STFC Science Board (PPAN) members

Closing date
23 October 2023
Number of positions
Length of term
Up to four years, beginning January 2024
Time commitment
Four to six meetings a year, both in-person and videoconference

Potentially additional extraordinary meetings for specific activities

Each meeting requires approximately one day of preparation

£170 per day
Outcomes communicated
January 2024

Science Board (PPAN) will provide the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) with strategic scientific advice on, and assessment of, the STFC Particle Physics, Astronomy and Nuclear Physics (PPAN) programme. This includes particle astrophysics, space science and the accelerator and computational requirements of the science programmes.

This new board is being created following our governance review (see ‘further information’)  and is seeking two members in astronomy.

Who we’re looking for

We are looking for applications from individuals at UK-based institutions or organisations who bring a broad strategic view, providing advice and insight into STFC strategy development.

For the current recruitment round we are looking for Science Board (PPAN) members in astronomy only.

Who is not eligible

To maintain the board’s balance of institutional and scientific programme funding, we are not able to accept applications from employees at any of the following departments:

  • University of Birmingham, School of Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Brighton, School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering
  • University of Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy
  • Cardiff University, School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Durham University, Department of Physics
  • University of Glasgow, School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Kings College London, Department of Physics
  • University of Leicester, School of Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Liverpool, Department of Physics
  • The University of Manchester, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Nottingham, School of Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Oxford, Department of Physics
  • University of St Andrews, School of Mathematics and Statistics
  • University College London, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • The University of Warwick, Department of Physics

Applications will also be subject to:

If you have any concerns over eligibility, we encourage you to email or

Equality, diversity and inclusion

A dynamic, diverse, and inclusive Science Board (PPAN) is critical to ensuring STFC get the best strategic advice. Therefore, we particularly encourage applications from:

  • women
  • people who identify as an ethnic minority
  • people with a disability
  • other groups who are currently under-represented on the board

What you’ll be doing

Science Board (PPAN) will provide STFC with strategic scientific advice on, and assessment of, the STFC PPAN programme. This includes particle astrophysics, space science and the accelerator and computational requirements of the science programmes.

The board:

  • reviews and considers long-term PPAN science, technology and accelerator strategies for STFC. This includes identifying and prioritising scientific opportunities and understanding the underpinning technological development
  • provides advice on proposed and existing STFC PPAN science and technology programmes and investments, considering individual projects in the context of overall portfolio and longer-term science and technology priorities
  • provides strategic advice on STFC’s scientific investment portfolio, accounting for programme priorities, long-term science strategy and outcomes from strategic reviews of STFC’s programme
  • provides advice on the long-term roadmaps for the different strands of the PPAN programme, in the context of the STFC PPAN 10-year financial plan
  • on an annual basis, reviews the STFC rolling financial plan for the PPAN programme, providing recommendations on the long-term balance in the context of the wider STFC strategy
  • consults with the STFC-supporting scientific communities via its advisory panels to ensure the science and technology strategies reflect the UK’s scientific priorities
  • provides strategic advice and guidance to STFC on the framework within which projects and areas of science are assessed in terms of their scientific quality
  • provides strategic scientific advice, as required, on the programmes of the UK Space Agency as part of the ‘dual key’ arrangements
  • provides coordinated advice, alongside Science Board (Facilities and Laboratories), in cross-cutting areas such as technology, computing and accelerators through mechanisms including joint meetings and task and finish groups

Science Board (PPAN) will normally consist of 16 senior members of the academic and research community based at UK institutions, in addition to a chair.

The members will be representative of STFC’s core research stakeholder communities:

  • particle physics including one theorist (six members)
  • astronomy and space science (six members)
  • particle astrophysics (two members)
  • nuclear physics (two members)

Find out more about the terms of your appointment in the handbook for members of STFC advisory bodies.

Term and meetings

Membership will begin in January 2024.

Members will serve for a single term of four years with the membership refreshed on a rolling annual cycle, to ensure continuity on the board.

Science Board (PPAN) will normally meet between four and six times a year, across different STFC sites and may have some additional extraordinary meetings for specific activities.

Meetings may be a combination of in person and via videoconferencing, and each meeting requires approximately one day of preparation.

How to apply

Before you apply, see a preview of the application form (PDF, 102KB).

The deadline to apply is 23 October 2023 at 11:45pm UK time.

How we’ll assess your application

Applications will be assessed by a panel usually made up of representatives from STFC Council and Executive Board, and the current Science Board (PPAN) Chair against the following criteria:

  • relevant scientific or technical expertise, or both
  • experience of working strategically and an ability to exercise judgement both in a core scientific field and across STFC’s programmes
  • involvement in conducting, leading, or directing internationally significant research in an academic or other research institution
  • an understanding of national and international PPAN science contexts

All applications will be assessed based on STFC panel recruitment guidelines.

Further information

Changes to boards following governance review

To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our advisory structures we have been reviewing STFC’s governance.

STFC Council and Executive Board reviewed the scope of Science Board and the Technology and Accelerator Advisory Board (TAAB) and agreed to reshape these boards to better deliver high-quality, strategic advice to STFC.

The changes also provide an opportunity to respond to several recommendations from the independent strategic review of particle physics.

Two new science boards

The existing Science Board will evolve into ‘Science Board (PPAN)’. This board will provide advice on the Particle Physics, Astronomy, and Nuclear Physics (PPAN) funded science programme, also including particle astrophysics, space science and related areas of accelerator science.

TAAB will evolve into ‘Science Board (Facilities and Laboratories)’. This board will provide overarching advice on the National Laboratories and multidisciplinary facilities, national and international.

Both boards will feed into STFC Council, which will provide strategic advice across all of STFC’s research and innovation activities.

Once finalised, more information, including the updated terms of reference, will be available on our advisory boards page.

Ask a question about Science Board (PPAN)

Rachel Leader, Strategy Manager for Science Board (PPAN)


Joanna Bromley, Strategy Officer for Science Board (PPAN)


Ask a question about the application form and application process


Last updated: 25 August 2023

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