MRC board and panel vacancies

Closing date
30 September 2022 at 16:00 (UK time)
Number of positions
23 research board vacancies, 26 panel vacancies
Length of term
Two years, plus additional two years after review
Time commitment
Two days per month
£160 per day when participating in funding meetings, T&S as appropriate
Outcomes communicated
Shortly after December 2022

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is inviting applications from experts with the proven experience and expertise to become members of MRC boards and panels from April 2023. We particularly welcome applications from currently under-represented groups, including women and ethnic minority researchers, and researchers with disabilities or long-term conditions.

MRC’s research boards and panels are comprised of leading experts that play a key role in delivering MRC objectives across the portfolio. The research boards hold their own research budgets and review and manage activity and strategies within their scientific domains, working co-operatively in areas of common interest.

Who we’re looking for

We are seeking to fill up to 23 vacancies across our research boards and 26 vacancies across our panels. Applications are invited from non-clinical, clinical and senior industry scientists with the relevant experience and expertise to join the boards or panels in the vacancies below.

The MRC is particularly keen to recruit members who can bring expertise in data science (such as statistics, bioinformatics, and computational modelling), including linking and interrogating data across scales and modalities and iterating between data models and experimental models.

Vacancies are to be filled from 1 April 2023.

Candidate profile

Applicants should be international leaders in the areas identified by 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 provide in-depth expertise across all specialities, members will contribute to discussions and help provide advice in other areas, sharing responsibility for decisions of the board or panel as a whole.

Person specification

MRC is seeking applications from high-calibre and committed experienced scientists based in research-active institutes or universities, or in companies within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, life or digital sciences sectors. In the case of Applied Global Health Research Board we particularly encourage experts based in ‘low- and middle-income countries’.

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 or panel. The MRC is committed to reproducibility in research, and we ask that applicants have a sound knowledge of experimental design and statistical approaches to ensure the highest standards of methodological rigour.

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 industry members)
  • demonstrable experience in research related to the particular vacancy advertised
  • a proven ability to exercise judgement across a broad spectrum of research and policy issues with a vision of the priorities and opportunities, not only within their 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.

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

What you’ll be doing

Infections and Immunity Board (IIB): four vacancies

The IIB is responsible for MRC’s investments investigating human infectious diseases and disorders of the human immune system, underpinned by fundamental discovery research into human pathogens and the development and functioning of the human immune system in the context of human disease.

The board has particular interests in addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance, strengthening epidemic preparedness, investigating immunity and infection through the life course, and supporting integrative data analysis and systems approaches.

We are seeking to fill four vacancies spanning the following areas:

Population health (infection and/or immunological)

With expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • maximising knowledge from disease cohorts, population resources, longitudinal observation studies, molecular or genomic epidemiological studies
  • design and methodologies relevant to epidemiological studies
  • statistical methodology and innovation.

Global infectious disease epidemiology

Including expertise in one or more of the following:

  • interdisciplinary and 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 or drivers of public health
  • multi-level approach to investigating disease and its prevention.

Innate and adaptive immunity

Particularly with expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • B-cell immunity
  • gastrointestinal immunity
  • immune responses to microorganisms
  • immune homeostasis and the microbiome.


With expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • mycobacteria
  • healthcare associated infections
  • antibiotic resistance including development of novel antimicrobials and control measures
  • evaluation and use of novel diagnostics.

We are particularly interested to hear from clinically qualified applicants, individuals with additional expertise in structural biology and those who have an active interest in global health, zoonoses, drug discovery or omics research of relevance to the board’s activities.

Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board (MCMB): five vacancies

MCMB 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. The board has particular interest in understanding dynamic biological systems across space and time, the link between external exposures and pathobiology, and research at the life-physical science interface.

We invite applications from clinical and non-clinical scientists including from industry settings. We are seeking to fill up to five vacancies in the areas outlined below.

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

Structural biology

Core expertise in crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy/tomography alongside a broad knowledge of a range of other biophysical techniques, macromolecular assemblies and structure-function studies.

