GCRF Strategic Advisory Group Call for Nominations

The Government Spending Review on 25 November 2015 announced “a new £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund, to ensure UK science takes the lead in addressing the problems faced by developing countries, whilst developing our ability to deliver cutting-edge research”. The Global Challenges Research Fund is an initiative led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which operates across a number of delivery partners, including the UK Higher Education Funding bodies, UK Research and Innovation, the Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society, British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and UK Space Agency.

The Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) was established to provide external advice to the GCRF, reaching across the disciplines of all the delivery partners.

Current membership of the SAG can be found here.

Call for nominations

This is a call for nominations for new members to the SAG, and we are looking to recruit 3-4 new members to start in March 2019. Applicants may either self-nominate or be nominated by another person.

Person specification

We are seeking applications from those people who:

  1. Represent international academics and international non-academics
  2. Have personal experience of working in a developing country context
  3. Understand the translation and impact of research, particularly into developing countries.
  4. Have previous experience of sitting on committees and knowledge of the UK research funding landscape

We are looking in particular to fill gaps in the following expertise areas:

  • Health Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Economics
  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Individuals with relevant experience from the private sector


The primary purpose of the SAG is to advise on the strategic development and delivery of the GCRF, and specifically:

  • Engagement with research and stakeholder communities and the facilitation of new ideas and opportunities
  • The development of a strategic research agenda and prioritisation of challenge topics
  • The effectiveness of delivery partner strategies and mechanisms, including mechanisms to build capability where it is needed to address existing deficits
  • Integration of ODA and non-ODA challenge research, where it is sensible to do so
  • Advise on the consistency of GCRF funding in line with the Haldane principle
  • Advise on and review the GCRF portfolio across delivery partners, highlighting opportunities for integration, gaps and emerging needs and opportunities
  • Help to define success measures for GCRF, with consideration of evaluation and pathways to impact

The responsibilities of the SAG members are to:

  • Act within the 7 Principles of Public Life (Nolan principles), in particular to provide independent, informed advice, avoiding actual or perceived conflicts of interest by taking a collegiate approach to policy and strategy development;
  • Act as “generous generalists”
  • Validate and challenge constructively the delivery partners’ perspectives drawing on the available evidence and their own experiences;
  • Take individual and collective ownership of the advice they provide, whilst recognising the separation of that advice from responsibility for the decisions made, which rests with the delivery partners;
  • Use their own networks to gather intelligence that can be brought to bear in policy development and to disseminate delivery partner policies and strategies.

Equality, diversity and inclusion:

The delivery partners have a particular aspiration to increase the breadth and diversity of the Group, and as such the membership of the GCRF SAG should:

  • Reflect the breadth of disciplines across the delivery partners
  • Diverse across career stages and life course
  • Drawn from academia, government, business, third sector and other stakeholders
  • Include an international/global perspective.


Appointments will be for two years initially, with the possibility of extension. All appointments will begin with effect from 1st March 2018.

The Group meet quarterly with the first meeting of the new appointments planned March 2018. There may be additional work required outside of the formal SAG meetings and it is expected that members will need to commit between 2 and 4 additional days to SAG work per year.

Members are paid a fee for attending meetings and are reimbursed for travel and subsistence expenses.

Nomination process

Nominations should be made through SmartSurvey by 16:00 on Monday 5th November 2018.

You can self-nominate or be nominated by another person. In cases where nominations are being made on behalf of someone else, that person must be aware of and agree to the nomination. When nominating another person, the details of the nominator will be required.

In both cases, the following information is needed:

  • Nominee details: Basic information and contact details for the nominee, including title, name, current position, organisation, telephone numbers and email address.
  • Personal qualities and experience: Free text to support why you or the person you are nominating would be suitable as a member of the SAG including:
    • Evidence of the skills and experience the nominee would bring to the role and how they meet the requirements of the role [500 words];
    • Description of the personal motivation, attributes, competencies and other experience that would make them a suitable SAG member [500 words].
  • Current Curriculum Vitae: A CV (no longer than two sides) containing details of the nominee’s professional qualifications, research, work experience and/or other relevant experience.
  • Diversity information: We aim to ensure that all applications are treated fairly regardless of gender, age, ethnic origin or disability. Individuals are asked to supply equal opportunities information, which is not seen by the Selection Committee. This should only be completed by the nominee.

Selection process

The selection process will consist of three steps:

Step 1 – a long-list of candidates will be developed based on the following considerations:

  • At the level of the Individual
    • Match to the requirements in the person specification, based on the evidence provided;
  • At the level of the overall SAG
    • Ensuring diversity of membership;
    • Securing an appropriate spread of expertise;
    • Achieving an appropriate distribution of membership from academia, industry, civil society and international stakeholders;

Step 2 – An Appointment Assurance Group will meet to select a shortlist of candidates to interview and to ensure that the appropriate processes have been followed.

Step 3 – Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview to discuss their interest in the role and what qualities they will bring to the SAG. The interview panel will make final recommendations on the successful candidates.


  • Call opens – August 2018
  • Call closes – 5th November 2018
  • Shortlist – December 2018
  • Interviews – January/February 2019
  • GCRF Board selection/Approvals – February 2019
  • Notifications – February 2019