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Call for membership of BBSRC Strategy Advisory Panels

The call for applications is closed

6 February 2012

BBSRC is looking to appoint high calibre, committed individuals from the academic and industrial sectors to potentially increase the membership on our Strategy Advisory Panels by between 2 and 4 members in the following areas:


BBSRC seeks to appoint new members to potentially increase the membership by between 2 and 4 members on its four scientific Strategy Advisory Panels that play leading roles in the development and implementation of the Council's Strategic Plan priorities in Basic Bioscience Underpinning Health, Food Security, Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy, and, and of the key enabling theme Exploiting New Ways of Working. The Panels advise on BBSRC's support for research, training and knowledge transfer in their respective areas, on the impacts of the Council's investments in those areas, and on its interactions with other funders both nationally and internationally.

Each of the panels currently comprises between six and eight people. Expressions of interest are invited from suitably experienced scientists and industrial or other end-users of research. Those appointed are likely to be individuals in senior positions who have a good understanding of a range of relevant science and will be able to contribute from a broad perspective to BBSRC's strategic thinking. They will be expected to consider emerging needs and opportunities across a wide front - not confined to their immediate areas of expertise - and to advise on priorities in the face of competing demands.

Basic bioscience underpinning health

We are potentially looking to appoint members with expertise of relevance to the BBSRC priority in 'Basic bioscience underpinning health' (BBUH). This is primarily focused on lifelong health and wellbeing (LLHW). BBSRC is a partner in a major cross-Research Council programme in this area  MRC: Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) and expertise in relation to LLHW could include:

  • Ageing research
  • Diet, physical activity and health (including physiology, immunology and gut health)
  • Epigenetics
  • Developmental biology
  • Brain science (including psychology and neuroscience)
  • Pharmaceutical and health industry

In addition, the BBUH Panel will provide advice on BBSRC's strategy for 'One biology, one health' and work with the Food Security Strategy Advisory Panel to advise on the animal health and welfare aspects of its priority for food security. The BBUH Panel also covers BBSRC policy on the use of animals in research. Relevant expertise will include:

  • Animal disease (endemic, exotic, zoonotic)
  • Animal welfare
  • Advancement of 3Rs (replacement, refinement, reduction) in animal research

Exploiting new ways of working

We are potentially looking to appoint high calibre individuals with multidisciplinary expertise relevant to the Enabling Theme 'Exploiting new ways of working' Strategy Advisory Panel. The Panel works across the whole of BBSRC's remit, and so members are expected to be able to provide effective advice across a range of scientific areas, using evidence provided by small working groups where appropriate.

The Panel covers the following areas:

  • New tools and facilities (including genomic technologies, biomolecular characterisation and imaging)
  • Data driven biology
  • Bioinformatics and e-science
  • Integrative and systems biology
  • Synthetic biology

We wish to appoint members who are experts within one or more of these areas, but who are able to contribute more broadly to the development of strategies encouraging and exploiting new approaches to research, innovation and skills within the wider biosciences.

Food security

This panel comprises members who have broad knowledge of science or related user needs relevant to the:

  • Sustainable production of crops or farmed animals
  • Management of agricultural systems, and their interactions with soils and the wider environment
  • Provision of safe foods
  • Understanding of healthy diets

and of the relationships between them.

Expressions of interest are invited from individuals who have wide experience of one or more of those topics, and would be particularly welcomed from people with expertise in food safety or nutrition (and their links to agriculture).

Industrial biotechnology and bioenergy

We are potentially looking to appoint members with cross-disciplinary expertise in bioscience, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics who are interested in the application of biological resources to process and produce chemicals, materials and energy. The aim of the Panel is to develop strategies to support the underpinning science that will lead to the exploitation of biological resources for producing energy, industrial and high value chemicals. BBSRC is particularly interested in prospective applicants with interests in systems and synthetic biology approaches to solving problems in industrial biotechnology and bioenergy.

Objectives of Strategy Advisory Panels

  • To develop and maintain an overview of relevant research, training and knowledge exchange across the BBSRC community in the period 2011-2015.
  • To maintain an overview of the research, training and knowledge exchange activities supported by other sponsors, both nationally and internationally.
  • To advise BBSRC on the strategic direction of its research, training and knowledge exchange portfolio, in order to maintain the competitiveness of the UK in line with the Strategic Plan (2010-2015).

Other information

Duration of appointment
Appointments will be for one year in the first instance with the expectation that it will continue for a maximum of three years in total. In some exceptional circumstances members may be invited to serve for a second term.

Conflicts of interests
Members will be asked to provide BBSRC with details of any appointments or affiliations they hold (including consultancies and special or "visiting" academic appointments) that could impact on their work for BBSRC and to keep BBSRC advised of any changes to these associations. For openness and transparency reasons this information is then made public on the BBSRC website. During meetings members will be required to leave the room while any documents or issues for which they have, or could be perceived to have, a conflict of interests is discussed.

Eligible members will receive an attendance fee of £170 per day, and have their reasonable travelling expenses reimbursed, for attending meetings of the Panel. Reasonable travelling expenses will be reimbursed for other meetings and events attended at BBSRC's request as members of the Panel.

It is essential that, in applying for membership of BBSRC's Strategy Advisory Panels, applicants are able to commit the necessary time and attention to the appointment and that at the time of submitting an application they have the full support of their employer and organisation. Members may also be invited to attend additional working groups depending on BBSRC's requirements.

Typically members attending a Strategy Advisory Panel meeting will be annually required to attend approximately three one day meetings and also expected to dedicate time to review background information.


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