Developmental cell biology

Expertise in the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie development, including gene function/regulation, mammalian/human biology and awareness of non-mammalian model systems

Cell biology and pharmacology (two vacancies)

Expertise for these posts include:

  • broad expertise in core cell biology, including in the areas of membrane trafficking and intracellular compartments, post-transcriptional regulation/modification, intracellular signalling and metabolism
  • pharmacology expertise in membrane receptors including G-protein coupled receptors, cell signalling, target validation

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.

Neurosciences and mental health board (NMHB): five vacancies

NMHB is responsible for MRC’s investments in disorders of the human nervous system. This includes fundamental research into the human nervous system 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 has a particular interest in 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 function of the human brain.

Applications are invited from clinical and non-clinical scientists, with submissions from relevant industry positions welcomed. Industry based candidates should have broad expertise in drug development with a focus on research needs in early translation.

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

  • brain development: covering neurodevelopment disorders and brain function
  • cellular and molecular neurobiology (two vacancies): with expertise in one or more areas of synaptic plasticity, circadian rhythms or neuroendocrine science
  • cognitive neuroscience (two vacancies): with expertise in imaging technologies, sensory neuroscience or behavioural neuroscience.

We are particularly interested to hear from applicants who have expertise in animal models including drosophila and zebrafish, modelling approaches and translational neuroscience. Knowledge of a range of non-invasive biophysical techniques will be an advantage.

Population and Systems Medicine Board (PSMB): five vacancies

The PSMB supports research aimed to unlock the complexity of human health and disease across the life course. PSMB takes a whole-systems approach to unravel disease mechanisms through better understanding the dynamic relationship within and between biological and social factors, both at the individual and population levels.

The board covers a wide scientific remit and is keen to continue to develop the MRC’s portfolio in the following areas that constitute our current priorities:

  • multimorbidity and the common underpinnings of multiple diseases within a single individual
  • the investigation of rare diseases to support their better diagnosis and treatment, as well as to provide mechanistic insight into more common conditions
  • innovative data integration across methodologies, scales and modalities through interdisciplinary team science.

Applications are invited from clinical and non-clinical scientists, with submissions from relevant industry positions welcomed. We are seeking to fill up to five vacancies in the areas outlined below.

Metabolic regulation

We are particularly welcoming mechanistic expertise with a focus on diabetes, insulin resistance, or other complications of obesity.


We are particularly welcoming early translation of mechanistic research for patient benefit. Candidates from across the range of PSMB remit, including prevention, diagnosis and therapy are welcome to apply.

Cell physiology

Genetic, molecular and cellular approaches to inform mechanisms of disease with relevance to PSMB priority areas above.

Public health

With expertise in qualitative and quantitative methods, health inequalities and the development and evaluation of interventions.


With expertise in vascular biology, cardiac physiology, and cellular or molecular expertise, or experimental models (including animals).

Experience in experimental medicine, patient stratification, biomarker discovery, systems biology, rare diseases, diagnostics, pharmacology, regenerative medicine or animal models is desirable. The MRC is committed to reproducibility in research, and so we ask that applicants have a sound knowledge of experimental design and statistical approaches.

In addition, PSMB is looking for an ‘ad hoc’ board member who we can call on for the rare occasions when we have applications relevant to dentistry. PSMB welcomes applications from research-active dentistry and oral health professionals, who have interests in either clinical or fundamental science. Interested applicants can contact to discuss this role, and the responsibilities of an ad hoc board member in more detail.

Applied Global Health Research Board (AGHRB): four vacancies

AGHRB is responsible for MRC’s investments to develop practical solutions to global health challenges and inequities of relevance to low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). This includes:

  • late-stage intervention development and testing
  • implementation science and scale up
  • health economics
  • health systems research
  • policy research
  • cross-sector multi-disciplinary research.

Grant applications to the board can be led by LMIC or UK principal investigators. Accordingly, we are looking for both LMIC and UK-based researchers to join the AGHRB.

The board has a particular interest in implementation science, maternal and neonatal health, early childhood development, adolescent health and capacity strengthening in lower-middle-income country settings.

We are seeking to fill four vacancies spanning the areas outlined below.

Mental health

With expertise in mood disorders, clinical trials and complex interventions.

Infectious disease epidemiology

With expertise in antimicrobial resistance, and an interest in prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

Public health

With experience of implementation science and scale-up.

