MRC board and panel vacancies

Closing date
29 September 2023 at 4:00pm UK time
Number of positions
28 research board vacancies

34 panel vacancies

Length of term
Two years, plus additional two years after review
Time commitment
Two days per month
Remuneration
£160 per day attendance fee, travel and subsistence as appropriate
Outcomes communicated
By mid-December 2023

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is inviting applications from experts with the experience and expertise to become members of MRC boards and panels from 1 April 2024.

We particularly welcome applications from currently under-represented groups, including women and ethnic minority researchers, and researchers with disabilities or long-term conditions.

MRC’s research boards and panels play a key role in delivering MRC objectives across our portfolio of research. They hold their own research budgets and review and manage activity and strategies in their research areas, and work co-operatively in areas of common interest.

Who we're looking for

We are seeking applications from talented and committed non-clinical and clinical researchers and research technical professionals, with relevant knowledge and experience. You can be based in research institutes or universities, in companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, life, or digital sciences sectors.

For the Applied Global Health Research Board, we particularly encourage researchers based in low and middle-income countries to apply.

Diversity and inclusion

Diverse representation within our boards and panels is one of the ways that we seek to embed equality, diversity, and inclusion in all we do. This is to ensure that we embrace a diversity of thought, people, geographical location and ideas in our funding.

We particularly encourage applications from women, people who identify as an ethnic minority, people with a disability or long-term condition, and other groups who are currently underrepresented. We welcome applications from people based in all regions and nations of the UK.

We have set targets to increase the representation of women to 50% and ethnic minority groups to 24% across our boards and panels. Membership currently stands at 39% and 21% respectively, so there is more work to be done to reach these targets.

Find out more about MRC support and UK Research and Innovation support for equality, diversity and inclusion.

Person specification

You will have recognised expertise in a research area identified by the vacancies, have a breadth of knowledge across related fields and enough time to commit to board or panel work.

Essential criteria:

  • recognised research expertise directly related to one of the vacancies
  • broader expertise in other areas that will positively contribute to the wider board or panel portfolio
  • knowledge of experimental design and statistical approaches, to ensure the highest standards of methodological integrity
  • ability to take a strategic overview of research and policy issues relevant to your research area and board or panel portfolio, such as:
    • research, skills and training
    • international context
    • research infrastructure
    • interdisciplinary work
  • a successful track record of grant funding, this may be as a co-applicant or key contributor to team science. As this may not apply to industry applicants, leadership positions in a company and other indicators that demonstrate leadership in the research field will be considered
  • experience of contributing to peer review and funding systems in the UK or internationally
  • motivation to:
    • join the board or panel
    • contribute to delivering MRC’s mission and objectives
    • support us to fairly award research funding

We are also particularly keen to recruit members who can bring expertise in data science (such as statistics, bioinformatics and computational modelling). This includes linking and interrogating data across scales and modalities, and iterating between data models and experimental models.

What you'll be doing

Infections and Immunity Board (IIB): six vacancies

IIB is responsible for MRC’s investments investigating human infectious diseases and disorders of the human immune system, underpinned by fundamental discovery research into human pathogens and the development and functioning of the human immune system in the context of human disease.

The board has particular interest in:

  • addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance
  • strengthening epidemic preparedness
  • investigating immunity and infection through the life course
  • supporting integrative data analysis and systems approaches

We have six vacancies across the following areas:

  • bacteriology or microbiology with expertise in physiology, pathogenesis and virulence mechanisms or mechanisms for antimicrobial resistance
  • cellular immunology with expertise in T cells, dendritic cells, macrophage biology or immunotherapy; expertise in immunometabolism or neuroimmunology is desirable
  • parasitology with special interest in vector-borne disease or neglected tropical diseases, ideally with experience of working in a low and middle-income country
  • virology and viral diseases with a focus on physiology, pathogenesis or virus-host interactions
  • vaccinology with expertise in vaccine development or adjuvants

We are particularly interested in:

