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Medical Research Council Boards and Panel vacancies

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is the main, publicly-funded organisation in the UK, supporting high-quality research and training across the biomedical spectrum, from fundamental lab-based science to clinical trials, in all major disease areas.

Our research boards and panels are comprised of a group of leading scientists that play a key role in delivering MRC objectives across the portfolio. The research boards hold their own research budgets and review and manage scientific activity within their specialist areas.

Applications are now being invited from scientists with the relevant experience and expertise to become members of MRC boards and panels from April 2018. We are seeking to fill 20 vacancies in our four research boards and 11 vacancies in four of our six panels.

The deadline for applications is 4pm, 2 October 2017

Applicants must have both permission and support from their host institution before applying.

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Selection criteria

Candidates for board and panel vacancies will be shortlisted using the following general criteria:

  • scientific ‘fit’ for the vacancy
  • breadth of knowledge
  • appropriate level of experience
  • location – we are seeking broad representation across the research organisations within the UK
  • gender and ethnicity balance.

More specific qualities sought are detailed below.

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Candidate profile

Board and panel members should be international leaders in the areas of expertise corresponding to the vacancies and have a breadth of knowledge across related fields. As it is not possible for the membership of a board or panel to reflect all the relevant areas of expertise, members are expected to contribute to discussions in their own field and also to advise on other issues, sharing responsibility for decisions of the board or panel as a whole.

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Personal specification

The MRC is seeking applications from high calibre, committed senior scientists at Professorial level (or equivalent), based in a leading UK/European Research Institute/University or pharmaceutical/biotechnology/life sciences company. Applicants should have broad experience of cutting edge research related to one of the vacancies advertised, and must be able to commit an appropriate amount of time to serve on the board/panel. The MRC is committed to reproducibility in research and so we ask that applicants have a sound knowledge of experimental design and statistical approaches.

Applicants will need to meet the following essential criteria:

  • a first class record in conducting and leading internationally respected research
  • a successful track record in applying for and obtaining major grant funding over a number of years (not essential for Industrial members)
  • specific experience of research related to the particular vacancy advertised
  • a proven ability to exercise judgment across a broad spectrum of policy and research issues with a vision of the priorities and opportunities, not only within his/her areas of expertise, but also across the research board or panel portfolio
  • significant experience of contributing to peer review processes
  • an ability to work effectively within the public sector requirements for accountability and openness, and within financial constraints
  • a team player with a commitment to the mission and broad objectives of the MRC.

The MRC values the diverse skills and experience of the members of its boards and panels and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all (all individuals shall have equal opportunities for advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities). The MRC is committed to the engagement and retention of the best possible talent and to creating an environment that encourages excellence in scientific research through equality, diversity, leadership and management. 

The MRC particularly welcomes applications from currently under-represented groups; female and ethnic minority researchers and from researchers with disabilities.

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Principles for recruitment

For boards:

  • aim for each board to have between 18 and 24 members including:
    • representation from MRC units and institutes (minimum two per board)
    • industry members (minimum two per board)
    • European members (1-2 members per board, if possible)
  • ensure all boards are generically strong enough to look at translational research applications, including tactics and approaches, and have an understanding of early phase trials.

For boards and panels:

  • aim to steadily increase the number of women
  • aim to broaden the diversity of members
  • aim to increase the ratio of mid-career to later-career members
  • ensure that individuals are not overused
  • ensure a strong representation for basic research across all boards and panels
  • ensure there is an expectation that membership will meet MRC policies on equality
  • ensure industry representation as appropriate.

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The average amount of time spent by members on board or panel business is equivalent to about two days a month for all purposes, including meetings and reading papers. New board and panel members will initially be appointed for two years, membership will be extended for a further two years following review by the board/panel chair.

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An allowance is payable per day for attendance at board/panel meetings (the current rate is £160 per day). Travel (standard class) and subsistence expenses (including family care costs) will be reimbursed.

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Induction for successful candidates

As part of the preparation for their term in office, all new board and panel members are expected to attend an induction meeting on 7 February 2018 at 1 Victoria Street - 1VS - The Westminster Conference Centre. Please hold this date when making an application. This will be an opportunity for you to meet Professor Sir John Savill, MRC Chief Executive, as well as senior staff and programme managers. The induction meeting will enable us to provide guidance on your role, as well as an overview of the MRC, its functions and methods of operation where these relate to the work of the research boards and panels.

In addition to the induction event, new board and panel members are expected to attend a meeting as an observer prior to starting on the board or panel. The dates of the relevant meetings at which you will be invited to observe are as follows:

Board Board meeting
Infections and Immunity 21-22 February 2018
Molecular and Cellular Medicine 28 February - 1 March 2018
Neurosciences and Mental Health 14-15 March 2018
Population and System Medicine 8-9 March 2018
Panel Panel meeting
Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme 23-24 May 2018
Methodology Research Panel 16-17 May 2018
Clinical Training and Career Development Panel 6-7 March 2018
Non-Clinical Training and Career Development Panel 21-22 March 2018

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How to apply?

