NERC Science Committee - Membership vacancies

Employer: Natural Environment Research Council (UKRI-NERC)
Job location
Various, UK
Job term
3 years
Job closing date

Closing date:                                    4pm on 15 October 2021 

Shortlisting meeting:                      18 November 2021

Interview date:                                 03 December 2021 (To be held virtually)

Time commitment:                           20 days per annum, which includes 4 meetings per year (up to 2 days per meeting)

Number of positions:                       2

Start date:                                         February 2022 (first meeting 2 & 3 February 2022)

Would you be interested in an exciting opportunity to contribute to current and future funding priorities and investment whilst also developing your skill as a committee member?

UKRI-NERC invites applications from across the NERC science remit to join its Science Committee. This is a great opportunity to support an excellent and sustainable UK environmental science community by working collegiately to offer advice and recommendations to Council and NERC Head Office on current and future funding priorities and new NERC investment. You will be supported in this role by the Chair and current members in developing your expertise and experience as a Committee member.

NERC is the UK's leading funder of environmental science. Our scientists study and monitor the physical, chemical and biological processes on which our planet and life itself depends – from pole to pole, to the deep Earth and oceans, to the atmosphere and space. The science we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future UK prosperity by contributing to a safe, healthy, productive nation. Many programmes involve collaborations with national and international partners to tackle large-scale environmental science challenges, including those faced by developing countries.

Who can apply

Applications are sought from individuals who possess a range of expertise and experience in research and innovation across the higher education sector.  You should have a range of subject matter knowledge appropriate to the Council’s areas of research, innovation, training and capital, or other lay experience of benefit to NERC’s wider strategic ambitions.  NERC is seeking broad representation across our community reflecting different characteristics and professional backgrounds.

Our ideal candidate will have the enthusiasm and time to commit to advise us on how we can best achieve our Delivery Plan ambitions.

Essential Skills

We are seeking candidates that can communicate well and work collaboratively to support and challenge the Science Committee’s debates and fellow members, and have two or more of the following four skills:

  • Understanding of the environmental challenges confronting the world based on a deep understanding of environmental science with a whole-systems, solution-focused approach.

  • Recognised expertise as an environmental scientist: the following backgrounds would be particularly welcome at this time:
    • Earth sciences, particularly solid Earth,  and/or
    • Oceanography

  • Experience in strategic planning and pre-sight of large investment portfolios and programmes involving some or all of: research; innovation; training and skills; scientific infrastructures and services; international partnership

The role

Science Committee will bring broad strategic perspective and expertise to support the development and delivery of the UKRI-NERC strategic priorities, investments and policies. The Committee will advise the Executive and Council across NERC’s research, innovation, training and national capability portfolio, and will recommend NERC strategic research and innovation investments.

Members sit on the Committee as individuals, rather than representing a particular organisation and will provide advice on:

  • How to support an excellent and sustainable UK environmental science community that seizes opportunities, in UKRI and international contexts, to achieve the following goals:
    • to advance the frontiers of knowledge;
    • to address government, UKRI and NERC strategic priorities;
    • to deliver beneficial economic and social impacts.
  • Priority areas for future rounds of NERC strategic research and innovation investment.
  • Commissioning, effectiveness and performance of NERC and UKRI investments including: Discovery Science; Strategic Research and Innovation; postgraduate training, Fellowships and early career support; National Capability; scientific infrastructure and capital; international partnership and subscriptions.
  • NERC funding policy for all of the above funding streams.

Provide recommendations for new NERC investment:

  • Strategic Research and Innovation Programmes – assess submitted proposals against published criteria and recommend which proposals should be funded by NERC.
  • Strategic Research and Innovation Highlight Topics - assess submitted ideas for Highlight Topic against published criteria and recommend which should go forward to a funding call, and at what level of expenditure.

Time commitment / Remuneration

Science Committee members are expected to dedicate up to 20 days pa (which includes 4 meetings per year). Some meetings will be held virtually and some will be face to face. An attendance allowance (for meetings) of £170 per day (if eligible) together with reasonable travel and subsistence costs will be reimbursed in accordance with UKRI’s travel and subsistence policy (PDF, 162KB).

How to apply

Please complete the application form found on the NERC Science Committee membership vacancies page and email this along with a 2-sided CV. Details on vacancies page. Closing date 4pm on Friday 15th October 2021. 

Equality, diversity, and inclusion

At NERC as part of UKRI we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to flourish and succeed within an ethical and trusted working environment that enables them to do so and that is attractive and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us.

We also value diversity of thought and experience and are committed to creating systems that value difference so that everyone can feel welcomed, included and nurtured throughout their time with us. 

For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’

At NERC as part of UKRI we are proud to be users of the disability confident scheme. We guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for any of our vacancies. There is a section on the application form to indicate if you would like to be considered under this scheme.

Please ensure you have visited the above vacancies page and read the application pack. If you have any questions, please contact:

Gemma Davies
Governance Manager; Science Committee