  • clinically qualified applicants
  • individuals with additional expertise in structural biology and cryo-EM, omics approaches
  • individuals who have an active interest in global health, zoonoses or drug discovery of relevance to the board’s activities

Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board (MCMB): five vacancies

MCMB is responsible for MRC’s investments:

  • seeking to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underpin complex biological function in human health and disease
  • supporting the early translation of knowledge towards new diagnosis and treatment and changes to policy and practice

The board has particular interest in:

  • understanding dynamic biological systems across space and time
  • the link with external exposures and research maximising opportunities at the life-physical science interface

We invite applications from clinical and non-clinical researchers and from industry. We have up to five vacancies in the following areas:

  • cancer genetics with expertise in stratification, prevention and diagnosis. Broad expertise in the molecular biology of cancer is desirable
  • medical oncology with clinical research expertise in diagnosis, assessment, treatment and management of patients with cancers, with preference for clinically qualified or active biomedical researchers
  • structural biology with expertise in a broad range of biophysical methods and integrated structural studies approaches; expertise in nuclear magnetic resonance is desirable, with a track record in structure-function studies.
    Knowledge of signal transduction, cell biology and structure-based drug discovery would be desirable
  • mammalian developmental genetics with core expertise in the use of mammalian model systems to explore the genetics and biology of development, ideally including embryology.
    Broader expertise in transgenics, gene function or regulation, cell biology and signalling and non-mammalian model systems is desirable
  • human functional genetics or genomics with core expertise in human genetics and epigenetics.
    Broader expertise in functional genomics in human health and disease, including experience in using high-throughput technologies (such as genomic sequencing and transcriptomics). Experience of clinical genetics and translation is desirable

Neurosciences and Mental Health Board (NMHB): five vacancies

NMHB is responsible for MRC’s investments in disorders of the human nervous system. This includes fundamental research into the human nervous system which informs our understanding of the mechanism of disease and supporting early translation of knowledge towards new diagnosis and treatment and changes to policy and practice.

The board has a particular interest in:

  • addressing the challenges of mental illness and neurodegenerative diseases
  • exploring what we can learn from the direct study of human brain tissue to gain insight into the function of the human brain

We invite applications from clinical and non-clinical researchers and from industry. Industry applicants should have broad expertise in drug development with a focus on research needs in early translation.

We have up to five vacancies in the following areas:

  • neurodegeneration with expertise in neuroinflammation or translational research
  • mental health (two vacancies) with expertise in one or more of the areas of: genetics, genomics, clinical psychiatry, experimental medicine and translational approaches
  • neurology with expertise in vascular neurology, neuro-repair or regeneration, experimental medicine, translational approaches or imaging technologies
  • brain development with expertise in neurodevelopment disorders and brain function

We are particularly interested in applicants who have expertise in animal models including drosophila and zebrafish, modelling approaches and translational neuroscience. Knowledge of a range of non-invasive biophysical techniques will be an advantage.

Population and Systems Medicine Board (PSMB): six vacancies

PSMB supports research aiming to unlock the complexity of human health and disease across the life course.

PSMB takes a whole-systems approach to unravel disease mechanisms through
better understanding the dynamic relationship within and between biological and social factors, both at the individual and population levels.

The board covers a wide scientific remit and is keen to continue to develop the MRC’s portfolio in the following areas that constitute our current strategic priorities:

  • multimorbidity and the common underpinnings of multiple diseases within an individual
  • the investigation of rare diseases ultimately to improve their diagnosis and treatment, as well as to provide mechanistic insight into more common conditions
  • tackling obesity in real-life settings by developing effective individual and societal level interventions to improve public health

We invite applications from clinical and non-clinical researchers and from industry. We have up to six vacancies in the following areas:

  • renal function and disease
  • clinical cardiology including expertise in hypertension research
  • musculoskeletal research with expertise in muscle or bone physiology
  • respiratory medicine with expertise in molecular mechanisms of inflammation
  • population health sciences with experience in e-health records, data linkage and big-data approaches
  • integrative approaches, combining longitudinal population data with molecular approaches to gain mechanistic insight in current areas of strategic priority for PSMB

Experience in the following areas is desirable:

  • experimental medicine
  • patient stratification
  • biomarker discovery
  • systems biology
  • diagnostics
  • pharmacology
  • regenerative medicine
  • animal models

If you have different combinations of expertise in the areas above, your application is welcome.