To apply, please complete and submit the online web form. All applications must be submitted by 4pm, 2 October 2017.

Decisions on membership will be made by the end of December 2017.

If you have any queries, or you would like further information about the role, please contact MRC.EventsandCommitteesTeam@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk

Current vacancies

Vacancies to be filled from 1 April 2018.

Research Board vacancies

Infections & Immunity Board (IIB)

Four vacancies:

IIB funds high quality, innovative research over a broad and responsive remit, from global infectious diseases to cellular development of the immune system. We are currently developing plans in a number of key areas, including the MRC’s response to the challenges of antimicrobial resistance, as well as developing our strategy for vaccines and immunotherapies.

Applications are invited from non-clinical, clinical and industry scientists with the relevant experience and expertise to join the MRC’s Infections and Immunity Board. Experience or expertise in experimental medicine, single cell to population level systems approaches, or translation relevant to any of the posts is an advantage. We strongly welcome applications from candidates in the industrial sector.

We are seeking to fill up to four posts spanning the following areas:

  • B cell biology, with expertise including one or more of the following: molecular and cell biology of B lymphocytes, B cell signalling, B cell memory, immunotherapy, autoimmunity, vaccinology
  • Mucosal host-parasite immunology, with expertise in one or more of the following: mucosal permeability, mucosal inflammation, immune modulation, microbiome, host-pathogen interaction, vaccinology
  • Molecular parasitology, with expertise in one or more of the following: pathogen cell biology, molecular cell biology, biochemistry, proteomics, genomics, gene expression and epigenetics
  • Clinical global health, with expertise in population level studies of infectious disease encompassing one or more of the following: field epidemiology, co-infection, human immune responses, novel diagnostics, intervention development.

Molecular & Cellular Medicine Board (MCMB)

Six vacancies:

The MCMB medicine portfolio focuses on basic biological mechanisms or technologies relevant to understanding the aetiology of, or developing treatments for, health and disease. This includes specific responsibility for the MRC’s cancer research portfolio, including basic biology, epidemiology and early translational research.

Applications are invited from scientists with the relevant experience and expertise to join the MRC’s Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board. We are seeking to fill up to six posts in the following areas:

Structural Biology

  • core expertise in crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy/tomography alongside a broad knowledge of a range of other biophysical techniques
  • candidates should have a track record in macromolecular assemblies and structure-function studies.

Biomedical Informatics

  • core expertise in biomedical informatics and/or computational biology. Candidates should have a strong track record in applying informatics and computational approaches to understanding underlying biology and mechanisms of human disease – from the cellular level through to the whole disease phenotype
  • expertise in analysing and interpreting a wide range of ‘omics data would be an advantage.

Medical Oncology

  • broad expertise in the molecular biology of cancer, particularly in the areas of tumour microenvironment interactions, cancer immunology, epigenetics and the use of animal model systems
  • experience of experimental medicine and/or translational approaches would be an advantage
  • preference will be given to clinically-qualified biomedical researchers.

Haematology, Blood Cell Biology and Development

  • core expertise in haematopoiesis and haematopoietic stem cell biology
  • broader expertise in stem cell biology, including (epi)genetic or systems approaches to understanding stem cell function, regenerative medicine and transplantation or haematological malignancy would be an advantage.

Toxicology and environmental health

  • core expertise in mechanistic toxicology of exogenous insults (pollutants, chemicals, adverse drug reactions, biopharmaceuticals, nanoparticles etc.) focusing on causal molecular and cellular mechanisms linking exposure to disease or adverse events
  • broader experience of environmental exposures and human health in developing countries would be an advantage.

Cell Biology

  • broad expertise in core cell biology, particularly in the areas of membrane trafficking, post-transcriptional regulation/modification, and the use of mammalian model systems
  • experience in directing insights towards understanding the mechanisms of health and disease, and/or the development and application of new technologies in biomedical science would be welcomed.

Neurosciences & Mental Health Board (NMHB)

Five vacancies:

NMHB fund innovative research that tells us how the brain controls our behaviour, how the nervous system functions throughout life in health and disease and how it responds to injury. We also support the development of tools and techniques that help others carry out research on the nervous system.

Applications are being invited from scientists and clinician scientists with the relevant experience to become members of MRC’s Neurosciences & Mental Health Board. We are seeking to fill up to five posts. Submissions from individuals who have expertise in the following areas would be highly desirable:

  • Global mental health research (candidates with backgrounds either in clinical psychology or psychiatry and/or interests in child and adolescent mental health are particularly encouraged to apply)
  • Addiction research (candidates with backgrounds in either clinical psychology or psychiatry are particularly encouraged to apply)
  • Sensory neuroscience (candidates with expertise in vision or auditory neuroscience are particularly encouraged to apply)
  • Pain e.g. covering neural systems, mechanistic and/or clinical research
  • Computational neuroscience e.g. in cognitive neuroscience and/or modelling of brain circuits of relevance to the board’s activities.

