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Position: Festival Manager

Published 9 January, updated 22 February 2024


Role title: Festival Manager

Reporting to: Festival Director

Responsibility: Developing and delivering marketing, content and events for IF Oxford, an annual collection of 100+ events across dozens of venues in Oxford and beyond in October.

Location: Our operations are based in Oxford, with team members working from home and in an Oxford-based office environment. There is a mix of remote and office-based working with travel to meetings across Oxfordshire as required.

Terms: Full time (37.5 hours/week; part time available) open-ended, permanent contract.

Payment: pay band £30,000–£36,000 (pro rata based on annual rate and experience)


Job Pack: Festival Manager role (PDF)

About you

Do you want to join a flexible and creative team that punches above its weight and makes an impact on Oxford as a city in which to live, work, study and visit?

We are seeking an individual who may or may not have a traditional background in science, who is looking to develop a career and wants to make a positive difference for people. If this might be you, we want to speak to you about joining our team in helping to create change.

Closing date for applications:

Monday 19 February 2024 (at 11.59pm)

Alternatively, you might consider volunteering with the Festival

About the role

The Festival Manager, working with a full time Festival Director and several hundred contributing volunteers, customers and freelancers, is responsible for developing and delivering communications, content and events for the Oxford science and ideas Festival.

This is an opportunity to develop your career in professional cultural management, operating across arts, science and technology, in a small team working locally, nationally and globally.

IF Oxford, the science and ideas Festival in Oxford, is run by an independent charity, with a Board of Trustees and a small team of staff and volunteer professionals, which bring in others to support PR, marketing and evaluation as needed.

Since 2017, IF Oxford has presented programmes of 100+ events as an annual opportunity for people to explore complexity, enjoyment and learning across science and arts.

During October, IF Oxford presents a season of activity, connecting topics in creative ways, developing individual skills and enriching society, with a focus on families and people who don’t normally think ‘science is for me’. The inspiring 2023 programme engaged 43,000 people, bringing together the scientific and artistic creativity of 750 contributors within 100 live public events.

The role will require flexibility in working pattern, to include evenings and weekends, particularly in the final planning stages and delivery of IF Oxford in October.

IF Oxford is looking for diversity in its team and if you think you have something to offer that doesn’t fully fit this role description, we still want to hear from you. We welcome applications from all sectors of society. Please describe any adjustments or access requirements you have for the application process if necessary.


Key Deliverables

We are keen for the postholder to develop this role according to their skills and interests, and the main responsibilities are:

  • Planning and development (~15% of role)

To include topic research, recruitment of presenters and content, and develop events and materials to engage audiences under the broad definition of science and creative ideas.

  • Event management (~20% of role)

To include (physical) venue or (digital) platform logistics planning and implementation, presenter liaison, volunteer support and deployment, audience and event management, event recording, editing and publishing, and events feedback and reporting.

  • Communications (~15-20% of role)

To include a year-round social media presence on the IF Oxford Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Linked-In and other accounts with the aim of supporting and developing our audience, volunteer and other stakeholder relationships.

  • Infrastructure administration (~10-15% of role)

To include updating and maintaining the website, our contact management packages and associated data security requirements, and managing physical assets as needed.

  • Finance (~10% of role)

Contributing to financial management using invoices and cashflow forecasts for accounting and reporting. Managing approvals for subcontractors, freelancers, volunteers and other expenses.

  • Production and Marketing (~10% of role)

To include contributing to developing the Festival brochure and leading on implementing its distribution alongside other Festival marketing collateral and materials.

  • Projects (~0-10% of role)

To include leading on new and existing projects from recruitment of partners and ideas, and management of budgets and processes from marketing to Festival integration and their reporting.

We do not expect all suitable candidates to have experience of project management, in which case we will support your development in this area.

  • Other (~5% of role)

Deputising and supporting the Festival Director as required with occasional duties.

Person Specification

Below is a summary of essential and desirable criteria needed for this role, as well as how we will assess a candidate’s suitability, through a CV, cover letter, and at interview.