Applied Global Health Research Board (AGHRB): six vacancies

AGHRB supports practical, impactful research addressing global health challenges and inequities.

The board’s remit includes:

  • late-stage intervention development and testing
  • implementation science
  • scale-up research and cross-sector, multidisciplinary research

Applications to the board can be led by researchers based in a low or middle-income country or by UK researchers working in equitable partnership with colleagues in a low or middle-income country. Accordingly, we are looking for researchers based in a low or middle-income country or based in the UK to join the AGHRB.

You should have experience of working in low or middle-income country settings and of working on research projects which seek to impact policy and practice to improve health globally.

Applications are welcome from experts with clinical and non-clinical backgrounds. We are seeking a membership which covers a broad range of approaches. This includes quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches that encompass co-production and co-design of contextually relevant solutions for pressing health issues that are customisable to diverse global settings.

We have six vacancies in the following areas:

  • a life-course approached to health, incorporating expertise in global child and adolescent health, with a view to improving health throughout the lifespan from pre-conception to adulthood. You should have experience in one or more of the following:
    • nutrition and physical activity
    • sexual health
    • mental health
    • non-communicable diseases
    • accident and injury
  • implementation science with broad global health subject experience, focusing on:
    • implementation science frameworks and methodologies
    • co-creation of community interventions
    • participatory research, stakeholder and community engagement
    • translation into policy and practice
  • applied mathematical or statistical modelling of disease in a global context with expertise including modelling the impact of interventions and use of models to inform policy
  • environment and health with broad expertise, ideally including the impact of climate change on health, environmental exposures and health and concepts of One Health, such as the spread of neglected and emerging infectious diseases and their interactions with non-communicable diseases.
    A strong interest in multidisciplinary and cross sector working is essential and expertise in data science as it pertains to global health improvement is desirable
  • biomedical statistics, with broad experience of global health research, in particular large-scale health intervention studies, including randomised controlled trials
  • psychology and behaviour change with global public health expertise in the development, evaluation and implementation of behavioural interventions

Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS) Panel: seven vacancies

DPFS is MRC’s primary mechanism for supporting translational research. The DPFS Panel is responsible for supporting academical-led projects to progress fundamental and clinical research findings towards clinical use, wider health application and commercialisation.

DPFS supports a broad spectrum of activities from the development of novel therapies and interventions, devices and diagnostics through to early-phase clinical studies. Projects are goal-orientated and milestone-monitored, with clearly defined outcomes and downstream development plans.

Up to seven vacancies are available for candidates with academic or industry translational expertise in at least one of the following areas:

  • clinical neuroscience
  • medicinal chemistry with industry experience
  • preclinical pharmacology, small molecules and drug discovery, preferably in industry or with industry experience
  • medical oncology
  • advanced therapeutics including nucleic acid therapies, gene or base editing and nanomedicine or cell therapies such as CAR-T
  • vaccine development with experience in respiratory medicine
  • infectious diseases and global health

We particularly welcome applications from:

  • clinically active researchers
  • researchers based in industry
  • individuals with knowledge of the relevant investment landscape

Given the breadth of DPFS applications, panel members are required to help cover areas outside of their core expertise.

Experimental Medicine Panel: six vacancies

The Experimental Medicine Panel provides dedicated support for investigations in humans to further our understanding of human disease pathogenesis and enable the future development of new targeted treatments.