Maternal and neonatal health

Broad expertise to potentially include intervention development, public health, nutrition relating to maternal and neonatal health, and maternal health in the context of non-communicable disease.

We are particularly interested to hear from applicants based in low- and middle-income countries.

Applications are welcome from experts with clinical and non-clinical backgrounds, in particular those with experience of clinical trials, implementation science and scale-up.

Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme Panel: seven vacancies

The Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS) is the MRC’s primary mechanism for supporting translational research. The DPFS panel is responsible for supporting academical-led projects to progress fundamental and clinical research findings towards clinical use or wider health application. The scheme supports a broad spectrum of activities from the development of novel therapies, interventions and diagnostics through to early-phase clinical studies. Projects are goal-orientated, and milestone monitored with clearly defined outcomes and downstream development plans.

Up to seven vacancies are available for candidates with academic or industry translational expertise in at least one of the following areas:

  • statistics, including preclinical studies, experiments involving animals, and clinical study and trial design (up to three positions)
  • gene therapy
  • biomedical imaging, including development and clinical applications
  • medicinal chemistry and drug development
  • cardiovascular medicine.

Applications from clinically active researchers, researchers based in industry and those with knowledge of the relevant investment landscape would be particularly welcomed. Given the breadth of applications received by the scheme, panel members are required to help cover areas outside of their core expertise.

Experimental Medicine Panel: four vacancies

MRC’s Experimental Medicine Panel provides dedicated support for investigations in humans to further our understanding of human disease pathogenesis and enable the future development of new targeted treatments. The panel will be responsible for delivering investment in academically-led projects focussed on probing pathogenic mechanisms, identifying disease sub-groups, confirming tractable disease pathways for targeting, and validating human challenge models. A broad portfolio of activities and disease areas is anticipated.

Up to four vacancies are available for candidates with academic or industry experimental medicine expertise in the following areas:

  • oncology
  • novel statistical design (two vacancies)
  • infectious diseases and global health

Better Methods, Better Research Panel: five vacancies

Supporting methodology research that will improve the methods used by others, the MRC-NIHR Better Methods, Better Research (BMBR) programme aims to increase efficiency, reproducibility, rigour and impact across the entire spectrum of biomedical and health-related research.

We are seeking applications from experienced researchers with a broad scientific background and a very strong methodological expertise. To ensure diversity of views, those with research experience beyond academia are particularly encouraged to apply.

The MRC and NIHR expect to appoint up to five new members to the panel, prioritising applications from within any of the following domains:

  • bioinformatics – computational or systems biology
  • epidemiology, longitudinal studies, or causal inference
  • genetics, epigenetics, or genomics
  • health economics
  • industry experience (biostatistics)

In addition to those applying direct to become a member of the BMBR panel, we ask all applicants to other MRC funding board or panels to identify their interest in future co-membership with the BMBR panel. Dual membership ensures that the importance of optimal research methods is embedded across all MRC funding decisions and strategy. These applicants may hold strong methodological expertise in any area and are not limited to the five vacancies listed above.

Public Health Intervention Development Panel (PHIND): two vacancies

The Public Health Intervention Development (PHIND) funding scheme aims to support the early-stage development of population-level interventions that address important UK or global public health challenges. The scheme focuses on non-healthcare settings, and encourages a novel, high-risk approach to their development. The MRC PHIND scheme complements funding available from NIHR, MRC Global Health and other sources for subsequent stages of public health intervention development and evaluation.

Two vacancies are available for candidates with academic expertise in at least one of the following areas, in the context of public health or intervention development:

  • global health and research in LMICs, particularly around social and anthropological aspects of health
  • behaviour change
  • general health in young people, including mental health
  • digital health.

We welcome applications from researchers with clinical and non-clinical backgrounds. We also welcome applications from individuals with experience of co-production of research and of working with diverse stakeholders.

Training and Career Development Panels

MRC is seeking applications from researchers with an excellent track record and a keen interest in supporting early career researchers, through fellowship awards targeting key career transitions and outstanding, novel, research topics. Applicants must have expertise to robustly assess the experimental design and methodology aspects of proposals (animal or human studies) and be willing to contribute to the interviewing of trainees across a broad range of disciplines.

