NERC Science Committee Membership vacancies

Natural Environment Research Council

Location: UK
Salary: attendance fee for meetings
Closing Date: 06 June 2024
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All applicants must be based in the UK and confirm that they are able to prove their eligibility to work in the UK.

Job Description

Closing date: Thursday 6 June 2024

Shortlisting meeting: End of July 2024

Interview dates: 21 October (pm), 23 October (pm) and 24 October 2024 (via zoom) 

Time commitment: up to 17 days each year including three Science Committee meetings  

(Up to two days per meeting)

Number of positions: Five 

Length of service: Three years

First meeting: March 2025

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. You will work 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 relevant to the higher education sector.  

You do not need to be based in a research organisation but need to have either: 

 a range of subject matter knowledge appropriate to NERCs areas of research, innovation, training and capital. 

 other lay experience of benefit to NERCs wider strategic ambitions.  

NERC is seeking broad representation across our community reflecting different characteristics and professional backgrounds.

Candidates should have the enthusiasm and time to commit to advise us on how we 

can best achieve our NERC Strategic Delivery Plan objectives.

Career stage will be taken into consideration by the panel when reviewing your answers to the following essential skills.

Essential Skills

We are seeking five candidates across the breadth of NERC scientific disciplines that can communicate well and work collaboratively to support and challenge the Science Committees debates and fellow members. 

You must have: 

 the ability to communicate, collaborate, support and challenge

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

 insights to support NERCs responsible business statement ambitions and ensure Science Committee considers equality, diversity and inclusion in its advice.

 disciplinary/ professional expertise that you could bring to Science Committee

 experience in strategic planning and projections 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 NERCs 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: 

o to advance the frontiers of knowledge

o to address government, UKRI and NERC strategic priorities

o 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, and ambitions to increase diversity in environmental sciences.

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.

Actions of the Science Committee and its members are subject to the UKRI NERC governance framework and the Seven Principles of Public Life. Members are expected to conduct themselves in a way that ensures that UKRIs business is carried out efficiently and effectively, and also to adhere to the highest standards of professional and ethical practice, as outlined in the Seven Principles of Public Life.  

Time commitment and Remuneration

A Science Committee member is expected to dedicate up to 17 days each year (which includes 3 Science Committee meetings each year). Some meetings will be virtual, and some will be face to face. An attendance allowance (for meetings) of £200 per day (if eligible) together with reasonable travel and subsistence costs will be reimbursed in accordance with the UKRI travel, subsistence and expenses policy. 

2025 Meeting Dates

 4 & 5 March 2025

 2 & 3 July 2025

 15 & 16 October 2025

How to apply

Please read the NERC Science Committee Application Pack 2024 and complete the online application form, details can be found on the NERC Science Committee vacancy page. 

You should also email a two-sided CV to for the attention of Gemma Davies by 6 June 2024.

Reasonable adjustments

We want to make our recruitment processes as well as participation in our boards and panels accessible to all, such as making adjustment for people with a disability. 

If you have any queries regarding the application process, if you would like this application in a different format (for example, accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille), or if you would like to discuss how we can support your application please email:

If your application is successful, we will work to fulfil your requirements to enable you to fully participate in board and panel meetings.

Please let us know in advance if you would like to discuss in confidence how we can support you, or if you require an alternative way to submit your application:


Equality, diversity, and inclusion

We believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with the appropriate opportunities and tools to flourish and succeed. We believe in an ethical and trusted working environment that is attractive and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us. 

We 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.  

At NERC as part of UK Research and Innovation, we are proud to be users of the disability confident scheme. We guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the essential 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.

Ask a question about this vacancy

If you have any questions, please contact:

Gemma Davies

Governance Manager; Science Committee



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