The panel is responsible for delivering investment in academically-led projects that focus on a mechanistic hypothesis such as:

  • probing pathogenic mechanisms
  • identifying disease sub-groups
  • confirming tractable disease pathways for targeting
  • validating human challenge models

Applications in all disease areas and interventions are welcomed.

Six vacancies are available for candidates with academic or industry experimental medicine expertise in the following areas:

  • endocrinology or renal medicine
  • cancer
  • genetics
  • statistics or clinical trial design
  • reproductive health
  • neuroscience
  • respiratory medicine
  • immunology and infectious disease
  • cardiovascular disease

Better Methods, Better Research Panel (BMBR): six vacancies

BMBR aims to increase efficiency, reproducibility, rigour, and impact of biomedical or health-related research. This will support methodology research that will improve the research methods used by others.

We are seeking applications from experienced researchers with a broad scientific background and a very strong methodological expertise. To ensure diversity of views, those with research experience beyond academia are particularly encouraged to apply.

MRC and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) expect to appoint up to six new members to the panel, prioritising applications from within any of the following methodological domains:

  • complex interventions
  • clinical trials
  • clinical informatics and observational data
  • prognostic, predictive or causal modelling
  • biostatistics (two vacancies available, industry experience welcome)

In addition to those applying to become a member of the BMBR panel directly, we ask all applicants to other MRC funding boards or panels to identify their interest in future co-membership with the BMBR panel.

Dual membership ensures that the importance of optimal research methods is embedded across all our funding decisions and strategy. These applicants may hold strong methodological expertise in any area and are not limited to the six vacancies listed.

Public Health Intervention Development Panel (PHIND): two vacancies

PHIND aims to support the early-stage development of population-level interventions that address important UK or global public health challenges. PHIND focuses on non-healthcare settings, and encourages a novel, high-risk approach to intervention development. PHIND complements funding available from NIHR, MRC Global Health and other sources for subsequent stages of public health intervention development and evaluation.

Two vacancies are available for candidates with academic expertise in at least one of the following areas, in the context of public health or intervention development:

  • mental health
  • systems thinking
  • urban environments
  • diet, obesity and physical activity

We welcome applications from researchers with clinical and non-clinical backgrounds, and with experience in UK or global health contexts. We also welcome applications from individuals with experience of co-production of research and of working with diverse stakeholders.

Equipment Panel: four vacancies

The Equipment Panel plays a key role in delivering objectives across the MRC portfolio for providing vital underpinning funding to support word-class laboratories across the UK.

Its primary function is to review applications to MRC’s annual mid-range equipment funding opportunity (MRC Equip), but may also review other funding opportunities as required.

The panel spans the entire MRC remit across all board areas and basic and translational or clinical research. The definition of equipment for the purpose of this panel includes capital equipment over £10,000, both new equipment and replacement or enhancement of existing capabilities. The panel seeks to encourage equipment sharing to promote maximum usage and reduce environmental impact.

The panel consists of technical and scientific experts from across MRC remit and across the UK, including research technical professionals.

Research technical professionals are also encouraged to apply to this opportunity, as part of UK Research and Innovation’s Technician Commitment. Applicants are encouraged to outline how their proposals will provide development opportunities for staff and research technical professionals.

The panel reports to MRC’s Infrastructure and Capital Advisory Group.

Four vacancies are available for candidates with expertise in either or both of the following:

  • a technology specialisation in one of the following areas (in the context of biomedical research):
    • microscopy
    • single-cell, spatial and multiomics
    • flow cytometry
    • mass spectrometry
    • medical and pre-clinical imaging
  • an academic specialisation in one of the following areas:
    • cancer
    • neuroscience
    • infection and immunology
    • drug discovery and development
    • structural biology
    • clinical research

We welcome applications from both academics and research technical professionals.

Training and Career Development Panels

We are seeking applications from researchers with an excellent track record and a keen interest in supporting early career researchers, through fellowship awards targeting key career transitions and outstanding, novel, research topics.

