NERC Science Committee membership

Closing date
28 April 2023
Number of positions
Length of term
Three years
Time commitment
20 days per annum which includes four Science Committee meetings (up to two days per meeting)
£200 per day attendance allowance (for meetings)
Interview date
To be confirmed, will be via Zoom
Outcomes communicated date
Two to three weeks after the interview

Would you be interested in an exciting opportunity to contribute to current and future funding priorities and investment whilst also developing your skill as a committee member?

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) invites applications from across the NERC science remit to join its Science Committee. This is a great opportunity to support an excellent and sustainable UK environmental science community.

You will work collegiately to offer advice and recommendations to Council and NERC Head Office on current and future funding priorities and new NERC investment. You will be supported in this role by the chair and current members in developing your expertise and experience as a committee member.

Who we're looking for

Applications are sought from individuals who possess a range of expertise and experience in research and innovation relevant to the higher education sector.

You do not need to be based in a research organisation, but need to have a range of subject matter knowledge appropriate to NERC’s areas of research, innovation, training and capital, or have other lay experience of benefit to NERC’s wider strategic ambitions.

NERC is seeking broad representation across our community reflecting different characteristics and professional backgrounds.

Our ideal candidate will have the enthusiasm and time to commit to advise us on how we can best achieve our delivery plan ambitions.

Essential skills

We are seeking candidates across the breadth of NERC scientific disciplines that can communicate well and work collaboratively to support and challenge the Science Committee’s debates and fellow members.

You must have an understanding of the environmental challenges confronting the world based on a deep understanding of environmental science with a whole-systems, solution-focused approach.

In addition you must have one or more of the following three skills:

  • recognised expertise in your scientific discipline
  • insights to support NERC’s responsible business statement ambitions and ensure the Science Committee considers equality, diversity and inclusion in its advice
  • experience in strategic planning and projections of large investment portfolios, and programmes involving some or all of:
    • research
    • innovation
    • training and skills
    • scientific infrastructures and services
    • international partnership

What you'll be doing

The Science Committee will bring broad strategic perspective and expertise to support the development and delivery of the UKRI and NERC strategic priorities, investments and policies.

The committee will advise the executive and council across NERC’s research, innovation, training and national capability portfolio, and will recommend NERC strategic research and innovation investments.

Members sit on the committee as individuals rather than representing a particular organisation, and will provide advice on:

  • how to support an excellent and sustainable UK environmental science community that seizes opportunities, in UKRI and international contexts, to achieve the following goals:
    • to advance the frontiers of knowledge
    • to address government, UKRI and NERC strategic priorities
    • to deliver beneficial economic and social impacts
  • priority areas for future rounds of NERC strategic research and innovation investment
  • commissioning, effectiveness and performance of NERC and UKRI investments, including:
    • discovery science
    • strategic research and innovation
    • postgraduate training, fellowships and early career support
    • national capability
    • scientific infrastructure and capital
    • international partnership and subscriptions
  • NERC funding policy for all of the above funding streams, and ambitions to increase diversity in environmental sciences
  • recommendations for new NERC investment:
    • strategic research and innovation programmes: assess submitted proposals against published criteria and recommend which proposals should be funded by NERC
    • strategic research and innovation highlight topics: assess submitted ideas for highlight topic against published criteria and recommend which should go forward to a funding opportunity, and at what level of expenditure

See the Science Committee terms of reference.

Time commitment and remuneration

A Science Committee member is expected to dedicate up to 20 days per year (which includes four Science Committee meetings per year). Some meetings will be virtual and some will be face to face. An attendance allowance (for meetings) of £200 per day (if eligible) together with reasonable travel and subsistence costs will be reimbursed in accordance with UKRI’s travel and subsistence policy.

How to apply

Please download the application form and email the completed form along with a two-sided CV to for the attention of Gemma Davies.

Please also read the application pack (PDF, 236KB).

We must receive your application by 28 April 2023.

How we'll assess your application

Once the deadline has passed, all applications (CV and application form) will be acknowledged and then passed to the selection panel. The panel will review the applications against the person specification, and agree which applicants will be selected for interview. Further particulars will be provided to candidates selected for interview.

At the final appointment stages, where applicants are as qualified on merit, the selection panel will seek to achieve a balanced membership in terms of, for example, diversity, expertise and experience.

Shortlisting decisions will be communicated in June 2023.

Further information

Find out more about the NERC Science Committee

Equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI)

We believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with the appropriate opportunities and tools to flourish and succeed. We believe in an ethical and trusted working environment that is attractive and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us.

We also value diversity of thought and experience and are committed to creating systems that value difference, so that everyone can feel welcomed, included and nurtured throughout their time with us.

For further information, pleas see  ‘How we support equality, diversity and inclusion in the workforce’.

At NERC as part of UKRI we are proud to be users of the disability confident scheme. We guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for any of our vacancies. There is a section on the application form to indicate if you would like to be considered under this scheme.

Contact us

Please ensure you have read the application pack. If you have any questions, please contact Gemma Davies, Governance Manager, Science Committee, at:


Last updated: 14 March 2023

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