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2021 call for expressions of interest to join core membership of our Strategy Advisory Panels

Call status: Open
Application deadline: Thursday 2 December 2021, 16:00

Background

UKRI-BBSRC, as part of UK Research and Innovation, plays a crucial role in the health and vibrancy of UK bioscience. Every year we invest more than £450 million on behalf of the UK public in research, innovation, training and capabilities in universities and institutes across the UK. Our aim is to sustain the excellence of, and maximise impact from, the UK bioscience community by furthering scientific knowledge, promoting economic growth and improving the quality of life in the UK and beyond.

UKRI-BBSRC’s Strategy Advisory Panels play a key role in delivering UKRI-BBSRC's mission by providing expert input and advice that helps shape and develop our strategy and ensures that our investment decisions are supported by expert knowledge and insight from members of the scientific research and innovation community, including those with broad experience between and across disciplines.The core panels are made up of 6-8 members, supplemented as appropriate with additional invited experts according to business need.

We are seeking expressions of interest to join each of our five SAPs’ core membership:

In addition, we currently welcome expressions of interest for the role of Chair for two SAP only:

The key responsibilities and specifications for these roles (core members and chairs) are set out in more detail below.

Call for expressions of interest – core membership for Strategy Advisory Panels

This call is open to anyone who fulfils the role profiles and expertise requirements. The final selection of candidates from the expressions of interest will be made by the UKRI-BBSRC Appointments Board on the basis of individual knowledge, experience and the need for expertise in particular research and innovation areas, along with the coverage of panel membership overall in relation to the expertise requirements of each SAP. We are committed to ensuring that our Panels are inclusive, diverse, and representative of the research and innovation community and broader society. We welcome applications from everyone, but encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in our SAP membership, including younger people, women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.

We are particularly interested in ensuring that science in society and industrial expertise is reflected across the breadth of the Strategy Advisory Panels, so would welcome applicants with expertise in these areas.

What does the role involve?

As a core member of a UKRI-BBSRC Strategy Advisory Panel, you will play a key role in delivering BBSRC's mission by:

  • Providing Strategic advice on: UKRI-BBSRC’s investments in the context of the wider research and innovation landscape; and recommending how UKRI-BBSRC prioritise strategic areas of relevance to the particular Strategy Advisory Panel’s remit
  • Identifying emerging strategic opportunities through Horizon scanning and advise on the most effective strategic intervention
  • Constructively challenging and assurance that BBSRC’s develops ideas, policies and strategies are fit for purpose, taking account of all necessary stakeholder perspectives
  • Monitoring and benchmarking of existing activities and investments, and their impacts

Person specification – core members

All applicants are expected to provide evidence of:

  • Your ability to contribute creatively, constructively and strategically to the future direction of UK biosciences
  • Your knowledge and understanding of the bioscience landscape in the UK and internationally (both broadly and in reference to your own area of expertise)
  • Your knowledge or experience of policy or strategy development or societal perspectives on the biosciences
  • Your understanding of the interface between academia, industry and other relevant UKRI-BBSRC stakeholders, as well as awareness of end user and developer perspectives.

The types of evidence which applicants may provide will depend on the background of the applicant, but may include:

  • Participation on committees, boards or panels
  • Business, innovation and investor experience
  • Experience of activities related to skills and careers for the biosciences/research more widely, including doctoral training, researcher development and research support for teams in the biosciences
  • Expertise of societal, ethical or legal considerations related to the biosciences/research more widely.
  • Expertise in broad multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary working across fields in the biosciences and more widely
  • Experience of working internationally, particularly in the context of global challenges
  • Experience of working in a policy development environment
  • Experience of the development of research outputs into real world value for example in the form of infrastructure, people, technologies, new commercial products, software, data management, standards etc.
  • Publication and Funding history, where relevant to current and previous roles.

Role of Chairs

(please note: for this call, expressions of interest are sought for two SAP only, as listed above)

Chairs of UKRI-BBSRC SAP work in partnership with UKRI-BBSRC Office to deliver their SAP’s terms of reference by:

  • Co-defining a strong working partnership with UKRI-BBSRC strategic leads
  • Building and developing an effective strategy advisory network
  • Developing SAP meeting agendas and inputing into panel membership
  • Ensuring wider perspectives are fully considered and embodied in their panel’s activity
  • Reviewing and evaluating SAP outputs and impacts
  • Representing the SAP and its collective viewpoints in periodic workshop activities (typically annually) to synthesise and tension strategic views across UKRI-BBSRC’s advisory bodies.

