BBSRC Committee E chair and deputy chair vacancies

Closing date
12 September 2023
Number of positions
One chair

One deputy chair

Length of term
Three years

Chair: role commencing on 1 January 2025 (opportunity to shadow during 2024)

Deputy chair: role commencing on 1 January 2024 (opportunity to shadow during late 2023)

Time commitment
Approximately 20 days per calendar year (including meetings, conferences and assessment preparation)
Travel and subsistence will be paid, along with an attendance fee per meeting

Applicable for both in-person and virtual meetings

Interview date
Week commencing 9 October 2023
Outcomes communicated
By the end of October 2023

We are inviting expressions of interest to join the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Committee E as:

  • Chair
  • Deputy Chair

Who we’re looking for

The committee is responsible for the award of fellowships and other personal awards, and for providing key mentoring support to BBSRC fellows.

You are expected to be well-respected within your field and to have demonstrable interest in supporting career development. Knowledge of the UK fellowship and funding landscape is essential. You should also have experience of a range of areas within BBSRC’s remit, and clear evidence of supporting and mentoring early career researchers.

Some chairing experience would be beneficial, but it is more essential that markers of leadership can be evidenced by you. We are therefore open to applicants with less experience of chairing for these positions.

What you’ll be doing

You will be leading Research Committee E in:

  • undertaking the peer review of fellowships and other personal awards, and applications for other people movement schemes according to BBSRC processes and best practice, and to provide recommendations for awards to BBSRC Executive
  • providing mentoring, support and regular feedback to fellows through face-to-face visits and meetings, through the annual progress update system and attendance at fellows’ induction seminars and the fellows conference organised by BBSRC every two years
  • providing input to BBSRC and its Strategy Advisory Panels and sub-groups on the recommendations it makes on the award of fellowships and other personal awards

Key responsibilities

Key responsibilities include:

  • annually attending one meeting to assess the progress of fellows, one fellowship application sift meeting, and one set of fellowship interviews to facilitate the fair and evidence-based assessment of applications and to safeguard the decision-making of the committee
  • asking questions of the Introducers and the committee and facilitating a discussion, rather than leading on the detailed assessment of proposals
  • summarising the discussion and ensuring a consensus decision is reached
  • representing the committee at fellowship induction events, fellows’ conferences and other ad hoc activities to provide:
    • feedback on the operational delivery and emerging areas of bioscience and fellowships
    • mentorship and support to current BBSRC Fellows

Details of Committee E and the recent membership can be found on our Research Committee E web page.

How to apply

If you have any queries before applying, please contact Darren Pirt at email:

You can apply for either or both positions.

You will need to submit an application via UKRI Engagement Hub to apply.

The application form contains the following sections:

  • personal information (for example name, organisation and contact details)
  • diversity information
  • free text sections (including evidence of how you meet the essential and desirable criteria):
    • why you are interested in joining the chairing team (maximum 300 words)
    • what you can bring to the role (maximum 300 words)
    • any current or previous memberships of panels or committees (maximum 500 words)

If you have any queries or additional needs to enable you to complete the application form, please contact us at email:

How we'll assess you

Expressions of interest will be reviewed and shortlisted by BBSRC staff. Shortlisted applicants will then be interviewed by the Appointments Assurance Committee.

In assessing applications, we will consider scientific expertise, diversity of people, institutional and industry balance as part of the decision-making process.

Role profile for a candidate for the chairing team should meet the following requirements.

Essential criteria

You should:

  • have demonstrable leadership and presence in the community
  • have demonstrable interest in career development, including supporting and mentoring early career researchers
  • have knowledge of the UK fellowship and funding landscape
  • have experience of a range of areas within BBSRC’s remit
  • have an active portfolio of work and demonstrable ability to obtain competitive research funding
  • have experience that demonstrates the expected skills of a Chair
  • be at a research organisation that is not already represented within the existing committee membership

Expected skills

Chairing skills:

  • impartiality
  • objectivity
  • facilitation skills
  • good judgement
  • confidence to propose actions or make decisions
  • able to see the bigger picture
  • quick thinking
  • time management skills
  • ability to support evidence-based decisions

Communication skills:

  • ability to handle difficult conversations
  • ability to ask challenging questions
  • listening skills
  • ability to provide constructive feedback
  • interviewing skills

Desirable criteria

You should have:

  • previous chairing experience
  • previous experience of working with BBSRC or UK Research and Innovation

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.

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 applicants.

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 committees, panels and boards 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 have been subject to any current or past scientific misconduct investigations. BBSRC reserves the right to reject any application when such issues are considered an impediment to the individual holding a public appointment. This information will be treated in confidence.

Supporting documents

Equality impact assessment

Last updated: 17 August 2023

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