BBSRC Responsive Mode Committee chair and deputy chair vacancies

Closing date
4 July 2024
Number of positions
One chair
Three deputy chairs
Length of term
Three years
Committee A deputy chair role starting on 1 February 2026

Committee B deputy chair role starting on 1 April 2025

Committee D chair role starting on 1 April 2025

Committee D deputy chair role starting on 1 April 2025

Time commitment
Approximately 20 days per calendar year, including responsive mode meetings, assessment preparation plus Committee Chairs and other ad hoc activities
Attendance fee per meeting, for both in-person and virtual meetings.
Travel and subsistence for in-person meetings.
Interview date
To be confirmed 2024
Outcomes communicated
August 2024

We are inviting expressions of interest to join the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Responsive Mode Committees A, B and D as:

  • chair
  • deputy chair

Who we're looking for

Peer review is a vital part of the decision making process that supports our investment in bioscience.

Our assessment research committees provide expert knowledge and insight to ensure that we invest in important and high quality research, innovation and training in the biosciences.

You should be well-respected within your field and knowledge of the UK funding landscape is essential.

For Committee A we are looking for expertise in one or more of the following remit areas:

  • animal disease
  • animal physiology (invertebrate)
  • behaviour
  • immunology
  • neuroscience
  • systems biology
  • technology and methods

For Committee B we are looking for expertise in one or more of the following remit areas:

  • agricultural systems
  • biochemistry
  • biotechnology
  • environmental change
  • microbiology
  • soil sciences

For Committee D we are looking for expertise in one or more of the following remit areas:

  • biochemistry
  • bioinformatics or computational biology
  • cell biology
  • chemical biology
  • engineering biology
  • enzymology or biocatalysis
  • industrial biotechnology
  • immunology
  • microbiology
  • molecular biology
  • post genomics (proteomics)
  • structural biology

It is essential that you can provide evidence of markers of leadership and some chairing experience.

What you'll be doing

You will be leading the research committee in:

  • undertaking the peer review of applications according to BBSRC processes and best practice, and providing recommendations for awards to BBSRC Executive
  • providing feedback to BBSRC on the operational delivery, emerging areas of bioscience and responsive mode narrative

Key responsibilities

Key responsibilities include:

  • attend three responsive mode meetings per year
  • facilitate the fair and evidence-based assessment of research grant applications and safeguard the decision making of the committee
  • ask questions of the introducers and the committee and facilitating a discussion, rather than leading on the detailed assessment of proposals
  • summarise the discussion and make sure a consensus decision is reached
  • make sure decisions are robust, credible and made in an evidence-based, objective manner
  • represent the committee at the committee chairs meeting following each responsive mode round, providing feedback on the operational delivery, emerging areas of bioscience and responsive mode narrative

Details of the recent chairing teams can be found at:

How to apply

If you have any queries before applying email:

Submit an application through the UKRI Engagement Hub.

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 complete the application form, email

How we’ll assess your application

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

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

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

Applicants should:

  • have demonstrable leadership and presence in the community
  • have experience of a range of areas within BBSRC’s remit
  • for academic applicants, have demonstrable history in active research and ability to obtain competitive research funding
  • have experience that demonstrates the expected skills of a chair, listed below
  • be at a research organisation that is not already represented by a committee chair or deputy, across the committees
  • have previous chairing experience, internally or externally

In addition, experience or knowledge of industrial commercialisation or utilisation of technology would be beneficial

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

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.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We recognise that diverse ideas, experiences, backgrounds and perspectives are fundamental to successful science and innovation. We are committed to making sure 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, 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 make sure we enable participation and attendance at meetings. We will also contribute towards additional costs for caring responsibilities to enable you to attend.

To support us in assessing how effective our policies and procedures are in eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting opportunities, we ask 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.

UKRI is a signatory to the Concordat to Support 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 pool of experts are expected to be aware of their obligations in regard to these policies.

Learn more about guidance and policies on research integrity and misconduct as part of UKRI’s good research resource hub.

You must declare if you are, or have been, subject to any current or past scientific misconduct investigations. BBSRC reserves the right to reject any application where such issues are considered an impediment to the individual holding a public appointment. This information will be treated in confidence.

Last updated: 6 June 2024

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