Person specification – Chairs

In addition to the person specification for core members, the following are key additional considerations for the role of Chair of a SAP:

  • Previous experience of working with UKRI-BBSRC
  • Evidence of high standing in the community
  • Demonstration of Chairing and facilitation skills, including:
    • A collegiate approach, working with the Office and SAP members to co-develop meeting agendas and manage panel membership and performance
    • ability to take a high level strategic view and contextualise discussions, with an appropriately high degree of objectivity
    • ability to influence and achieve consensus – including stimulating discussion and navigating challenging viewpoints, to synthesise clear lines of strategic advice for BBSRC
    • ability to effectively time-manage meetings

For all roles, we expect you to be able to commit the necessary time and attention to your appointment, as set out in the details provided about the role, and to have the full support or the necessary permission of your employer.

Appointments will be for three years in total and each year, you will be expected to attend two meetings, each of 1-2 days duration, with preparation work such as pre-reading of papers and preparing comments expected to amount to 5-6 days commitment.

You may also be asked to provide additional strategic advice to UKRI-BBSRC on an ad-hoc basis by email or through participation in a Task and Finish Group set up by the Strategy Advisory Panel to address specific strategic areas in greater depth than covered by Strategy Advisory Panels. Strategy Advisory Panel members are also required to fulfil an induction process as a new member of the Panel. Together, these additional responsibilities will not exceed 5-6 days commitment per year, bringing the total annual commitment to 10-12 days. For Chairs, it is expected that the annual commitment will be slightly higher at up to 14 days, to include additional planning and evaluation meetings with UKRI-BBSRC sector leads, and attendance at collective UKRI-BBSRC advisory body workshops (typically held annually).

Travel and subsistence will be paid, along with an attendance fee per meeting – see Panel and Committee Member Introduction Pack (PDF, 49KB) for further details.

Expertise requirements

We are looking to appoint members to each of the following Panels:

Bioscience for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Strategy Advisory Panel

UKRI-BBSRC has identified Bioscience for Sustainable Agriculture and Food (SAF SAP) as one of three challenge led strategic priorities as part of our Forward look for UK bioscience. SAF SAP’s focus is on the bioscience needed to deliver more sustainable, productive, healthy, and resilient agri-food systems. For additional context we would recommend that applicants view the SAF strategic framework (PDF, 1.45MB). As part of our horizon scanning work to address food security and the climate emergency, we are keen to explore novel approaches which can help facilitate a transition to net zero, biodiverse and climate resilient agri-food systems.

We are seeking to appoint three positions within our SAF advisory Panel. Applications are welcome across the breadth of UKRI-BBSRC’s scientific remit, but we are particularly keen to encourage applicants with expertise in the following areas:

  • Food systems research particularly in the context of net zero and resilience
  • Crop science – A broad understanding of the research involving crop plants (including algae and cultivated mushrooms) grown to be harvested as food, livestock fodder, or for any other economic purpose
  • Post farm gate- understanding of key biological research challenges such as food safety (microbial and non microbial), food waste and nutrition and health within the context of post farm gate activities including production, retail and consumption
  • Transformative tools and technologies for agri-food research and innovation including data science, mathematical, genomics, and modelling approaches

In addition, to these specific areas of expertise, applications from those with experience of one or more of the following elements are of particular interest:

  • research and innovation in an industrial context
  • social dimensions of the conduct and outcomes of research (e.g., ethical considerations, social issues and public salience)
  • knowledge exchange activities with research users (e.g., policy makers, public), including the translation and commercialisation of research outputs.

We are particularly interested in inviting an early career researcher with the above expertise to join the panel.

Find out more about the SAF SAP and most recent membership. In the interests of ensuring fair community representation, and recognising existing SAP membership, unless there is a compelling strategic case, we are unlikely to accept further appointments to the SAF SAP Panel from The University of Aberdeen, the University of Nottingham, the University of Lincoln, Newcastle University, the National Trust and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute.

For further information, please contact: Jamie Stone.

Bioscience for an Integrated Understanding of Health Strategy Advisory Panel

Bioscience for an Integrated Understanding of Health (BIUH SAP) is one of the three key strategic challenge areas for UKRI-BBSRC, focussing upon improving animal and human health and wellbeing across the life course. This centres upon providing a deep, integrated understanding of the healthy system, and of the factors that maintain health and wellness under stress and biological or environmental challenge.

