Application and recruitment

Recruitment for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) strategic advisory teams (SAT) is currently closed and is due to open in Autumn 2022.

Strategic advisory teams are flexible resource, enabling heads of theme to obtain the advice they need in a timely manner, drawing on a range of perspectives from across EPSRC’s key stakeholder groups. Membership size varies according to the needs of the theme.

Each theme’s advisory team meets at least three times per year and may also be asked to take part in further EPSRC business (or other parts of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as appropriate), including but not limited to workshops, advisory groups for specific activities and peer review panels. There is also a yearly SAT conference which brings all the advisory teams together.

What SAT members are saying

Since joining the physical sciences SAT, I have found the community very welcoming despite having to meet remotely! The opportunity to hear EPSRC visions discussed and input the views of industrialists who benefit from the research that is funded, especially with respect to the mechanisms of engagement and interaction, has been insightful. It has taught me personally how to engage more effectively with our academic collaborators. Above all, it is encouraging to understand that there is a passion to remain focussed and relevant in the identification of emerging priority areas.

Dr Victoria Jones, Mondelez International

As a SAT member in capital equipment, I have the chance to understand, comment and influence the overall funding landscape. Getting involved in the activities at the funder’s side instead of the applicant side really broadens my vision. Being able to help shape the future funding schemes is very exciting, as I can envision and help the future of research in the UK.

Dr Ryan Wang, University College London

Who can apply

EPSRC seeks individuals who can provide guidance and advice as theme experts. You can apply whether you can commit full time or part time, whether you are on sabbatical or a career break, whether you are an academic or researcher, or whether based in academia, industry, the third sector or a government organisation. You are not required to act as representative of your own organisation but rather as someone with relevant expertise who is free from bias.

Diversity and inclusion

Diverse representation within our advisory bodies is important to ensure we include a range of opinions and viewpoints in our decision making. Appointments to the advisory teams are made primarily on merit, and we are keen to obtain greater diversity across the membership. We particularly encourage applications from women, from people who identify as an ethnic minority, people with a disability, and other groups who are currently underrepresented. We welcome applications from people based in all regions and nations of the UK.

We are keen to continue improving the gender balance of the boards, in keeping with EPSRC’s overall goal of achieving at least 30% participation of women (as the underrepresented group) in EPSRC strategic bodies.

We are also committed to working towards increasing ethnic minority representation, aiming to increase the membership on advisory bodies to 20%. This is part of our commitment to race equality and is one of our immediate actions in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion.

As part of the application process, diversity data will be requested to help us assess the diversity of membership. This data will be collected, stored, and used in line with the General Data Protection Regulations 2016/679 (GDPR) guidelines. The use of an individual’s diversity data in the selection process will be clearly outlined.

Support is available for those with caring responsibilities whose participation in a SAT meeting or associated activity would involve additional care requirements.

The role of a SAT member

Strategic advisory team members are drawn from EPSRC’s academic and non-academic stakeholders, bringing a breadth of different roles across the research and innovation system. Members of advisory teams are expected to bring a broad strategic view to bear and to act as ‘generous generalists’, advising across the breadth of EPSRC’s portfolio and the portfolios of other councils where appropriate.

Members are not required to act as representatives of their own organisation, research area or sector, and are expected to adhere to the Seven Principles of Public Life.

Members of EPSRC SATs are paid a fee and reimbursed for travel and subsistence for attendance at meetings. EPSRC may host meetings virtually or facilitate a mixed attendance meeting (physical and virtual attendance).

Initial appointments are usually for up to three years, with extensions at the discretion of the head of theme.

Person specification

The key requirements of a SAT member are as follows.

Relevant expertise

Relevant expertise could be in advancing knowledge, delivering impact, stakeholder engagement, community leadership or meeting the needs of business and/or society. A maximum of two applications is allowed per candidate.

Strategic thinking

Candidates must be able to take a strategic overview of issues relevant to the theme applied for. Issues encountered may relate to research, skills and training, international context, impact, innovation, research infrastructure and interdisciplinary work.

Flexible approach

This means being prepared to develop, test and constructively challenge EPSRC UKRI policies in a flexible, adaptable, multi-stakeholder environment.

Representation

Candidates must be willing to represent the views of the research, innovation and business community, and facilitate two-way communication between the community and EPSRC and UKRI.

Availability

It is important that candidates have the capacity to devote sufficient time to the role, and have the backing of their organisation. The SAT terms of reference sets out the expectations of team members.

For more information about the recruitment and work of SAT members

Email: epsrcsatnominations@epsrc.ukri.org.

Last updated: 31 March 2022

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