Essential criteria + evidence ability

CV or cover letter


Appreciate how science, technology and arts subjects and skills might be relevant to society






Understand how festivals / events can benefit communities






Good computer and digital communications skills (eg. using Microsoft, Apple, Google or other software)






Good written and verbal communication skills






Familiar with using digital / social media platforms




Ability to work calmly under pressure and to deadlines




A good team player with a positive and flexible approach to work





Desirable criteria + evidence ability

CV or cover letter


Events production and management


+ +
Experience of developing and delivering collaborative projects with a wide range of stakeholders


+ +
Marketing and media production skills


+ +
Public speaking and presentation skills


+ +
Volunteer and or people management skills


+ +
Understand how to engage under-served or disengaged audiences


+ +
Minute taking, bookkeeping and advanced software skills


+ +


The role holder will be expected to:

Pro-actively strengthen IF Oxford’s profile and reputation among audiences and stakeholders, acting as a professional representative of IF Oxford.

Maintain awareness of your own and others’ health and safety, data security and wellbeing (including emotional, physical and public health, and Safeguarding), complying with the responsibilities and policies of the charity.

Cooperate with others working on IF Oxford, including those in the team, its contributors or other stakeholders, especially at busy times or on specific areas of expertise. This may include flexible working hours (often compensated by TOIL ‘Time Off In Lieu’.)


Self-Management (managing stress, effective and efficient, self-motivated, enthusiastic, confident, self-awareness), demonstration examples:

  • identifies difficult situations;
  • recognises stress in others and takes steps to reduce it,
  • proactively sets goals and targets for own work;
  • embraces new opportunities, responds to new risks and takes on new responsibilities.


Working with others (collaborative, shares knowledge, giving & receiving feedback, engaging & networking, situational and organisational awareness), demonstration examples:

  • actively seeks ideas and criticisms;
  • resolves conflicts with discretion,
  • tact and empathy, able to influence others, acts as a role model;
  • remains calm in challenging circumstances, never diminishing others;
  • adaptability to create high quality work.

Resource Management (budget management, organisation, prioritising, results focus, quality focus), demonstration examples:

  • manages projects to time, budget and specification;
  • sets the quality standards for own work, identifies and manages risk effectively;
  • has patience and allows time for appropriate planning and engagement to take place in projects and day-to-day deliverables.

Other benefits

Support towards relocation costs, if required. Pension (3% employer contribution) and generous leave, to include 1 month paid sabbatical option after three years.

Contribution of £15 per month to mobile phone data plan, and a laptop computer, if required.

TOIL (Time Off In Lieu) policy means leave entitlement is offered in exchange for evening and weekend working. Options for compressed hours, relaxed hours, job share and part time working considered.

Continued Professional Development (CPD) opportunities at national conferences and meetings, with resources tailored to support employee progression.


To apply

The application period has now closed.


You can learn more about the Festival, by visiting to see programmes and reports for past Festivals, information on the team and what we do, our background and who we work with. There is contact information for phone and email enquiries (we do not recommend postal enquiries at the present time.)

The closing date for applications was

Monday 19 February 2024 (at 11.59pm)

IF Oxford is run by the charity “IF Oxford Ltd.”, which is committed to treating all its employees, freelance applicants, contract-partners, volunteers and public audiences equally and fairly. It is a positive working environment, where sexual orientation or status, disability, ethnicity, religion or beliefs, or socioeconomic status are embraced within legal guidelines. We note that only applicants who have a legal right to work within the UK will be considered and you will be asked to bring along proof of nationality and/or proof of ability to work in the UK. You will also be asked to declare any previous convictions in line with your rights under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) order 1975.

This is a description of the deliverable of the contract as it is presently constituted. It is our practice to examine these descriptions from time to time and to update them to ensure they relate to the activities performed, or to incorporate whatever changes are reasonably required, in discussion with the postholder.

As part of the recruitment process your data will be collected and processed in accordance with the Data Management Policy and we do not use automation in the selection of candidates;

All disabled applicants who meet the ‘essential criteria’ for this vacancy will be offered an interview under the Disability Confident (Committed) scheme’s definition of disability, which is in line with the Equalities Act 2010: “a physical or mental condition which has a long-term and substantial effect on your daily life”. Further information about the Disability Confident commitments can be found on:


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