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Call for BBSRC Pool of Experts, Strategy Panels and Committees

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BBSRC plays a crucial role in the health and vibrancy of UK bioscience. We are an investor in research and training, with the aim of furthering scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Members of our Strategy Advisory Panels, Committees and the Pool of Experts play a key role in delivering BBSRC's mission by providing expert input and advice that helps shape and develop our strategy and ensures that our investment decisions are supported by expert knowledge and insight from members of the scientific research and innovation community.

We are seeking expressions of interest to join our:

This call is open to anyone who fulfils the role profiles and expertise requirements. The final selection of candidates from the expressions of interest will be made by the BBSRC Appointments Board on the basis of individual knowledge, experience and the need for expertise in particular research areas. As part of this programme we aspire to better reflect the diversity and experience of the BBSRC community; however, all applications will be assessed on individual merit.


BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by government, BBSRC invested £473 million in world-class bioscience, people and research infrastructure in 2015-16. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.

Equality and diversity

BBSRC recognises that diverse ideas, experiences, backgrounds and perspectives are fundamental to successful science and innovation and we are committed to ensuring that our Committees, Panels and Boards are inclusive, diverse, and representative of our community.

Through this appointment activity, we have aspirations to improve the diversity of the Pool of Experts and Strategy Advisory Panels and to increase business, user group, policy maker and government representation. In particular, we aspire to improve the gender balance of the Pool of Experts in keeping with BBSRC's overall goal of achieving a membership of at least 35% women.

BBSRC is committed to the principle of providing equal opportunities for all. We are keen to obtain more diversity in our appointments so would welcome applications from a range of candidates from all backgrounds. Applications from women, those with a disability, and members of minority ethnic groups, who are currently under represented on the pool, are especially welcome. Applications from business, user and government colleagues are also particularly encouraged.

To support us in assessing how effective our policies and procedures are in eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting opportunities, we ask that you provide diversity information that will be used anonymously for statistical purposes. This information will be treated in confidence and will not be used in the assessment of applications.

How to apply

Submitting an application

Application deadline: 27 July 2017, 16:00.

Please register at: KeySurvey: Application to be a member of BBSRC Pool of Experts, Strategy Advisory Panels or Follow-on Fund Committee (registration) (read our Terms of use: Key Survey).

Please apply at: KeySurvey: Application to be a member of BBSRC Pool of Experts, Strategy Advisory Panels or Follow-on Fund Committee (read our Terms of use: Key Survey). Candidates may select up to two positions.

For all roles, we expect you to be able to commit the necessary time and attention to your appointment and to have the full support of your employer.

The survey contains the following sections:

  • Personal information (e.g. name, organisation, contact details)
  • Diversity information
  • Your expertise
    • Candidates should select the areas in which they have sufficient expertise to be able to offer credible assessment, opinion or provide strategic advice.
  • Personal statement
    • Candidates should describe how they meet the role profile and what they can bring to the role (max 200 words per role)
  • Evidence
    • Candidates should provide evidence of:
      • Research funding history (where applicable)
      • Publication history (where relevant, for the past five years)
      • Industrial experience (for example, industrial employment, industry-academic collaborations, consultancy, development of spin-out companies, product development)
      • Involvement in any relevant advisory, strategic, policy, assessment or similar panels, boards and committees
      • Working with research impacts (for example, experience of working with potential commercial, societal or economic aspects of research)
      • Other relevant activities (for example, project management, knowledge exchange activities, experience of peer review)

All appointment decisions are made by BBSRC’s Appointments Board.

Candidates will be assessed against the criteria set out in the role profiles and expertise requirements provided.

The Appointments Board will take into account time spent outside the active research environment, whether through career breaks or flexible working. Applicants should make clear any substantive periods of absence from research within their application.

The Appointments Board will consider institutional balance as part of its decision making process. BBSRC seeks to balance institutional representation on our Boards, Panels and Committees. Consequently, there will competition for places if applicants come from the same institution or organisation, and particularly if those applicants have similar expertise. If your institution or organisation is already represented on a Panel or the Pool of Experts, it will not prevent you from being appointed, but it will be important to demonstrate:

  • The distinctiveness and relevance of your expertise
  • The breadth and depth of your experience

Applications will be presented to Appointments Board when they meet on 6 October 2017 and outcomes will be communicated to all applicants by early November 2017.

All appointments will be made in line with our policies on safeguarding good scientific practice (PDF 347KB).

Strategy Advisory Panels

Working with BBSRC

You will play a leading role in the development and implementation of the BBSRC Council’s strategies, policies and priorities by providing advice to BBSRC on the strategic direction of its research, training and knowledge exchange portfolio.

We welcome applicants with a high level of experience and demonstrable core bioscience expertise relevant to our current strategic challenges.

You will be expected to attend two to three meetings a year, each of one to two days duration. The role requires reading of papers prior to meetings and preparation of comments on items or papers where appropriate. You may also be asked to provide additional strategic advice to BBSRC on an ad-hoc basis by email or through participation in a working group set up by the Strategy Advisory Panel.

Appointments to the Strategy Advisory Panels will be for up to three years.

Role profile

You will be able to provide evidence of:

  • Your ability to contribute creatively and strategically to the future direction of UK biosciences
  • Your knowledge and understanding of the bioscience landscape in the UK and internationally (both broadly and in reference to your own area of expertise)
  • Your knowledge or experience of policy or strategy development
  • Your understanding of the interface between academia, industry and other relevant BBSRC stakeholders, and additionally awareness of user and developer perspectives.