You must:

  • have expertise to robustly assess the experimental design and methodology aspects of applications (animal or human studies)
  • be willing to contribute to interviews (where applicable) across a broad range of disciplines

Clinical Training and Career Development Panel: three vacancies

The panel assesses applications to our range of clinical fellowships, designed to support talented researchers wishing to pursue a clinical academic career.

Panel members contribute to assessments and interviews across all our remit and interest areas, addressing research questions from fundamental science to early clinical trials and preventive medicine.

This year we particularly welcome applications from researchers who would bring core expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • cardiovascular medicine or cardiology
  • regenerative medicine, advanced therapeutics or both including experimental medicine studies and clinical trials
  • respiratory

We encourage applications from across the spectrum of healthcare professions, from those working in primary, secondary or community care and public health. However, you do not have to be clinically qualified to be a member of the panel.

Clinical Academic Research Partnership Panel: four vacancies

The panel assesses applications from research-qualified healthcare professionals, not currently undertaking any substantial research activity, to enhance their research skills by forming collaborative research partnership with established leading biomedical and applied health researchers.

Panel members contribute to assessments across the full range of MRC and NIHR remit. This year we particularly welcome applications from researchers who would bring core expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • cardiovascular medicine or cardiology
  • molecular or cellular approaches or experimental models (including animals) to inform mechanisms of disease
  • respiratory, inflammation or both
  • clinical data science, computational biology or both

Non-Clinical Training and Career Development Panel: four vacancies

The panel assesses applications to our non-clinical fellowships. Panel members contribute to assessments and interviews across the full range of our work.

This year we particularly welcome applications from researchers who would bring core expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • public health
  • cell signalling
  • reproductive systems
  • genetic epidemiology
  • statistical genetics

We particularly welcome applications in these areas combined with experience of clinically oriented research, working with industry or research involving human participation.

Commitment

The average amount of time spent by members on board or panel business is equivalent to about two days a month for all activities. However, meetings and preparatory work need to take place at specific times across the year.

New members will initially be appointed for two years. Membership will be extended for a further two years, following review by the relevant chair and MRC Head of Theme.

Research boards currently meet three times a year, each meeting lasting between one and two full days depending on the size of the agenda. Panels and the Applied Global Health Research Board meet two or three times a year.

We continue to hold some meetings virtually, as well as in person when possible, to improve engagement and networking. Attendance at in-person meetings is expected, with hybrid and flexible options made available for people who need reasonable adjustments.

We ask all applicants to hold the induction and initial board and panel meeting dates for 2024 in their diaries now to ensure attendance if appointed. These can be found in the ‘Induction for successful candidates’ section.

Remuneration

An allowance is payable per day for participation at board and panel meetings (the current rate is £160 per day). Travel (standard class) and subsistence expenses (including family care costs) will be reimbursed as appropriate.

How to apply

To apply, complete and submit the online web form and then email a copy of your CV to: mrc.eventsandcommitteesteam@mrc.ukri.org.

All applications must be submitted by 29 September 2023 4:00pm UK time.

A PDF version of the application form is available to view the questions you will need to complete to submit your application.

In addition to the information provided in the application form and submitted CV, we may also use publicly available information, in line with the Declaration on Research Assessment, to assist with membership decisions.

Decisions on membership will be made by mid-December 2023. You will be notified of the recruitment decisions shortly thereafter.

Reasonable adjustments

We want to make our recruitment processes as well as participation in our boards and panels accessible to all, and this includes making adjustments for individuals who identify as neurodiverse or as having a disability or long-term condition.

If you have any queries regarding the application process or if you would like this application in a different format (for example, accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille), please email: mrc.eventsandcommitteesteam@mrc.ukri.org.

Should your application be successful, we will work to fulfil your requirements to enable you to fully participate in board and panel meetings.

Please let us know in advance if you would like to discuss in confidence how we can support you, either through providing information in the diversity monitoring section of your application form or via email: mrc.eventsandcommitteesteam@mrc.ukri.org.