We are particularly interested to hear from applicants who have expertise in molecular/clinical genetics, working with non-human primates or translational neuroscience of relevance to the board’s activities. Knowledge of a range of neuroimaging (particularly positron emission tomography) and non-invasive biophysical techniques will be an advantage. The MRC is committed to reproducibility in research and so we ask that applicants have a sound knowledge of experimental design and statistical approaches.

Candidates may be from the academic or industrial sectors from within the UK or Europe.

Population & Systems Medicine Board (PSMB)

Five vacancies:

PSMB supports mechanistic and applied research to unlock the complexity of human health and disease across the life course. Taking systems approaches from multiple internal and external factors to understand control pathways and mechanisms, their interactions with major organs and how this manifests in health and disease at individual and population levels. We currently have vacancies in the following areas: 

  • Translational clinical research in metabolic medicine, particularly with an interest in obesity, gut-brain interactions or endocrinology
  • Integrative approaches to understand mechanisms in health and disease medicine and/or systems approaches to biological medicine
  • Global health epidemiology (particularly in LMIC context), non-communicable disease and health inequalities, including socio-economic factors impacting health and disease
  • Cellular and molecular cardiovascular research
  • Molecular/cellular physiology particularly in diabetes or fibrosis. Some expertise in imaging (live cell and/or medical imaging) would be advantageous.

We are particularly interested to hear from applicants who take multi-modal approaches to any of these areas - potentially combining genomic population studies with cell biology approaches to understand biological mechanisms in health and disease. These could include computational, imaging and/or epidemiological approaches. We welcome applications with a background of working in industry across any of the above areas. We are also keen to attract applicants with strong backgrounds in statistical analysis, experimental design and reproducibility.

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Funding Panel vacancies

Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme Panel (DPFS)

Six vacancies:

The Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS) forms an integral part of the MRC/Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst and is the MRC’s primary route for support of translational research. The DPFS Panel is responsible for supporting academically-led projects to progress fundamental basic and clinical research findings towards clinical use or wider health application; the panel also takes account of economic viability for either developed or developing countries. The DPFS supports the development of novel therapies, interventions and diagnostics. Projects supported by the DPFS are milestone-driven with clearly defined outcomes and future value and the panel actively works to strengthen proposals, where appropriate, to increase the likelihood of downstream success.

Up to six vacancies are available with academic and/or industry translational expertise in at least one of the following:

  • Development of advanced therapies (gene therapies, cell therapies, vector technologies)
  • Vaccine development
  • Clinical immunology
  • Stratified medicine and/or medical informatics
  • Diagnostic development and implementation
  • Infectious disease, in a UK and a developing world context
  • Small molecule/biologic development including target validation
  • Sensor development and medical devices.

Applications from clinically active researchers and researchers based in industry would be particularly welcomed. Given the breadth of applications received by DPFS, panel members are required to cover a broad portfolio and individual applicants would ideally be able to cover multiple areas.

Regenerative Medicine Research Committee (RMRC)

No vacancies

MCR-NIHR Methodology Research Programme Panel

Two vacancies:

From an MRC perspective, methodology research is the study of how best to design, conduct, analyse and evaluate medical and health research. Researchers in a wide range of fields aim to develop the best methods — ‘recipes’ for research — in areas that underpin biomedical science, experimental medicine, clinical trials, population health sciences, health services research and health policy.

MRC and NIHR are seeking applications from experienced researchers with a broad scientific, and a very strong methodological background. To ensure balanced coverage of expertise, the MRC expects to appoint up to two new members to the panel, prioritising the following fields:

  • Health informatics
  • Development, implementation and evaluation of behavioural interventions 

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Training and Career Development Panels

MRC is seeking applications from researchers in academia, industry or health services to join two panels, each of which spans the full range of medical research areas and interdisciplinary themes. The applicants should have strong, broad research experience, and an understanding of how to support early career scientists seeking to transition to research independence or leadership. Successful applicants will be involved in assessing research quality and relevance, experimental design and methodology, career development and training; and will be interviewing trainees from across MRC’s remit.

Clinical Training and Career Development Panel

Two vacancies:

  • Medical genetics and informatics
  • Neuroimaging – research experience of a range of modalities would be an advantage

Candidates in the above areas with industrial expertise would be particularly welcome

Non-Clinical Training and Career Development Panel

One vacancy:

  • Infections with experience in virology, epidemiology and global population health are particularly welcome 

Skills Development Fellowship Panel

No vacancies 

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