NERC FMRI Science Advisory Group: member vacancies

Closing date
20 August 2024
Number of positions
Up to four
Length of term
Five years for the first term
Time commitment
Four meetings per year, plus reading time including reviews of programme’s monthly updates and documentation relating to the programme that can vary in frequency and volume
None. For in-person meetings an attendance fee with reimbursement of costs
Interview date
No interview
Outcomes communicated
Week commencing 1 October 2024

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is looking for new members to join its Future Marine Research Infrastructure (FMRI) Science Advisory Group (SAG).

We need expert advice from the community to:

  • understand the capability required for future marine research
  • develop a compelling case for the infrastructure needed

The FMRI programme aims to develop the NERC strategic investment to deliver that capability.

This is a unique opportunity to be involved in shaping the next generation of large-scale research infrastructure for UK marine science.

You will provide valuable expertise and time to advise on how to achieve the best possible outcome.

Who we’re looking for

You must have:

  • expertise relevant to marine science
  • an interest in applying your expertise to represent the interests of the broader UK marine science community

NERC invites applications from any sector including:

  • academia
  • policy
  • regulation
  • commercial

We particularly welcome applications from individuals with expertise in:

  • modelling (specifically observations or model integration)
  • large scale ocean physics
  • geology
  • global scale ocean observing
  • sustainable ocean management
  • marine science policy
  • marine research project delivery

To ensure a balance of expertise, you will be asked to indicate your primary area of expertise, selecting up to two areas, from the following:

  • physics
  • geology and geophysics
  • strategic, large scale observing and research programmes
  • modelling, data assimilation and prediction
  • marine policy
  • if other, please specify

To ensure fair community representation and recognise existing membership, the assessment panel will consider institutional affiliation when reviewing applications.

Person specification

The essential requirements sought from members of SAG are:

  • an excellent understanding of science, engineering, policy, regulation or business issues relevant to one or more of:
    • physical oceanography
    • geology
    • strategic, large-scale observing and research programmes
    • modelling and prediction
  • experience of working as either an environmental researcher or as a user of environmental science (for example, public sector, private sector or non-governmental organisations)
  • ability to take strategic overview of issues relevant to marine research infrastructure and the delivery of the FMRI programme’s objectives
  • experience, willingness, and ability to represent the views of the research and stakeholder communities, to constructively challenge decision makers, and to facilitate communication between the research community, NERC and UK Research and Innovation

You must:

  • be able to devote sufficient time to membership of FMRI SAG
  • have the support of your host organisation (if applicable) in taking up this role

Additionally, as the programme evolves there might be opportunities for additional involvement, especially in the community engagement scope.

What you’ll be doing

FMRI SAG provides expert, independent and timely strategic science advice and input on behalf of the research community to the FMRI Programme Leadership Team and FMRI Board.

The FMRI programme’s objectives are to:

  • establish an environmentally and economically sustainable marine observation and experimentation infrastructure for current and future research
  • establish a marine infrastructure portfolio that leads using innovations in measurements and platforms to push the frontiers of marine science
  • establish an approach that is outward looking and offers global leadership, collaboration opportunities and opening access to under-represented groups

The FMRI SAG’s role is to:

  • advise the FMRI Programme Leadership Team and FMRI Board regarding the scientific aspects of the programme. It seeks to maximise the benefits for the entire science community by ensuring that future capability aligns to current and expected future demands for oceanographic research and innovation across all disciplines
  • highlight opportunities for complementarity with other initiatives, both nationally and internationally
  • act as a channel for engagement between the wider science community and the FMRI programme
  • provide any other advice and support as may be reasonably requested by the FMRI Programme Leadership Team and the board

Members sit on SAG as individuals, rather than representing a particular organisation and will be representatives for the marine science stakeholder community.

SAG’s advice will shape the preparation of evidence brought to the FMRI Board, which is responsible for advising the NERC Executive on decision making.

See details on FMRI website and most recent membership.

How to apply

The application form contains the following sections:

  • personal information (for example, name, organisation and contact details)
  • diversity information
  • free text sections, including:
    • personal statement: a summary of the skills and experiences you can bring to the role of a SAG member, including evidence how you meet the assessment criteria
    • what do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities for UK marine science and how can they be addressed through shaping the future marine research infrastructure?

You will have an (optional) opportunity to add relevant parts of your CV to a free text section.

Ensure you refer to the person specification in your answers and contact if you have any questions.

How we’ll assess your application

Applications will be assessed by a panel comprising:

  • the current chair of FMRI SAG
  • senior representatives from NERC Head Office and the FMRI Programme Office

You will be assessed based on how well you meet the person specification, assessment criteria, and the extent to which your expertise and knowledge complements current FMRI SAG members.

Assessment criteria include:

  • professional expertise relevant to the FMRI SAG and as described in the person specification section
  • knowledge and understanding of the marine science landscape in the UK and internationally, and an understanding of the challenges facing the appropriate sector or discipline (both broadly and relating to your own area of expertise)
  • awareness and knowledge of the NERC and UK facilities, resources and services necessary for the marine science community to carry out groundbreaking research
  • knowledge of research culture, including equality, diversity and inclusion in marine science
  • awareness and understanding of societal, ethical or legal considerations related to marine science or research more widely
  • understanding the interface between government, academia, industry and other relevant NERC stakeholders
  • expertise in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary working across fields in the marine science and more widely, including the formation of national and international collaborations and partnerships and facilitation of knowledge exchange

We expect you to be able to commit the necessary time and attention to your appointment and to have the full support or the necessary permission of your employer.

In addition to reviewing applications against the criteria for appointment, we will consider people diversity and institutional and industry balance as part of the decision-making process.

Further information

Equality and diversity

NERC is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and welcomes applications from all. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers. We especially encourage applications from women, those with a disability and members of minority ethnic groups, who are currently under-represented at senior levels in the research and innovation community.

We also support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

At NERC as part of UK Research and Innovation we are proudly disability confident.

Members will be selected based on their suitability against the person specification. Where candidates are of equal merit, NERC will use its discretion to ensure that there is a balanced composition of members within the board.

The recruitment process will consider the balance of members with respect to:

  • equality, diversity and inclusion
  • sector experience
  • expertise

Ask a question about this vacancy


Last updated: 11 July 2024

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.