How we'll assess your application

You will be shortlisted using the evidence provided on the following criteria.

Scientific expertise:

  • experience related to a listed vacancy
  • broader expertise to cover and comment on other areas that will positively contribute to the wider board and panel discussions, such as particular methodologies and techniques, clinical training and practice or industry involvement (where appropriate for the specific board or panel)

Level of experience:

  • conducting or leading internationally respected research
  • acquiring grant funding over several years. This may be as a co-investigator or critical contributor to team science, which may be more appropriate for specific research areas (for example, data scientists and statisticians). This does not apply to people from industry
  • other experience such as membership of journal editorial boards, membership of or fellowship with learned societies and academies
  • leadership positions within a company and other indicators that demonstrates leadership in the research field (for people from industry)

Experience as a reviewer:

  • experience of the peer review process and of contribution to the UK or international funding systems
  • expertise as reviewer for scientific publications or funding applications
  • membership of funding panels, for example, internal, charity, philanthropic or public sector research funding panels
  • membership of strategic review panels

We aim for between 18 and 24 members on each board and panel, including representation from a diversity of organisations, backgrounds, characteristics and perspectives. Through our recruitment to the boards and panels we strive to:

  • broaden the diversity of membership
  • steadily increase the number of women and ethnic minority members
  • increase the ratio of mid-career to later-career members
  • ensure a strong representation for basic research across all boards and panels
  • include industry researchers, representatives from MRC units or institutes and international members as appropriate
  • include expertise to evaluate translational research applications, including applications involving early phase clinical trials

There is an expectation that membership will meet MRC policies on equality.

We strive for representation from research organisations across the UK and may limit the number of members from one organisation.

We will also consider applicants from other countries, if their full participation is practical (able to travel to attend meetings in the UK or participate virtually during UK business hours). The Applied Global Health Research Board particularly encourages applicants based in low and middle-income countries.

Further information

Induction for successful candidates

As part of the preparation for their tenure, all new members will participate in an induction meeting. This is currently planned for 21 February 2024 further details to follow.

The meeting will be an opportunity for you to meet the MRC Executive Chair, other senior MRC staff and your board or panel chair and support teams. The induction enables us to provide guidance on your role and an overview of the MRC, its strategic ambitions, functions and methods of operation where these relate to the work of the research boards and panels.

New members are expected to attend a board or panel meeting as an observer prior to starting their new role.

Relevant board meeting dates are:

  • Infections and Immunity: 12 to 13 March 2024
  • Molecular and Cellular medicine: 14 to 15 March 2024
  • Neurosciences and Mental Health: 26 to 27 March 2024
  • Population and Systems medicine: 20 to 21 March 2024
  • Applied Global Health Research Board: 14 to 15 May 2024

Relevant panel meeting dates are:

  • Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme: 17 to 18 January 2024
  • Experimental Medicine Panel: 26 to 27 June 2024
  • Better Methods, Better Research Panel: 8 to 9 May 2024
  • Public Health Intervention Development Panel: May 2024 (to be confirmed)
  • Equipment Panel: March or April 2024 (to be confirmed)
  • Clinical Training and Career Development Panel: 6 to 7 March 2024
  • Non-Clinical Training and Career Development Panel: 26 to 27 March 2024
  • Clinical Academic Research Partnership Panel: 5 to 6 June 2024

Data protection

How UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will use your personal data

We use the personal data you give us to:

  • manage recruitment to current vacancies
  • help us identify potential members for other panels and committees
  • publish membership details on the UKRI website under each board and panel’s individual category

We will store your data securely and handle it in line with UK data protection legislation.

If you would like to know more, including how to exercise your data protection rights, please see the UKRI privacy notice.

For all individuals, the information provided will be retained for up to one year.

For appointed individuals, the information is retained in accordance with the UKRI retention schedule (for more details please refer to the UKRI privacy notice).

Supporting documents

PDF version of the MRC board and panel vacancy survey form

Last updated: 15 September 2023

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