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Bioscience Skills and Careers Strategy Panel

This panel is responsible for developing and maintaining our policies to support the supply of trained people in the biosciences relevant to its user communities.

The panel provides advice on a range of issues, in particular:

  • The skills pipeline
    Ensuring an appropriate flow of talented people into bioscience training for the benefit of research communities and the wider economy
  • Postgraduate research students
    Supporting excellent postgraduate research training and wider development/experience
  • Postdoctoral researchers
    Supporting postdoctoral researchers in academia or elsewhere to maximise their research effectiveness and individual potential
  • Equality and diversity
    Ensuring fairness in research careers
  • People movement
    Supporting partnerships, collaborations and inter- / cross-disciplinary research
  • Investment monitoring
    Working with Portfolio Monitoring Groups, ensuring that BBSRC training and partnership programmes are effective

In providing advice on the above issues, the panel will:

  • Consider the skills needs of the academic, industrial and other user communities (including elsewhere in the public sector) and advise BBSRC on policies which will strengthen the supply of highly skilled people in research and research-related careers
  • Seek information from the community, broader partners (e.g. charities), other Research Councils, other Strategy Panels and Committees on current and emerging skills needs, and advise BBSRC on any issues regarding the capacity or capability of the research base to meet identified skills needs
  • Advise BBSRC on policies for the targeted support of training awards to meet future skills needs or to address vulnerabilities in the supply of people with specific skills
  • Identify opportunities for BBSRC intervention in the skills pipeline at any level (e.g. school, undergraduate curriculum, postgraduate training, career development for early-career researchers, etc.)

The panel meets twice a year:

  • January to March
  • July to September

Invited speakers or representatives from other organisations may also attend as required. Members may also attend BBSRC conferences such as the biennial fellows conference.

In addition, sub-groups including representation from both the panel and the wider user communities meet on an ad hoc basis to advise on specific skills issues.


We aim to have 10-12 members (including the Chair):

  • Chair (1)
  • Deputy Chair (1)
  • Representative from BBSRC Council (1)
  • Member(s) with expertise in the following issues (as described above):
    • The skills pipeline (at least 1)
    • Postgraduates (at least 2)
    • Postdoctoral researchers (at least 2)
    • Equality and diversity (at least 1)
    • People movement (at least 2)
    • Investment monitoring (at least 2)

Membership will represent the range of bioscience research user communities (such as academia, industry and others) as well as bioscience research areas and enabling themes, especially those of strategic priority for BBSRC:

  • Food security
  • Bioenergy and industrial biotechnology
  • Basic bioscience underpinning health
  • Other world class bioscience
  • Exploiting new ways of working

Professor Robert Beynon (Chair) - University of Liverpool
Dr Ilaria Bellantuono (Deputy Chair) - The University of Sheffield
Ms Samantha Aspinall - University of Leeds
Dr Mark Berry - Unilever plc
Dr Liz Elvidge - Imperial College London
Dr Nick Goldman - EMBL-EBI
Dr Rachel Hackett - Greencore Group plc.
Professor Mandy MacLean - University of Glasgow
Professor David Richardson - University of East Anglia
Professor Jeremy Roberts - The University of Nottingham
Professor Selwayan Saini - Inside Biometrics Ltd

Meeting dates and papers

Minutes for the past 3 years can be found below. If you would like to view older minutes please contact us using the details below.


13-14 April

11 November


1-2 April

24 November


21-22 March

18 September


22 March

5 September