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Strategic Advisory Group Call for Nominations

Please note that this call is now closed.

The Government Spending Review on 25th November 2015 announced “a new £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund, to ensure UK science takes the lead in addressing the problems faced by developing countries, whilst developing our ability to deliver cutting-edge research”. The Global Challenges Research Fund is a BEIS initiative which operates across a number of delivery partners, including the Research Councils, National Academies and HEFCE. The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) represents the largest portion of this Fund.

As the major delivery partner in this initiative, the RCUK Strategic Executive have established a Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) to oversee and inform the strategy for the GCRF, spanning across the disciplines of all seven Research Councils.

Current membership of the SAG can be found here.

We are looking to expand the current membership of the SAG through an open nominations process and look to recruit up to 5 new members. We would particularly encourage applications from individuals who:

  1. Represent non-academic and international stakeholders;
  2. Provide personal experience of working in a developing country context;
  3. Understand the translation and impact of research, particularly into developing countries.

Role and person specification

The primary purpose of the SAG is to advise on the strategic development and delivery of the GCRF, and specifically:

  • the development of a strategic research agenda and prioritisation of challenge topics
  • engagement with research and stakeholder communities and the facilitation of new ideas and opportunities
  • integration of ODA and non-ODA challenge research, where this is sensible to do so
  • the allocation of research funding, consistent with the Haldane principle
  • the effectiveness of RCUK strategies and mechanisms, including mechanisms to build capability where it is needed to address existing deficits.

The responsibilities of the SAG members are:

  • to act within the 7 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;
  • to act as “generous generalists” – i.e. not to advocate specifically for their own discipline or areas of interest, but to take a broad view of the strategic needs of the GCRF;
  • to validate and challenge constructively RCUK’s perspectives drawing on the available evidence and their own experiences;
  • to take individual and collective ownership of the advice they provide, whilst recognising the separation of that advice from responsibility for the decisions made, which rests with the Research Councils or other delivery partners;
  • to use their own networks to gather intelligence that can be brought to bear in policy development and to disseminate RCUK policies and strategies.

The Research Councils have a particular aspiration to increase the breadth and diversity of the Group, and as such the membership of the GCRF SAG should:

  • Reflect the breadth of disciplines across Research Councils UK
  • Diverse across career stages and life course
  • Drawn from academe, government, business and other stakeholders
  • Include an international/global perspective.


Appointments will be for two years initially, with the possibility of extension. All appointments will begin with effect from 1 September 2016.

Members are paid a fee for each activity they are involved with and, when attending physical meetings, are reimbursed for travel and subsistence expenses.

The Group will meet quarterly with the first meeting of the new appointments planned for September 2016. There may be additional work required outside of the formal SAG meetings and it is expected that members will need to commit between 2 and 4 additional days to SAG work per year.


RCUK is committed to a policy of equal opportunities. Appointments to Advisory Groups are made on merit. However, we are keen to obtain greater diversity in its membership. Applications from women, those with a disability and members of minority ethnic groups, who are all currently under-represented on the Group, are especially welcome.

Nomination process

Nominations should be made through Smart Survey here, before 16:00 (BST) on Thursday 23rd June.

You can self-nominate or be nominated by another person. In cases where nominations are being made on behalf of someone else, that person must be aware of and agree to the nomination. When nominating another person, the details of the nominator will be required.

In both cases, the following information is needed:

  • Nominee 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 or the person you are nominating would be suitable as a member of the SAG including:
    • Evidence of the skills and experience the nominee would bring to the role and how they meet the requirements of the role [500 words];
    • Description of the personal motivation, attributes, competencies and other experience the nominee has to reassure RCUK that they would be a suitable SAG member [500 words].
  • Current Curriculum Vitae: A CV (no longer than two A4 pages) containing details of the nominee’s professional qualifications, research, work experience and/or other relevant experience. The CV will need to be uploaded as a PDF file. The maximum file upload size is 25MB.
  • Diversity information: The Research Councils operate a policy of equality and fair treatment. We aim to ensure that all applications are treated fairly regardless of gender, age, ethnic origin or disability. Individuals are asked to supply equal opportunities information, which is not seen by the Selection Committee. This should only be completed by the nominee.

Selection process

The selection process will consist of three steps:

Step 1 – a long-list of candidates will be developed based on the following considerations:

  • At the level of the Individual
    • Match to the requirements in the person specification, based on the evidence provided;
  • At the level of the overall SAG
    • Ensuring diversity of membership;
    • Securing an appropriate spread of expertise;
    • Achieving an appropriate distribution of membership from academia, industry and international stakeholders;

Step 2 – An Appointment Assurance Group will meet to select a shortlist of candidates to interview and to ensure that the appropriate processes have been followed by the Executive.

Step 3 – Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview to discuss their interest in the role and what qualities they will bring to the SAG. The interview panel will make final recommendations on the successful candidates.

The outcomes will be announced by summer 2016.



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