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Medical Research Council Boards and Panel vacancies

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, both to government and internationally. The Medical Research Council supports high-quality research and training across the biomedical spectrum, from fundamental lab-based science to clinical trials, in all major disease areas.

The MRC’s 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 2019. We are seeking to fill up to 20 vacancies across our four research boards and 20 vacancies in five of our six panels.

The deadline for applications is 4pm, 1 October 2018

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

On this page:

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 from across 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 of 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 based in a leading UK/European research institute/university or pharmaceutical/biotechnology/life/digital 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
  • 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 and diversity and 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 a diversity of organisations, backgrounds and perspectives, each board should aim to include some:

  • representation from MRC units/institutes
  • industry members
  • international members (if possible, European members most feasible)

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 (from the current 40% towards 50%)
  • broaden the diversity of members
  • increase the ratio of mid-career to later-career members
  • ensure a strong representation for basic research across all boards and panels
  • have industry representation as appropriate.

There is an expectation that membership will meet MRC policies on equality.

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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 as appropriate.

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Induction for successful candidates

As part of the preparation for their tenure, all new board and panel members are expected to attend an induction meeting on Thursday 7 February 2019 at 1 Victoria Street - 1VS - The Westminster Conference Centre. Please hold this date when making an application. The induction meeting will be an opportunity for you to meet Professor Fiona Watt, MRC Executive Chair, as well as senior staff and programme managers. The induction meeting enables us to provide guidance on your role and 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 27-28 February 2019
Molecular and cellular medicine 14-15 February 2019
Neurosciences and mental health 13-14 March 2019
Population and system medicine 4-5 March 2019
Panel Panel meeting
Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme 23-24 January 2019
Methodology Research Panel 15-16 May 2019
Clinical Training and Career Development Panel 7-8 March 2019
Non-Clinical Training and Career Development Panel 20-21 March 2019
Skills Development Panel (observing Non-Clinical Panel meeting) 20-21 March 2019

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How to apply?

To apply, please complete and submit the online web form. All applications must be submitted by 4pm, 1 October 2018.

Decisions on membership will be made by the end of December 2018.

If you have any queries, or you would like further information about the role, please contact

Current vacancies

Vacancies to be filled from 1 April 2019.

Research Board vacancies

Infections & Immunity Board (IIB)

Five vacancies:

Applications are invited from non-clinical, clinical and industry senior scientists with the relevant experience and expertise to join the MRC’s Infections and Immunity Board.

The Infections and Immunity Board funds high quality innovative research over a broad and responsive remit, from global infectious diseases to the development and functioning of the human immune system, informing our understanding of how inflammatory and immune responses underpin health and mechanisms of disease. The board’s strategy includes extending its global health activities, addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance, strengthening pandemic preparedness, investigating immunity and infection through the life course, and supporting integrative data analysis and systems approaches.

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

  • Innate immunity
    • with expertise in one or more of the following areas: pattern recognition receptors, Toll-like receptors, innate immune responses to microorganisms including anti-fungal responses, innate immune memory.
  • Immune homeostasis
    • with expertise in one or more of the following areas: regulatory immune mechanisms, regulatory T-cells, microbiome-immune interactions, immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and immune homeostasis.
  • Bacteriology
    • with expertise in bacterial pathogenesis and virulence mechanisms. Demonstrated knowledge of and interest in antimicrobial resistance and an interdisciplinary approach is desirable, as this role includes participation in wider UKRI activity to support delivery of the UK’s AMR Strategy.
  • Clinical population health (infection and/or immunological)
    • with expertise in one or more of the following areas: maximising knowledge from disease cohorts, population resources, longitudinal observational studies, molecular or genomic epidemiological studies; design and methodologies relevant to epidemiological studies. This role also offers the opportunity to further influence the MRC strategy through the Population Health Sciences Group (PHSG) as a representative of IIB.
  • Global infectious disease eco-epidemiology
    • with expertise in one or more of the following areas: cross-disciplinary, one-health approaches; individual, community and population level studies on host / pathogen / vector (where relevant) interactions; transmission dynamics, integrated approaches to investigating health effects of global change / drivers of global public health; multi-level approach to investigating disease and its prevention.