We are seeking to appoint three BIUH advisory panel members, including to the role of Chair. Applications are welcome across the breadth of UKRI=BBSRC’s scientific remit, but we are particularly keen to encourage applicants with expertise in the following areas:

  • diet and nutrition and the influences these have on lifelong health
  • immunology, including the ageing immune system
  • regenerative biology, tissue engineering, and stem cells
  • tools and technology for health and wellbeing across the life course, including data science, mathematical and computational modelling approaches
  • animal health and welfare, including vaccine technology, antimicrobial resistance, and the 3Rs

In addition, to these specific areas of expertise, applications from those with experience of one or more of the following elements are of particular interest:

  • research and innovation in an industrial context
  • social dimensions of the conduct and outcomes of research (e.g., ethical considerations, social issues and public salience)
  • knowledge exchange activities with research users (e.g., policy makers, public), including the translation and commercialisation of research outputs.

We are particularly interested in inviting an early career researcher with the above expertise to join the panel.

Chair role: In submitting an expression of interest, applicants are requested to identify their interest in the role of Chair and to provide additional supporting information in relation to the additional responsibilities of the role and associated person specification.

Find out more about the BIUH SAP and most recent membership. In the interests of ensuring fair community representation, and recognising existing SAP membership, unless there is a compelling strategic case, we are unlikely to accept further appointments to the BIUH SAP Panel from Newcastle University, the University of Leeds, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and the University of Edinburgh.

For further information, please contact: Alice Cardall.

Bioscience for Renewable Resources and Clean Growth Strategy Advisory Panel

Bioscience for Renewable Resources and Clean Growth (RRCG SAP) is one of three strategic challenges identified by BBSRC in its 2019 Delivery Plan (PDF, 2.25MB). The move towards biologically-based processes offers opportunities to sustainably manufacture, or offer services leading to the more sustainable manufacture of materials, biopharmaceuticals, chemicals and energy with improved performance, lower operational costs and reduced carbon emissions. In many instances this may be achievable through the greater use of residues or wastes, leading to a more circular bioeconomy and providing the opportunity for multiple benefits through remediation of air, land and water.

We are seeking to appoint five RRCG advisory panel members, including to the role of chair. Applications are welcome across the breadth of UKRI-BBSRC’s scientific remit, but we are particularly keen to encourage applicants with expertise in the following areas:

  • High value chemicals
  • Bulk chemicals
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Biocatalysis, particularly in the context of biorefineries
  • Plant science

Each of the expertise requirements is set in the context of bio-based manufacturing involving genomic, systems and engineering biology tools. In addition, to these specific areas of expertise, applications from those with experience of one or more of the following elements are of particular interest:

  • research and innovation in an industrial context
  • social dimensions of the conduct and outcomes of research (e.g., ethical considerations, social issues and public salience)
  • knowledge exchange activities with research users (e.g., policy makers, public), including the translation and commercialisation of research outputs.

We are particularly interested in inviting an early career researcher with the above expertise to join the panel.

Chair role: In submitting an expression of interest, applicants are requested to identify their interest in the role of Chair and to provide additional supporting information in relation to the additional responsibilities of the role and associated person specification.

Find out more about the RRCG SAP and most recent membership. In the interests of ensuring fair community representation, and recognising existing SAP membership, unless there is a compelling strategic case, we are unlikely to accept further appointments to the RRCG SAP Panel from University of Surrey, University of Nottingham and Syngenta.

For further information, please contact: Jamie Whitford

People and Talent Strategy Advisory Panel

The People and Talent Strategy Advisory Panel (PAT SAP) is responsible for developing and maintaining BBSRC policies to support the supply of people training in bioscience disciplines for careers in research and innovation and in support of a scientifically-articulate workforce for the wider economy.

The panel provides advice on a range of issues, in particular:

  • The talent ecosystem, ensuring an appropriate flow of talented people into bioscience training and professional development for the benefit of research communities and the wider economy
  • Postgraduate training and development
  • Research teams, including postdoctoral researchers, technicians, research leadership in support of healthy and productive research environments
  • Research culture, including equality, diversity and inclusion within the biosciences
  • The movement of creative bioscientists and their ideas, knowledge and expertise between sectors of research and the economy

We currently have three positions available within our advisory Panel. Applications are welcome across the breadth of BBSRC’s scientific remit, but we are particularly keen to encourage applications from those within industry with expertise in sector skills needs. Additionally, applicants with expertise in AI, machine learning and/or informatics, researcher provision, demand-led, techno-commercial and entrepreneurial skills from within academia and industry are welcome.

