UKRI International Strategic Advisory Group

Closing date
4 September 2023
Number of positions
Up to five
Length of term
Three years
Time commitment
Four days per year, plus reading time
Interview date
28 and 29 September 2023
Outcomes communicated
Week commencing 2 October 2023

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are implementing an International Strategic Advisory Group (SAG), building on the former Strategic Advisory Group to the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). We are now seeking to appoint some new members to this evolved group, from both overseas and from UK. The appointments will start in October 2023.

The purpose of the International SAG is to provide advice, guidance and critical challenge to enable UKRI to deliver its international strategic framework.

The UKRI International SAG will:

  • advise on the development of UKRI strategy
  • provide high-level advice on key international policy approaches
  • contribute to the evaluation of UKRI activity, its impact, contribution to innovation and further progression

Beyond this, the International SAG will act as a sounding board for:

  • UKRI’s plans and projects
  • advising on research mechanisms and shaping ways to create fully equitable relationships with partners, while providing intelligence networks and channels to help ensure the UK academic community can promote and benefit from the changed research directions

As a member of the group, you will have the opportunity to feed regularly into areas of strategic importance to UKRI. Drawing on your knowledge, experience and networks within the research and innovation sector, we will seek to ensure that UKRI policy development benefits from a wider ranging and holistic perspective. The group will give attention to real-world impacts, including the UK’s international development goals and research excellence.

Who we’re looking for

Applicants are expected to make a strong case meeting the person specification.

Person specification

The International SAG are representatives of the international community providing independent strategic advice for UKRI to deliver its International Strategic Framework. We are therefore seeking applications from people who can demonstrate experience in some of these areas:

  • advising on international policy or developing international policy, particularly with overseas governments, agencies, partners or both
  • have a recognised background in designing and implementing international strategies
  • expertise in identifying and building international partnerships and collaborations
  • understand innovation and funding for business from an industry background
  • experience or expertise in working in fields of international research and innovation activities
  • experience of representing the views of the international research community, including previous experience of sitting on relevant committees or boards
  • experience of work in international research for development projects or projects based in Development Assistance Committee eligible countries

In addition to this, as a group the membership of International SAG should:

  • include applicants from across all career stages and reflect the diversity of working in an international landscape
  • be drawn from communities including academic and other research, policymakers, development practitioner, and innovation communities, including business and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

We would welcome applications from individuals based in any location, and are not restricting to those based in the UK.


In this call for applications, we are looking for individuals who have the background and experience to credibly represent the following stakeholder areas:

  • emerging technology, science, and innovation areas
  • non-academic and industrial areas focusing on big infrastructure projects
  • NGOs
  • interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary research expertise
  • equality, diversity and inclusion design and implementation practice

What you’ll be doing


Appointments will be for three years (with the possibility of ending after two years). All appointments will begin with effect from the first meeting.

When attending physical meetings, members are reimbursed for travel and subsistence expenses in accordance with UKRI policy (see UKRI business expense claims, business travel and subsistence policy).

The group will meet quarterly, in a hybrid format, with the first meeting of the new appointments planned for 12 October 2023.

There may be one meeting per year where physical attendance is encouraged but not mandatory. There may also be additional work required outside of the formal International SAG meetings, and it is expected that members will need to commit between two and four additional days to International SAG work per year.

Given the role is not remunerated, any additional work would be carefully considered, and sufficient notice given to members to enable them to plan around other commitments.

Members may also periodically be asked to attend short ad-hoc virtual meetings focusing on specific areas of international strategic importance to UKRI. UKRI may also consult with the group via email on a range of policy topics. Again, while participation is encouraged and welcomed in these potential additional activities, they are not mandatory.

The responsibilities of the SAG members are to:

  • act within the Seven Principles of Public Life (Nolan principles), in particular to provide independent, informed advice, avoiding actual or perceived conflicts of interest by taking a collegiate approach to policy and strategy development
  • act as ‘critical friend’
  • take individual and collective ownership of the advice they provide, while recognising the separation of that advice from responsibility for the decisions made
  • use their own networks to gather intelligence that can be brought to bear in policy development and to disseminate policies and strategies
  • provide positive advocacy for UKRI in the public realm

How to apply

Applications should be made through the UKRI Engagement Hub by midnight on 4 September 2023.

