      January 29, 2018 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Brigid. The membership of the Citizens’ Assembly will be chosen randomly from all members of the public in Northern Ireland, in a similar way to how a criminal jury is selected. The first step will be to ask a large number of people if they are interested in taking part. Members will then be selected from those who say “yes” based on some criteria to ensure they match the diversity of Northern Ireland. Hope that helps.

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