BBSRC People and Talent Strategy Advisory Panel: chair vacancy

Closing date
8 December 2022 4pm
Number of positions
Length of term
3 years standard term (initially 1 year, extended to a full term if mutually agreed).
The term can be extended further in exceptional circumstances, up to a maximum of 6 years.
Time commitment
Maximum 10 to 12 days per year (generally less).

Including at least 2 strategy advisory panel meetings per year of 1 to 2 days each, with a maximum of 5 to 6 days for preparation, and a maximum of 5 to 6 days for additional responsibilities (ad hoc strategic advice for UKRI and BBSRC, attendance for the UKRI Talent and Skills Advisory Group and the BBSRC annual strategic workshop).

Travel and subsistence will be paid, along with an attendance fee per meeting.
Outcomes communicated date
Late March 2023

We are inviting expressions of interest to join the People and Talent Strategy Advisory Panel as a chair.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC) Strategy Advisory Panels play a key role in delivering BBSRC’s mission. The panels provide expert input and advice that:

  • helps shape and develop our strategy
  • 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 panels are made up of 6 to 8 members, supplemented as appropriate with additional invited experts according to business needs.

We aim to better reflect the diversity and experience across the breadth of the bioscience community, spanning academia, industry and policy.

Who we’re looking for

We are seeking expressions of interest from individuals who are keen to:

  • help shape and develop our strategy
  • ensure that our investment decisions are supported by expert knowledge and insight from members of the scientific research and innovation community

As a chair of a BBSRC Strategy Advisory Panel (SAP), you will play a key role working in partnership with BBSRC office to deliver the terms of reference by:

  • co-defining a strong working partnership with BBSRC strategic leads
  • chairing the SAP meetings, guiding group discussions towards clear outcomes
  • ensuring wider perspectives are fully considered and embodied in the panel’s activity
  • reviewing and evaluating SAP outcomes and impacts
  • representing the SAP and its collective viewpoints in periodic workshop activities (typically annually) to synthesise and tension strategic views across BBSRC’s advisory bodies
  • feeding into SAP meeting agendas

We welcome applications from:

  • women
  • people with disabilities
  • members of minority ethnic groups
  • members who are currently underrepresented in our committees and panels

Applications from businesses, users and government colleagues are also encouraged.

We also welcome applicants who have previously served on BBSRC SAPs.

In order to encourage diversity on our panels, the maximum period panel members can serve is two full terms of 3 years. In such cases, we would ask that applicants wait 1 term afterwards (3 years) before re-applying.

We are keen to encourage applicants with expertise in the following areas:

  • data-intensive bioscience
  • equality, diversity and inclusion in research culture
  • strategic expertise in people and talent

In the interests of ensuring fair community representation, and recognising existing membership, unless there is a compelling strategic case, we are unlikely to accept further appointments to the panel from applicants employed by:

  • University of York
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Highlands of Islands
  • John Innes Centre
  • Newcastle University
  • AstraZeneca
  • University of Nottingham

What you’ll be doing

People and Talent Strategy Advisory Panel (PAT SAP) is one of the 2 cross-cutting theme-led strategic priorities. It is part of BBSRC’s strategic delivery plan, forward look for UK bioscience and the UK Research and Innovation corporate plan.

PAT SAP focuses on 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 PAT SAP provides advice to BBSRC on a broad range of issues, including but not limited to:

  • 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

See details on the PAT SAP and most recent membership.

How to apply

Please in the first instance contact the BBSRC People and Talent team by emailing to register your interest in applying and to ask any questions you may have about the role.

You will need to submit an application via SurveyMonkey to apply.

The application form contains the following sections:

  • personal information (for example, name, organisation and contact details)
  • diversity information
  • free text sections:
    • personal statement: summarise the skills and experiences you can bring to the specific role of a Strategy Advisory Panel Chair (maximum 500 words), including evidence of how you meet the essential and desirable criteria
    • what you think is the greatest challenge facing this section or discipline in the UK (maximum 300 words)
    • evidence: details on your involvement in any relevant advisory, strategic, policy, assessment or similar groups, panels, boards or committees (maximum 300 words)
    • experience: describe how your experience and career path to date means that you meet the essential and desirable criteria for a chair of the Strategy Advisory Panel (maximum 500 words)

If you have any queries or additional needs to enable you to complete the application form, please contact the appointments board secretariat by email:

How we’ll assess your application

We will make appointments based on individual knowledge and experience in line with the criteria below. We will also consider the need for expertise in particular research and innovation areas, along with the coverage of panel membership overall in relation to the expertise requirements.

