People and Talent Strategy Advisory Panel subgroups

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) recognises the need to support researchers in academia, industry or elsewhere to maximise an individual’s research effectiveness and potential.

The People and Talent Strategy Advisory Panel (PAT SAP) has established two subgroups to better support the research community:

  • the Researcher Subgroup focuses on issues related to researcher careers and contributes to the development and implementation of BBSRC strategic programmes for researchers
  • the Research Technical Professional (RTP) Subgroup focuses on issues related to technicians in the bioscience community, especially on BBSRC’s actions relevant to the Technician Commitment and the People and Teams Action Plan

The subgroups maintain a close relationship with PAT SAP to encourage a two-way conversation, make sure that there is consistency amongst discussions, and provide researcher and technical perspective for PAT SAP.

As well as attending Researcher Subgroup and RTP Subgroup meetings, the subgroup members are also invited to attend PAT SAP meetings when appropriate.

Researcher Subgroup

For the purpose of this group, we define researchers as:

individuals whose primary responsibility is to conduct research and who are employed specifically for this purpose by a higher education institution or research institute

Within this group, we recognise that staff often have different contract types, levels of training, experience and responsibility, as well as different career expectations and intentions.

Disciplinary and institutional context can also mean that a broad range of job titles fall within this definition.

Topics discussed by the subgroup

Examples of topics the subgroup has discussed include:

  • implementing UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Concordat and Technician Commitment Action Plans for BBSRC and the biosciences
  • researcher exchange programmes, their potential benefits and risks
  • guidance for BBSRC fellowship applications
  • mentoring and sponsoring of early career researchers
  • the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on researchers and how they can be supported
  • equality, diversity and inclusion in bioscience researcher populations
  • recognising informal supervision
  • the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) narrative CV template

Group membership

Researcher Subgroup members include:

  • Rebecca Boulton, University of Stirling
  • Emily Breeze, University of Warwick
  • Cynthia Okoro-Shekwaga, University of Leeds
  • Stephen Marshall, University of Oxford
  • Jordan Cuff, Newcastle University
  • Hamish Symington, University of Cambridge
  • Santosh Kumar, Diamond Light Source
  • Joe Sallmen, John Innes Centre

We aim to have a representative group of the biological sciences sector, and work proactively to ensure equal representation and inclusive opportunities.

We will ensure equality and diversity in the group including diversity of individuals through career, demography and location, alongside diversity of thought.

For further information regarding the subgroup membership, please see our terms of reference or contact us (see details below).

Research Technical Professional (RTP) Subgroup

The RTP Subgroup was established in January 2024 and hosted their first meeting in March 2024.

For the purpose of this group, we consider RTPs as:

an individual with specialist knowledge in one or more research techniques or methods employed specifically to contribute their expertise to multiple research projects

This may include, but is not limited to:

  • technical professional staff
  • individuals staffing core facilities
  • data scientists
  • data engineers
  • archivists
  • informaticians
  • statisticians
  • software developers
  • audiovisual technologists

Topics discussed by the group

The group’s remit focuses on issues related to technicians in the bioscience community, especially on BBSRC’s actions relevant to the Technician Commitment. Initially, this could include:

  • consultation on how BBSRC will contribute to the objectives set out in UK Research and Innovation’s people and teams action plan, particularly those pertinent to the Technician Commitment
  • considering BBSRC’s actions following our survey of research organisation’s mechanisms to support career development and recognition of researchers and RTPs.
  • producing and effectively communicating case studies of bioscience RTPs
  • encouraging and supporting RTPs into appropriate BBSRC funding programmes as project leads
  • encouraging and supporting RTPs into BBSRC’s peer review process
  • sharing best practice

Group membership

RTP Subgroup members are based at organisations throughout the UK and spans BBSRC’s remit, representing a diverse portfolio of skills and expertise.

The members include a range of career stages and role types, ranging from early career RTP to facility managers.

RTP Subgroup members include:

  • Alex Laude, Newcastle University
  • Bee Denley-Currie, The Pirbright Institute
  • Christopher Hall, Babraham Institute
  • Clare Stevenson, John Innes Centre (Chair)
  • Fotis Sgouridis, University of Bristol
  • Jaime Hughes, University of Nottingham
  • Jane Eagling, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Khoa Pham-Trong, The University of Sheffield
  • Mads Gabrielsen, University of Glasgow
  • Natalie Homer, University of Edinburgh
  • Richard Collins, The University of Manchester
  • Russell Wilson, Heriot-Watt University
  • Sally Boxall, University of Leeds
  • Sarah Bennett, University of Warwick
  • Simon Carpenter, University of Cambridge

Ask us a question about the PAT SAP subgroups

Contact Emily Finnegan, email:

Last updated: 21 May 2024

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