In addition, to these specific areas of expertise, applications from those with experience of one or more of the following elements are of particular interest:

  • research and innovation in an industrial context
  • social dimensions of the conduct and outcomes of research (e.g., ethical considerations, social issues and public salience)
  • knowledge exchange activities with research users (e.g., policy makers, public), including the translation and commercialisation of research outputs.

We are particularly interested in inviting an early career researcher with the above expertise to join the panel.

Find out more about the PAT SAP and most recent membership. In the interests of ensuring fair community representation, and recognising existing SAP membership, unless there is a compelling strategic case, we are unlikely to accept further appointments to the PAT SAP Panel from University College London, John Innes Centre, Newcastle University, University of Nottingham and AstraZeneca.

For further information, please contact Jennifer Postles

Transformative Technologies Strategy Advisory Panel

The Transformative Technologies Strategy Advisory Panel (TT SAP) focuses on the tools, technologies and approaches that enable researchers to push the boundaries of bioscience discovery and stimulate innovation.

The panel will provide advice to UKRI-BBSRC on a broad range of topics including but not limited to:

  • Disruptive experimental methods and technologies to advance bioscience research and innovation
  • Research employing quantitative approaches to harness large scale data in the biosciences
  • Development, dissemination and stewardship of computational methods, software, data resources and cyberinfrastructure
  • Emerging interdisciplinary fields within the biosciences such as engineering biology, systems biology and artificial intelligence

We are seeking to appoint four TT advisory panel members. Applications are welcome across the breadth of UKRI-BBSRC’s scientific remit, but we are particularly keen to encourage applicants with expertise in the following areas:

  • Engineering/Synthetic Biology: Engineering biology is the process of taking synthetic biology concepts and translating them into real-world solutions. This discipline builds on and encompasses the wider capabilities/ ecosystem that supports the exploitation of synthetic biology knowledge for economic and public benefit, including but not limited to rational design and engineering principles, bioengineering, DNA synthesis, and applied maths and modelling.
  • Genomics and Bioinformatics: Fundamental insights and understanding of DNA (and life) gained via the combination of genomics and bioinformatics approaches, including the utilisation and development of new computational and data science approaches, methods, and software to understand large and complex biological data sets.
  • Bioimaging: Imaging is now the dominant form of analysis of molecules, cells, and tissues across the Life Sciences. Bioimaging technologies cut across all areas of BBSRC’s remit, from plant and animal phenomics to drug delivery.
  • Multi-scale/Mathematical Biology: Answering biological questions through computational/ mathematical modelling activities to produce a better understanding of biological systems (or sub-systems). Enabling realistic predictions of behaviour to be modelled across levels of biological hierarchy (macromolecule, cell, tissue, organ, organism).

To gather the views and perspectives of those with business, innovation and investor expertise, we encourage applicants who are currently actively engaged with industries operating in the Transformative Technologies sector, particularly those who:

  • currently hold an active position in industry, or hold broad commercial experience of research and development
  • have a proven track record of successfully bringing innovations to an industrial setting, (for example can include entrepreneurs, technical specialists or knowledge exchange practitioners)
  • are able to provide advice from a broad industry perspective.

In addition, to these specific areas of expertise, applications from those with experience of one or more of the following elements are of particular interest:

  • social dimensions of the conduct and outcomes of research (e.g., ethical considerations, social issues and public salience)
  • knowledge exchange activities with research users (e.g., policy makers, public), including the translation and commercialisation of research outputs.

We are particularly interested in inviting an early career researcher with the above expertise to join the panel.

Find out more about the TT SAP and most recent membership. In the interests of ensuring fair community representation, and recognising existing SAP membership, unless there is a compelling strategic case, we are unlikely to accept further appointments to the TT SAP Panel from University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, Cardiff University, and University of Bristol.

For further information, please contact: Philip Hubbard

Assessment process

Expressions of interest will be reviewed initially by UKRI-BBSRC staff against the criteria set out in the person specification and role descriptions. Recommendations from UKRI-BBSRC will be made to UKRI-BBSRC’s Appointments Board. UKRI-BBSRC Appointments Board has delegated authority from the UKRI-BBSRC Executive Chair and is responsible for making decisions on appointments. The Appointments Board Chair is a member of UKRI-BBSRC Council, and the Deputy Chair and members are representatives of the community.