The types of evidence that you may provide will depend on your background, but may include:

  • participation on committees, boards or panels
  • business or industry, innovation, commercialisation and investor experience
  • experience of activities related to skills and careers for the biosciences or research more widely, including doctoral training, researcher development and research support for teams in the biosciences
  • experience of working internationally, particularly in the context of global challenges
  • experience of working in a policy development environment
  • experience in 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

Essential criteria

These include:

  • evidence of leadership and a high standing in the community
  • experience in postgraduate training and development
  • knowledge of research culture, including equality, diversity and inclusion within the biosciences
  • knowledge of 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
  • a collegiate approach and ability to work with the office and SAP members to co-develop meeting agendas and manage panel membership 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
  • professional expertise relevant to the current requirements of the SAPs
  • knowledge and understanding of the bioscience landscape in the UK and internationally, and an understanding of the challenges facing the appropriate sector and discipline (both broadly and relating to your own area of expertise)
  • knowledge and experience of policy or strategy development across key biosciences stakeholders (for example government, UKRI, industry or third sector)
  • awareness and understanding of societal, ethical or legal considerations related to the biosciences or research more widely
  • understanding of the interface between academia, industry and other relevant UKRI-BBSRC stakeholders, as well as awareness of end user and developer perspectives
  • ability to work collaboratively and productively with other strategy advisory panel members

Desirable criteria

These include:

  • previous experience of working with BBSRC or UKRI
  • knowledge of equality, diversity and inclusion activities being undertaken in research and innovation across the UK and internationally, and a demonstrated commitment to making progress on equality, diversity, and inclusion issues, with experience of improving outcomes
  • expertise in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary working across fields in the biosciences and more widely, including the formation of collaborations, partnerships and facilitation of knowledge exchange
  • awareness and expertise in specific fundamental bioscience areas which are advancing our understanding of the rules of life
  • awareness and knowledge of the facilities, resources and services necessary for the biosciences community to:
    • carry out groundbreaking research
    • support its translation into economic and societal impact
  • knowledge and understanding of the UK research and innovation funding landscape and how UKRI and BBSRC operate within it

We expect you to commit the necessary time and attention to your appointment and to have the full support or the necessary permission of your employer.

BBSRC staff will review expressions of interest against the criteria set out in the role description. Recommendations will be made to BBSRC’s appointments board, which is responsible for making appointments.

BBSRC’s appointments board has delegated authority from the BBSRC Executive Chair and is responsible for making decisions on appointments. The appointments board members are representatives of the BBSRC research community.

In addition to reviewing applications against the criteria for appointment, the appointments board will consider people diversity and institutional and industry balance as part of its decision-making process.

Further information

Equality and diversity

We recognise that diverse ideas, experiences, backgrounds and perspectives are fundamental to successful science and innovation. We are committed to ensuring that our committees, panels and boards are inclusive, diverse and representative of the research community.

We are committed to the principle of providing equal opportunities for all. Through this appointment activity, we aspire to increase the diversity of our advisory structures and welcome applications from all individuals and sections of the community.

An equality and impact assessment has been developed to support and inform applicants, and ensure that we enable participation and attendance at meetings. 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 this further.

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 BBSRC for statistical purposes.

This information will be treated in confidence by BBSRC and will not be used in the assessment of applications.

Safeguarding good scientific practice

As a public investor in research, BBSRC aims to facilitate the highest standards for research integrity.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is a signatory to the Concordat to Support Research Integrity. BBSRC also implements the UKRI policy and guidelines on governance of good research, alongside our guidance on safeguarding good scientific practice.

Appointees to BBSRC Strategy Advisory Panels are expected to be aware of their obligations in regard to these policies.

Learn more about UKRI’s guidance and policies on research integrity and misconduct as part of UKRI’s good research resource hub.

You must declare if you are, or have been, subject to any current or past scientific misconduct investigations. 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.

Last updated: 20 October 2022

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