We are particularly interested to hear from applicants who have expertise in experimental medicine, data science, single cell to population level systems approaches, or translational research of relevance to the board’s activities. The MRC is committed to reproducibility in research and so we ask that applicants have a sound knowledge of experimental design and statistical approaches. We strongly welcome applications from candidates in the industrial sector.

Molecular & Cellular Medicine Board (MCMB)

Six vacancies:

Applications are invited from clinical and non-clinical scientists with the relevant experience and expertise to join the MRC’s Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board.

The Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board is responsible for MRC’s investments seeking to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underpin complex biological function in human health and disease, and supporting the early translation of knowledge towards new diagnosis and treatment, and changes to policy and practice.

We are seeking to fill up to six posts in the following areas:

  • Cell Biology
    • with broad expertise in core cell biology, particularly in the areas of membrane trafficking, post-transcriptional regulation/modification, and the use of mammalian model systems
    • with experience in directing insights towards understanding the mechanisms of health and disease
  • Molecular pharmacology and cell signaling (up to two vacancies)
    • with expertise in molecular pharmacology, cell signaling pathways and the use of animal model systems
    • with experience in clinical pharmacology and target discovery and validation would be desirable
    • with computational / systems biology approaches to understand signaling networks would be advantageous.
  • Toxicology and environmental health
    • with expertise in the causal toxicological mechanisms (molecular and cellular) linking exogenous insults (pollutants, chemicals, adverse drug reactions etc.) to outcome pathways and disease
    • with expertise in using computational/bioinformatics approaches and experimental systems (e.g. organoids) would be desirable
    • with broader experience of environmental exposures, human health and links to policy would be advantageous.
  • Cancer cell biology
    • with broad expertise in the molecular and cellular biology of cancer, particularly in the areas of tumour microenvironment interactions, evolution and cancer immunology
    • with experience of experimental medicine and/or translational approaches would be an advantage
    • preference will be given to clinically-qualified biomedical researchers.
  • Developmental biology
    • with broad expertise in developmental biology, including cell biology and signalling pathways, and the use of model organisms
    • expertise in regenerative medicine and stem cell biology would be desirable.

We are particularly interested to receive applications from those with expertise in the use of quantitative analytical tools, multi-dimensional data and systems approaches to understand complex and dynamic biology. The MRC is committed to reproducibility in research and so applicants should have a sound knowledge of experimental design and, where appropriate, statistical approaches to ensure the highest standards of methodological rigour.

Neurosciences & Mental Health Board (NMHB)

Six vacancies:

The Neurosciences and Mental Health Board is responsible for MRC’s investments in disorders of the human nervous system. This includes fundamental research into the human nervous system, its normal development and function, which informs our understanding of the mechanism of disease and supporting early translation of knowledge towards new diagnosis and treatment and changes to policy and practice. The board’s strategy includes addressing the challenges of mental illness and neurodegenerative diseases as well as exploring what we can learn from the direct study of human brain tissue to gain insight into the human brain.

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 six posts. Submissions from individuals who have expertise in the following areas would be highly desirable:

  • Neurodegeneration
    • with backgrounds in neuroinflammation and/or translational research are encouraged to apply
  • Mental Health
    • with backgrounds in one or more of the following areas are encouraged to apply: child and adolescent mental health; clinical psychology; experimental medicine and translational approaches
  • Developmental neuroscience (two vacancies)
    • with backgrounds in one or more of the following areas are encouraged to apply: developmental neurobiology; neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Cognitive and behavioural neurology (two vacancies)
    • with backgrounds in one or more of the following areas are encouraged to apply: motor systems; clinical neurology.