In order to submit an application, the following information will be needed:

  • applicant details: basic information and contact details for the nominee, including title, name, current position, organisation, telephone numbers and email address
  • personal qualities and experience: free text to support why you would be suitable as a member of the International SAG, including:
    • a statement evidencing how your skills, attributes and experience meet the requirements of the person specification and priority areas. This may be measured against one or more of the stated priorities
    • a statement outlining how your personal motivation, competencies and other experience will make you a suitable International SAG member
    • any other relevant information you wish to include to support your application.
  • equal opportunities information: UKRI operates a policy of equality and fair treatment. All applications will be treated fairly, regardless of gender, age, ethnic origin or disability. To help us achieve this aim the information from this section helps us to monitor the effectiveness of our policy. Individuals are asked to supply equal opportunities information which will not be used to determine an applicant’s fit to the essential criteria, but will be used to consider a balance across the International SAG

Applications will be assessed solely on the information provided in the application, with the focus of the assessment on the answers to the questions provided. Please use this space to provide as much evidence as possible of your previous experiences.

In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (EU) (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018, the personal information provided as part of your application will specifically be used for the purpose of administering this process, and aggregated anonymised data will be used for the purposes of monitoring our advisory and decision-making bodies.

Analysis of the information will be viewed by UKRI staff and external members that are specifically involved in the recruitment process only. Personal information will not be used for any other purpose without your specific consent.

For further information on how your information will be used, how we maintain the security of your information, and your rights to access information we hold on you, please refer to UKRI’s main privacy notice or contact the UKRI Information Rights Team at email:

The closing date for applications is midnight on 4 September 2023. We expect applicants to strictly adhere to the text limitations set out in the application form. If it is considered necessary, we will approach candidates for further information or clarification.

How we’ll assess your application

Selection process

The selection process will consist of three steps:

Step one

A panel made up of UKRI representatives will meet to assess all the applications, with the purpose of recommending a longlist of potential applicants to proceed to the shortlisting panel. The longlist of candidates will be developed based on evidence measured against the individual assessment criteria. It will be ensured that the selection of individuals put forward for shortlisting are collectively able to fill the priority areas.

Step two

A panel made up of representatives from UKRI and current International SAG members will meet to select a shortlist of candidates to interview. In their selection they will ensure that the appropriate processes have been followed, while ensuring that the selection of individuals put forward for interview are collectively able to fill the priority areas.

Step three

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview to discuss their interest in the role and what qualities they will bring to the International SAG. The interview panel will be made up of the current International SAG chair as well as representatives from UKRI. The panel will appoint the successful candidates.

In making their final recommendations the interview panel will assess their selection considering the International SAG group overall, in order to:

  • secure an appropriate spread of expertise and experience across the priority areas
  • ensure diversity of membership
  • achieve an appropriate distribution of membership from academia, industry and civil society
  • achieve an appropriate distribution on the International SAG of UK and international voices

Assessment criteria

The assessment criteria include:

  • fit to the person specification
  • fit to the priority areas
  • motivation and commitment to the International SAG

Further information

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Through this appointment activity, we aspire to improve and increase the breadth and diversity of the group. We are committed to the principle of providing equal opportunities for all and are keen to obtain more diversity in our appointments, so we welcome applications from a range of candidates from all backgrounds.

Applications from women, those with a disability, and members of minority ethnic groups, who in some cases are under-represented on advisory groups, are especially welcome. As such the membership of the UKRI International SAG should be balanced across a range of characteristics including gender, ethnicity and across career stages.

If you require reasonable adjustments to enable your participation, or have any queries on the nomination process, please email and include ‘International SAG Recruitment 2023’ in the subject heading.

Last updated: 12 September 2023

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have some quick feedback or help us improve your experience by taking three minutes to tell us what you think of the UKRI website.