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JOB | TEMPORARY Festival Manager (Maternity Cover) NI Science Festival

NI Science Festival are looking for an experienced Festival Manager to play a central role in delivering the Festival in February 2020, their fringe programme of events and assist with programming their 2021 Festival.


The NI Science Festival is an educational charity founded in 2014 and has quickly become the largest event of its kind in Europe, attracting audiences of over 80,000 people. Focusing on the wonders of science, the natural world, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics, the Festival hosts over 200 events over 11 days in February each year. Speakers have included Prof. Brian Cox, Prof. Jim Al-Khalili, Richard Dawkins, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Prof. Alice Roberts, Liz Bonnin and astronauts such as Chris Hadfield, Tim Kopra and Tim Peake. 

Our primary objective is to raise the level of science capital in society through developing and delivering a range of inspiring events for the public.  Through both our main festival in February and our fringe events throughout the year, we aim to cultivate a general public informed by science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future. After delivering five major Festivals, the organisation is at an exciting place in time with a new strategic plan focusing on growing our audience, our impact and our international reach.

This is a unique opportunity to help shape and develop one of Northern Ireland’s most popular and exciting Festivals.  If you’re a high-performing person inspired by our vision and mission (and are passionate about working hard to help us achieve these) we want to hear from you.


We are looking for an experienced Festival Manager to play a central role in delivering the Festival in February 2020, our fringe programme of events and assist with programming our 2021 Festival. This is a multi-faceted role that will incorporate a range of areas of responsibility including Events Programming and Management; Events Production and Operations Management; Business Development; Relationships and Stakeholder Management and Administration.


As part of the small team that runs the festival, the post-holder will work in consultation with the Festival Director to ensure that all elements of the main festival and our fringe events are in place on time and within budget.  

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Work alongside the Festival Director to source and book speakers and events for the Festival;
  • Create and produce a range of bespoke events for the Festival;
  • Work with existing partners and build new partnerships with additional organisations such as local councils, museums and venues;
  • Work alongside the Festival partners to help design and refine their events at the Festival;
  • Liaison with external parties involved in event production including venue providers, caterers, booksellers and others; and liaison with all members of the festival team
  • Lead on the development and management of the Production and Operations plan, incorporating AV, tech setup and other logistics, to ensure the Festival runs smoothly;
  • Recruit and manage the Festivals network of sub-contractors and temporary staff including the Festival’s volunteer manager, site managers and production staff;
  • Assist the Festival Director with fundraising and sponsorship initiatives;
  • Ensure that appropriate evaluation is undertaken for each event and on completion of the festival;
  • Represent the NI Science Festival on research or familiarisation trips.


The ideal candidate will be a dynamic individual with a passion for science and culture and 5+ years’ experience of curating, planning and delivering large scale cultural and public events.

The post-holder will be tasked with a number of changing responsibilities and will work with flexibility, creativity, energy and commitment. The ideal candidate will have a keen interest in the work of the festival, and in science communication and culture more broadly.

Essential Criteria

  • At least 3 years professional experience of production managing large scale events across a wide range of sites and venues eg festivals, conferences, outdoor events.
  • At least 3 years’ experience of curating a live events programme for a wide range of audiences;
  • Experience of working on projects with a broad and diverse potential audience base
  • Ability to establish strong partnership working relationships and utilise a wide range of networks;
  • Strong commitment to quality and excellence with an excellent eye for detail;
  • Capacity to maintain a clear overview across a range of complex projects;
  • Able to act independently, using initiative, and also to be a team player;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills (written, verbal, presentations);
  • Reliable, trustworthy, approachable and able to relate well to a diverse range of individuals and organisations;
  • IT/Computer Literacy Skills.
  • Have a full driving licence and access to a car.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of budget management over £100k;
  • Experience of successful income generation through a wide range of sources including box office, trusts and foundation and sponsors;
  • 2 years’ experience of programming a venue or festival;
  • Programme development/management experience, specifically involving science/technology both nationally and internationally.


The successful applicant will be expected to work in the Festival offices in Belfast.  The post is for a guaranteed 6 months with the potential to extend to 1 year.

The post holder is expected to work a basic 37.5 hr week, from Monday to Friday in the period prior to the programme start date. During the programme period, it is expected that the successful applicant will work at times and on days to meet the needs of the events.

The successful applicant must have a Full Driving License and ability to travel within Northern Ireland.


Please send your CV and a two-page covering letter of no more than 1000 words outlining your experience and suitability for the post. Please include the names, addresses, email, phone number and occupations of two people, not related to you, to whom references may be obtained. One of your referees must be your current or most recent employer.

Please send your CV, equal opportunities form and covering letter to chris@nisciencefestival.com or post your application to NI Science Festival, 3rd Floor, Botanic House, 1 Botanic Avenue, Belfast BT7 1JG.

The closing date for receipt of applications for the above post is 12 noon on Monday 19th August 2019.  Interviews will take place W/C 26th August 2019.

The applicants who fit the specifications outlined above most closely will be shortlisted for interview, so please make sure you tell us everything relevant on your CV.

Please note that we are unable to consider any applications which are received after the deadline. If you cannot make an offered interview time, we may not be able to give you an alternative.

We are an Equal Opportunities Employer.

For further information please contact info@nisciencefestival.com