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Head of Communications – DATA-CAN: The Health Data Research Hub for Cancer

3 days a week – 2 year fixed term contract with possible extension
This is a rare and exciting opportunity to join one of the country’s trailblazing Health Data Research Hubs and make a real impact on how health data can be used to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. You will be responsible for ensuring there is a robust and strategic approach to communications and stakeholder engagement to support all DATA-CAN objectives.
Salary: £55k - £60k per year pro rata

Closing date:
9 March 2020


DATA-CAN is the UK’s Health Data Research Hub for Cancer. It is a unique national partnership bringing together patients, NHS organisations, academic, industry and charity partners to unlock the power of health data to improve cancer care.

We are building the DATA-CAN team that will be responsible for delivering this exciting initiative.

The role

The Head of Communications is an exciting and challenging role that will require high levels of political astuteness, aptitude and diplomacy as well as exceptional professional skills and expertise. The role will be required to span the two worlds of strategic development and operational delivery; the successful candidate will excel in both.

The postholder will report to UCLPartners’ Director of Communications and Engagement and will be responsible for ensuring there is a robust and strategic approach to communications and stakeholder engagement to support all DATA-CAN objectives. The postholder will deputise for the Director as necessary.


• Prioritise, plan and deliver high-quality communications and engagement to support the delivery of DATA-CAN’s strategic priorities including the implementation of a communications strategy that is co-designed with all hub partners.

• Develop and implement a comprehensive strategic approach to engagement with DATA-CAN stakeholders and strategic partners in line with the hub’s objectives and taking account of national context as regards policy developments.

• Work closely with the DATA-CAN patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) lead to ensure that DATA-CAN’s communications approach is informed by the views of patients and the public, and that patient and public voices are prominent in the hub’s communications

• Oversee the day-to-day planning and delivery of a high-quality communications and engagement programme for DATA-CAN.

• Represent DATA-CAN in national networks as necessary, for example actively participating in the network of hub communications leads convened by HDR-UK.

• Work closely with and build effective working relationships with communications leads in charity, NHS, academic and industry partners to identify issues and develop joint communications approaches where appropriate.

• Manage the communications budget for DATA-CAN and provide quarterly reports on expenditure against forecast.

What we are looking for

We are looking for a confident and experienced senior communications professional with track record of working at a consistently high level across the full range of strategic communications disciplines.

You must have the ability to work effectively across a multi-professional, diverse group of colleagues and work with teams that span organisational boundaries.

You will have a strong professional understanding of one or more of the NHS/cancer care/health data/health research, with knowledge of national politics and debate relating to health, research, data and innovation. The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate confidence, assertiveness and diplomacy in advising and influencing senior colleagues and a range of senior stakeholders, and experience in media management, both proactive and reactive.

You will have outstanding interpersonal skills with the ability to develop strong relationships with colleagues and external partners, and will thrive within a complex and fast-moving start-up environment.

Interviews will take place on 19 March 2020

If you are interested in this role, please read the full job description and apply here.