We are particularly interested to hear from applicants who have expertise in electrophysiology, molecular/clinical genetics, working with non-human primates or translational neuroscience of relevance to the board’s activities. Knowledge of a range of neuroimaging 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. We strongly welcome applications from candidates in the industrial sector.

Population & Systems Medicine Board (PSMB)

Three vacancies:

The MRC’s Population and Systems Medicine Board 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.  The board covers a wide scientific remit but there is a particular focus on developing the MRC’s portfolio in the following areas: multimorbidity and the mechanisms responsible for the clustering of multiple diseases in different population groups; the investigation of rare diseases to provide mechanistic insight into more common conditions; integrated population health, with a special emphasis on prevention research; and, nutrition research with a view to tackling obesity.

We currently have vacancies in the following areas: 

  • Clinical cardiology and cardiovascular medicine
    • expertise in imaging and the genetics of cardiovascular disease would be desirable
  • Social public health research
    • with expertise in one or more of the following areas: the development and evaluation of interventions: health inequalities; and health behaviours and behaviour change
    • applicants should have some familiarity with both qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Quantitative research
    • with expertise applied to population health including: the integration, modelling and analysis of large datasets, biostatistics, and the application of health, and other administrative data, to population health research.

The MRC is committed to reproducibility in research and so we ask that applicants have a sound knowledge of experimental design and statistical approaches. We strongly welcome applications from candidates in the industrial sector or who have experience of working with industry; applicants should also note that MRC is committed to building the diversity of representation on its research boards in terms of age, gender and ethnic background.

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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 supports a broad spectrum of activities from the development of novel therapies, interventions and diagnostics through to early-phase clinical studies. Projects supported by DPFS are goal-oriented and milestone monitored with clearly defined outcomes and future value.

The DPFS Panel is responsible for supporting academically-led projects to progress fundamental and clinical research findings towards clinical use or wider health application. The panel actively works to strengthen proposals, where appropriate, to increase the likelihood of downstream success whilst also takes account of economic viability for either developed or developing countries.

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

  • Diagnostic development and implementation
  • Medical devices, including implantable devices
  • Sensor development, including biomechanics expertise
  • Neurology/Neuroscience and neuropharmacology
  • Medicinal chemistry.
  • In vivo medical imaging – development and validation of novel technologies or techniques

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

MRC-NIHR Methodology Research Programme Panel

Six vacancies:       

The MRC-NIHR Methodology Research Programme (MRP) is a partnership, co-funded by the MRC and the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). MRP was established to inform research practice, policy and healthcare - improving efficiency throughout the biomedical and health-related research process. Methodology research maximises benefits for researchers, patients and the general population; and ensures health research and policy are built on the best possible evidence.

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 six new members to the panel, with academic and/or industrial expertise, prioritising the following fields:

  • Health economics, decision analytics
  • Biostatistics, mathematical modelling
  • Innovative approaches to "trials", including use of data and technologies
  • Biomedical product and diagnostic development, industry
  • Analytic methodologies at scale, Artificial intelligence
  • Data integration, dynamic biological systems.

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Training and Career Development Panels

MRC is seeking applications from researchers with an understanding of how to support early career scientists who are seeking to transition to research independence or leadership. Applicants must have expertise to robustly assess the experimental design and methodology aspects of proposals (animal and / or human studies) and be willing to contribute to the interviewing of trainees across a broad range of disciplines.

Non-Clinical Training and Career Development Panel

Up to four vacancies:

Applications are welcomed from researchers able to cover one or more of the following areas:

  • Bacterial Biology
  • Cellular imaging and microscopy
  • Data science and advanced analytics
  • Cognitive Neuroscience with neuroimaging expertise.

Clinical Training and Career Development Panel

Two to three vacancies:

Applications are welcomed from researchers able to cover one or more of the following areas:

  • Population Health
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Oncology
  • Clinical and population research methodologies.

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

Skills Development Panel

One vacancy:

  • Health economics.

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