Expertise requirements

Agriculture and Food Security Strategy Advisory Panel (AFS SAP)

The AFS Strategy Advisory Panel provides BBSRC with independent expert advice on the development of strategy for research and innovation relating to agriculture and food security.

We are seeking up to four new members of this Panel with a breadth of relevant expertise across BBSRC’s agri-food research interests. Applications would be particularly welcomed from those with knowledge of one or more of the following areas:

  • Plant health and/or crop protection
  • Human nutrition, in particular with links to the food system
  • Farmed animal health and production
  • Horticulture
  • Animal, human or plant microbiomes
  • Invertebrate biology in an agricultural context (particularly pests and/or disease vectors)

Bioscience for Health Strategy Advisory Panel (BFH SAP)

The BFH SAP will develop and maintain an overview of relevant research, training and knowledge exchange across the BFH community and advise BBSRC on the strategic direction of its research, training and knowledge exchange portfolio.

The BFH SAP is looking for two new members. Veterinary expertise would be welcomed, and we are particularly encourage applications from those whose research is centred in one of the following areas:

  • Animal immunology
  • Vaccinology

Exploiting New Ways of Working Strategy Advisory Panel (ENWW SAP)

Cutting-edge bioscience is critically dependent on the availability of modern and sustainable research infrastructure and the adoption of new ways of working. New tools and capabilities will continue to revolutionise bioscience, making it possible to ask and solve previously intractable questions and inspiring major breakthroughs.

ENWW is one of three enabling themes in the current BBSRC Strategic Plan, enabling innovative working practices in an era of rapid technological advancement, multidisciplinary research, high throughput technologies, the next generation internet, and quantitative and computational approaches to bioscience. The Panel’s remit covers Technology Development, Imaging, Data-intensive Biology, Synthetic Biology, Systems/Multiscale Biology and Omics/High-Throughput Science.

ENWW is looking for up to four new members. We encourage applications from those with an interdisciplinary background, who can cover one or more of the remit areas outlined above. To maintain a balanced coverage of expertise spanning the remit, the ENWW SAP is particularly interested in receiving applications from those with expertise in the following area:

  • Data-intensive bioscience, including expertise in data infrastructure and provision of tools such as tools for software and bioinformatics.

Follow-on Fund Committee

Working with BBSRC

The Follow-on-Funding (FOF) programme is designed to support the translation of fundamental research funded by us into practical application, including commercialisation. The aim of the programme is to help researchers maximise the societal and economic benefits of their research.

The FOF Committee is looking to appoint three members.

Committee members will be required to attend up to three meetings per year, each lasting one day, and to assess some smaller awards by correspondence on an ad-hoc basis.

Appointments to FOF will be for up to three years.

Role profile

You will be able to provide evidence of:

  • Your ability to use your own expertise and experience to assess the scientific and strategic relevance of research
  • Your experience, knowledge or understanding of how funding decisions are made
  • Your skills and experience to demonstrate the ability to understand and assess the potential impacts of research.

Expertise requirements

  • Food and nutrition
  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Enabling technologies

Pool of Experts

Working with BBSRC

Our financial support for bioscience research is made through the award of grants, fellowships, and training awards to UK universities and other research organisations. Our investment decisions are underpinned by a high quality peer review process with applications for funding being assessed by BBSRC Assessment Committees and Panels. The membership of these assessment bodies is typically drawn from an appointed Pool of Experts. Members of the Pool of Experts may also be invited to participate in other activities for BBSRC, such as attending expert working groups and advisory panel meetings.

We are looking to appoint up to 20 new members to the Pool of Experts with expertise in Animal welfare and Bioinformatics.

As a member of the Pool of Experts, you will:

  • play a key role in delivering BBSRC’s mission through participating in the assessment of research grant applications and identifying the highest quality research for investment
  • typically attend one or two assessment meeting per year, each of up to two days duration. At these meetings, your role is to lead on the assessment of up to twelve research grant proposals and to contribute to other discussion as required.

Pool of Experts members typically serve on our Research Committees, leading on the assessment of our responsive mode grant applications. The Research Committees meet in February, May and September.

Pool of Expert members are required to attend a one day induction, which includes a simulated assessment meeting, before serving on a Committee.

Appointments to the Pool of Experts will be for up to three years.

Role profile

You will be able to provide evidence of:

  • Your active record of research
    • Academic applicants should provide evidence of competitively obtained external research grant funding. Typically, successful applicants will have been awarded at least one grant in the last five years. This can include the award of a fellowship.
  • Your ability to use your own expertise and experience to assess the scientific and strategic relevance of research
  • Your experience, knowledge or understanding of how funding decisions are made
  • Your skills and experience which demonstrate the ability to understand and assess the potential impacts of research.

Expertise requirements

Members of the Pool of Experts should have sufficient expertise to be able to offer a credible scientific opinion of the scientific merit of grant applications submitted to BBSRC. You should be able to provide an assessment that is knowledgeable, informed, and impartial.

We are looking to appoint up to 20 members who can demonstrate expertise in the following areas:

  • Animal welfare
    We encourage applications from individuals with animal welfare expertise, including, but not limited to:
    • developing new measures of welfare
    • understanding the biological processes that influence animal welfare
    • improving animal welfare in the real world
    • implementing welfare solutions
    Applicants should have an awareness of the main animal welfare issues that exist for managed animals (farm, laboratory, companion and/or zoo), and not solely experience of working with animals in research settings.
  • Bioinformatics
    We encourage applications from individuals with expertise in bioinformatics and computational biology. In particular, those with expertise in:
    • projects developing tools, databases or workflows, released with the intention that they have impact outside the developers laboratory
    • planning and resourcing projects focussing on analysis of large and complex datasets
    • High Performance Computing.

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