MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS) panel chair

Closing date
29 September 2023 4:00pm UK time
Number of positions
Length of term
Two plus two years
Time commitment
Three panel meetings per year, each typically last two full days
£160 per day attendance fee, travel and subsistence as appropriate
Outcomes communicated
Mid-December 2023

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is seeking to appoint a new chair for DPFS to commence on 1 April 2024.

DPFS is MRC’s core translational research funding scheme. It aims to drive novel therapeutics, devices, diagnostics and other interventions along the developmental pathway towards patient and economic benefit. Its remit spans early prototype discovery and design through to early phase clinical trials (I to IIa).

The chair will need to value and include diverse research expertise, backgrounds, experience levels and contributions to work together in assessment of each application and development of wider strategy.

Who we’re looking for

Person specification

Candidates should have experience of leading a major research activity, or equivalent, and be proven strategic thinkers. They should have a track record of undertaking and championing translational research.

You should demonstrate that you have the time and skills to contribute across a range of MRC strategic and governance issues and participate in active professional networks within the translational research community.

Suitable candidates should demonstrate:

  • a broad understanding of biomedical research and product development life cycles, with an extensive track record in academia or industry
  • a keen interest in translational research and a thorough understanding of the translational research landscape, funding mechanisms and pathways to clinical benefit and commercialisation
  • proven ability to exercise judgement across a broad spectrum of policy and research issues
  • experience of conducting peer review with a major funder, for example, MRC, Wellcome or Cancer Research UK
  • excellent communication skills and experience of chairing in a complex area
  • ability to work effectively within the public sector’s requirements for accountability and openness, and within financial constraints
  • commitment to the delivery of MRC’s mission and objectives

MRC values the diverse skills and experience of the members of its boards and panels, and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all.

Please contact us at email to discuss any questions you may have.

You must have both permission and support from your host institution or company before applying.

What you’ll be doing

Key aspects of the role

You will be:

  • chairing all DPFS panel meetings, ensuring decisions on funding proposals are credible and that all members’ views are considered in decision-making
  • contributing to the ongoing development of MRC’s translational strategy and ensuring both effective delivery of MRC strategy across the panel remit and that funding decisions reflect strategic priorities
  • having oversight of key aspects of post award monitoring
  • participating in MRC Strategy Board discussions


The DPFS panel meets three times each year, with two-day meetings taking place in January, May, and September. Typically, around 25 full proposals and 40 to 50 outline proposals are assessed at each meeting. In addition, the DPFS Panel also reviews 20 to 30 applications from the newly established Developmental Pathway Gap Fund.

DPFS projects are milestone-driven with a high level of post-award monitoring. Requests for changes to the timing, scientific plan or budget of project milestones are reviewed by MRC, and where appropriate comment and approval is sought from members of the panel, with input required from the chair in some cases.

The chair will also be involved in strategic decision-making for both DPFS and the wider MRC translational research remit, and will be invited to join MRC’s Strategy Board, which meets four times a year.

It is essential that individuals should be able to commit the necessary time and attention to the role and have the full support of their employer and organisation in doing so.

Conflicts of interest

The high standards of integrity expected by the public and parliament, and for the role, requires the panel chair to avoid situations in which their duties and other interests’ conflict with panel business or where there could be a suspicion of conflict.

Panel chair must not misuse information gained in the course of their work for the MRC for personal gain or for political purpose, nor seek to use the opportunity of public service to promote their private interests, or those of connected organisations, persons, or firms.

Although previous experience with the MRC or another major funder is required, a panel chair cannot be a member of a review panel for a major funder (for example, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK) simultaneously.


Panel chairs will receive an annual stipend plus a per day attendance fee. Travel and subsistence expenses (including family care costs) will be reimbursed.

How to apply

To apply, complete and submit the online web form and then email a copy of your CV to

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

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

How we’ll assess your application

In addition to 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.

Further information

Induction for successful candidate

As part of the preparation for their tenure, all new board and panel members are expected to attend an induction meeting on 21 February 2024.

The induction meeting will be an opportunity for you to meet:

  • the MRC Executive Chair
  • other senior MRC staff
  • your board or panel chair and support teams

The induction meeting enables us to provide guidance on:

  • your role
  • an overview of MRC, its strategic ambitions, functions and methods of operation where these relate to the work of the research boards and panels

The successful candidate will be expected to attend the upcoming meetings as the new chair on the following dates:

  • Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme panel meeting: 17 to 18 January 2024
  • induction meeting: 21 February 2024

Funding opportunities and recent awards

See full details about the DPFS scheme.

See recent DPFS awards.

Please note, further information can be found by entering award reference numbers on Gateway to Research.

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
  • to publish membership details on the UKRI website under each board and panel’s individual category at: MRC board and panel membership

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

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).

Last updated: 15 September 2023

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