BBSRC Follow-on Fund Committee chair vacancy

Closing date
29 February 2024
Number of positions
Length of term
Three years, commencing 1 May 2024
Time commitment
Approximately 10 days per calendar year (including two Follow-on Fund Committee assessment meetings)
Attendance fee per meeting, for both in-person and virtual meetings

Travel and subsistence for in-person meetings

Interview date
To be confirmed
Outcomes communicated
April 2024

We are inviting expressions of interest to join the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Follow-on Fund Committee as Chair.

Who we’re looking for

The BBSRC Follow-on Fund is designed to support the translation of fundamental research into practical application, including commercialisation.

The programme enables researchers to undertake technical and business development activities essential to preparing a robust business plan and to secure, where appropriate, further funding and support to progress the project.

You are expected to be well-respected within your field and to have demonstrable experience of supporting and enabling innovation. You should also have experience of a range of areas within BBSRC’s remit.

Some chairing experience would be beneficial, but it is more essential that you can provide evidence of leadership.

You should be based at a research organisation or company that is not already represented within the existing Follow-on Fund Committee membership.

What you’ll be doing

You will be leading the Follow-on Fund Committee in:

  • the assessment of Follow-on Fund applications to identify the highest quality projects for investment
  • providing strategic advice on the development of the Follow-on Fund

Key responsibilities

Key responsibilities include:

  • attending two meetings annually to chair the assessment of applications submitted to the two rounds of BBSRC Follow-on Fund
  • facilitating fair and evidence-based assessment of applications and safeguarding 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 applications
  • summarising the discussion and ensuring a consensus decision is reached
  • attending chair’s briefing meetings with the BBSRC Knowledge Exchange Commercialisation Unit (KCU) prior to each committee assessment meeting
  • engaging with KCU on the forward development of Follow-on Fund
  • championing BBSRC’s support for bioscience translation

Find out more about BBSRC’s Follow-on Fund and committee membership.

How to apply

If you have any queries before applying, please contact Faye Shannon by email:

You will need to submit an application via UK Research and Innovation 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

How we’ll assess your application

BBSRC staff will review and shortlist expressions of interest. The Appointments Assurance Committee may then interview shortlisted applicants.

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

Role profile requirements

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 knowledge of translation and commercialisation of research
  • have experience of a range of areas within BBSRC’s remit
  • have active experience of bioscience translation and commercialisation
  • have experience that demonstrates the expected skills of a chair
  • be at a research organisation or company 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
  • able 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: 23 January 2024

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