Appointment of Council Members

Welcome message 

Dear Candidate,

I am delighted that you are interested in becoming a member of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Councils.

We are at one of the most important and exciting times in the history of research and innovation in the UK. The rate of discovery and technological advance is astonishing, with unprecedented opportunities to create value for society and the economy. The science fiction of just a few decades ago, from video calls to bionic limbs, is now part of everyday life. This is a new industrial revolution, driven by the pace of technological change.

At the same time, there are major challenges as we tackle the unintended consequences of the first industrial revolution, from the environmental impacts of fossil fuels to the health impacts of sugar, together with the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are complex and demanding challenges, but the new industrial revolution presents major opportunities to address them and to enrich and improve lives in the UK and around the world.

The UK government has set a clear ambition for the UK as a global science superpower and an innovation nation. It has put science and technology at its heart, pledging to ramp up R&D intensity in the UK, catalysed by a substantial increase in public investment in R&D, rising to a record £20 billion by 2024–25 and embedding R&D across government departments.

UKRI has a unique and critical role to play in this new landscape. Our reach across sectors and across disciplines is central to delivering on the government’s global mission. Our 2022-2027 strategy puts the UK at the forefront of solutions to national and global challenges, from climate change and healthy ageing to national security.

Each of our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK play a critical role in our strategy development and delivery. Led by their Executive Chair they are supported by an advisory Council of experts within their respective fields, who help to shape the councils’ Strategic Delivery Plans and their ongoing implementation, which set out the combined and collective actions we will take to deliver our strategy.

We are now seeking to appoint a total of up to 15 non-executive Council members. Positions are available on the Councils of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council and Science and Technology Facilities Council. We are seeking candidates from a variety of backgrounds, including business, civil society, academia and government.  We place equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of UKRI’s vision, and know that it is only when we support and foster the widest possible range of talent that we are nurturing the best possible research and innovation, harnessed in the service of society.

Working together, we have the opportunity to harness the extraordinary potential of research and innovation to fuel the UK’s prosperity, improving lives and livelihoods. As the landscape for research and innovation continues to evolve and strengthen, UKRI is here to shape and support it – transforming tomorrow together.

Once again thank you for your interest in contributing to this endeavour.


Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

UKRI Chief Executive Officer

UKRI Council Recruitment

UK Research and Innovation, the UK’s leading research funding agency, is seeking to appoint Council members across six Councils. Each Council is led by an Executive Chair, supported by a council of between five and twelve members.

The Councils have a pivotal role in ensuring the success of UK Research and Innovation, helping us to achieve our strategic objectives to be the single, strong voice of UK research and innovation, and building on our world-leading reputation.

Council members are appointed by the UKRI Nominations and Remuneration Committee, on the recommendation of the council Executive Chair and UKRI Chief Executive Officer.

The Council members will between them have a broad range of expertise and experience in research and innovation across higher education, industry, commerce, policy and/or civil society and the relevant user communities for each Council, reflecting different characteristics and professional backgrounds.

Please click on the council logos below to visit their respective websites. 

Applicant Packs

The Applicant Packs will shortly be available for download by clicking on the respective council pdf.

How to Apply

If you wish to apply for this position, you will need to supply the following for consideration:

  • A comprehensive CV setting out your career history, with responsibilities and achievements. Please provide details of two professional referees together with a brief statement of the capacity and over what period of time they have known you. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.
  • A supporting statement (maximum two sides A4) highlighting your suitability and setting out, with clear examples, how you meet the essential criteria as highlighted in the person specification. Please note that the supporting statement is an important part of your application, it is an evidence-based document and is as much the means by which you will be assessed as your CV. Please include where you heard about this role.

You will also be asked to complete a Diversity Monitoring Form as part of your application.

Application is by submission of a curriculum vitae and a covering letter of application, addressing the job description and person specification. Completed applications should be uploaded to the links below.

The closing date for applications is 9:00 GMT on Monday 2nd October 

Application Links

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

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Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

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Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

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Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

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Medical Research Council (MRC)

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