In addition to reviewing applications against the criteria for appointment, the Appointments Board will consider people diversity, institutional and industry balance as part of its decision making process. UKRI-BBSRC seeks to balance institutional representation on our Boards, Panels and Committees. Consequently, there may be competition for places if applicants come from the same institution or organisation, and particularly if those applicants have similar expertise. If your institution or organisation is already represented on one of UKRI-BBSRC’s Strategy Advisory Panels, it will not prevent you from being appointed, but it will be important to demonstrate the distinctiveness and relevance of your expertise and experience.

Equality and diversity

We recognise that diverse ideas, experiences, backgrounds and perspectives are fundamental to successful science and innovation and we are committed to ensuring that our Committees, Panels and Boards are inclusive, diverse, and representative of the research community and wider society.

Through this appointment activity, we aspire to improve the diversity of our Panels. We are committed to the principle of providing equal opportunities for all. We are keen to obtain more diversity in our appointments so would welcome applications from a range of candidates from all backgrounds. Applications from women, those with a disability, and members of minority ethnic groups, who in some cases are underrepresented on panels are especially welcome. Applications from business, user and government colleagues are also particularly encouraged. We are also keen to encourage applications from experts based overseas.

An Equality and Impact Assessment has been developed to support and inform applicants and ensure that we enable participation and attendance at meetings. For example, we use venues that have good transport links and are accessible, we will also contribute towards additional costs for caring responsibilities to enable you to attend. Please do not hesitate to contact the office if you wish to discuss further or have any additional needs to enable you to submit an application to this call.

To support us in assessing how effective our policies and procedures are in eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting opportunities, we ask that you provide diversity information that will be used anonymously by UKRI-BBSRC for statistical purposes. This information will be treated in confidence by UKRI-BBSRC and will not be used in the assessment of applications.

Career Breaks and Flexible Working

Time spent outside the active research and business environment, whether through career breaks or flexible working will be taken into account in the assessment process.

Applicants should indicate any substantive periods of absence within their application. Further details on the nature of the absence and how it has affected track record, productivity and career progression may be provided, if desired. Information provided will be used only to make appropriate adjustments when assessing an individual’s track record, productivity and career progression.

In assessing the effects of career breaks or flexible working, the Appointments Board will note the applicant’s career trajectory at the beginning of a break, relative to the stage of the applicant’s career and/or professional standing. In assessing applicants, the Board will recognise that the effects on productivity of a career break, or a period of flexible working, may continue beyond the return to work.

Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice

As a public investor in research, UKRI-BBSRC aims to facilitate the highest standards for research integrity. UKRI is signatory to the Concordat to Support Integrity (PDF, 397KB); UKRI-BBSRC also implements the UKRI Policy and Guidelines on Governance of Good Research (PDF, 206KB), alongside our guidance on Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice (PDF, 290KB). Appointees to UKRI-BBSRC Committees, Panels and Pool of Experts are expected to be aware of their obligations in regard to these policies. Further information relating to UKRI’s guidance and policies on Research Integrity and Misconduct can be found on UKRI's Good Research Resource Hub.

Applicants are requested to declare if they are, or have been, subject to any current or past scientific misconduct investigation(s). UKRI-BBSRC reserves the right to reject any application where such issues are considered an impediment to the individual holding a public appointment. This information will be treated in confidence.

How to apply

Application deadline: 2 December, 16:00.

Apply now

Please use the QR Code if required:

Applicants can apply for one position.

The Expressions of Interest form contains the following sections:

  • Personal information (e.g. name, organisation, contact details)
  • Free text sections:
    • Expertise and experience: You should describe the expertise and experience that you can you offer in terms of both research and innovation fields, and professional expertise, respectively, and provide the evidence to demonstrate this (maximum 150 words each).
    • Personal statement: You should describe why you are interested in the role (maximum 150 words) and what you will bring to it (maximum 300 words)
    • Other: Where applicable to their current or previous roles, candidates should provide evidence of -
      • Research funding history (for the last five years. For Industry supported programmes, please detail co-funding of post-doctoral students and other relevant funding)
      • Research outputs (details of key publications, research outputs for the last five years)
  • Diversity information, including information about career breaks and flexible working

Key dates

Call open 26 October 2021
Application deadline 2 December 2021, 16:00
BBSRC Office review of applications December – February 2022
Appointments Board meeting 9 March 2022
Outcomes communicated Late March 2022