Clinical Training and Career Development Panel: five vacancies

The panel assesses applications to our range of clinical fellowship schemes, designed to support talented researchers wishing to pursue a clinical academic career.
Panel members contribute to assessments and interviews across all remit and interest areas of MRC, addressing research questions from fundamental science to early clinical trials and preventive medicine.

This year we would particularly welcome applications from researchers who would bring core expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • applied health research
  • cardiovascular disorders and disease
  • clinical oncology and/or immuno-oncology
  • clinical trial design and methodology
  • health data epidemiology, statistics, and informatics.

We encourage applications from across the spectrum of healthcare professions, from those working in primary, secondary or community care and public health. However, it is not a pre-requisite to be clinically qualified to sit on the panel.

Non-Clinical Training and Career Development Panel: three vacancies

The panel assesses applications to our non-clinical fellowship schemes. Panel members contribute to assessments and interviews across the full range of MRC’s work, and this year we would particularly welcome applications from researchers who would bring core expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • structural biology, biophysical biology, and biochemistry
  • immunology and infectious disease
  • cognitive neuroscience and mental health.

Candidates in the above areas with experience of clinically-oriented research, working with industry or research involving human participation would be particularly welcome.


The average amount of time spent by members on board or panel business is equivalent to about two days a month for all activities, including meetings and preparatory work. New members will initially be appointed for two years. Membership will be extended for a further two years following review by the relevant chair and MRC Head of Theme.

Research boards currently meet three times a year, each meeting lasting between one and two full days depending on the size of the agenda. Panels and the Applied Global Health Research Board meet 2-3 times a year.

MRC boards and panels met virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to hold some meetings virtually, as well as in person when possible, to enhance engagement and networking.


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

How to apply

To apply, please complete and submit the online application form. All applications must be submitted by 16:00 (UK time) 30 September 2022.

Please see a PDF version of the application form to view the questions you will need to complete to submit your application.

In addition to the information provided in the application form and submitted CV, we may also use publicly available information, in line with the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), to assist with membership decisions.

Decisions on membership will be made by the end of December 2022. Applicants will be notified of the recruitment decisions shortly thereafter.

Reasonable adjustments

We want to make our recruitment processes as well as participation in our boards and panels accessible to all, and this includes making adjustments for individuals who identify as neurodiverse or as having a disability or long-term condition.

If you have any queries regarding the application process or if you would like this application in a different format (e.g. accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille etc.), please contact:


Should your application be 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, either through providing information in the diversity monitoring section of your application form or through contacting

How we’ll assess your application

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

  • scientific ‘fit’ for the vacancy
  • scientific track record
  • experience of peer review
  • place: we aim for representation from research organisations across the UK and may limit the number of members from one organisation. We also consider applicants from other countries, if their full participation is practical (able to travel to attend meetings in the UK or participate virtually during UK business hours). The Applied Global Health Research Board particularly encourages applicants based in ‘low- and middle-income’ countries
  • gender and ethnicity balance.

Further information

Induction for successful candidates

As part of the preparation for their tenure, all new members will participate in an induction meeting. This is currently planned for 9 February 2023; further details to follow.

The meeting will be an opportunity for you to meet the MRC Executive Chair, other senior MRC staff, and your board or panel chair and support teams. The induction enables us to provide guidance on your role and an overview of the MRC, its strategic ambitions, functions and methods of operation where these relate to the work of the research boards and panels.

New recruits are expected to attend a board or panel meeting as an observer prior to starting their new role.

Relevant board meeting dates are:

  • Infections and immunity: 8-9 March 2023
  • Molecular and cellular medicine: 15-16 February 2023
  • Neurosciences and mental health: 15-16 March 2023
  • Population and system medicine: 8-9 March 2023
  • Applied Global Health Research Board: 17-19 January 2023

Relevant panel meeting dates are:

  • Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme: 18-19 January 2023
  • Experimental Medicine Panel: 27-28 June 2023
  • Better Methods, Better Research Panel: 10-11 May 2023
  • Public Health Intervention Development Panel: March 2023 (date to be confirmed)
  • Clinical Training and Career Development Panel: 2-3 March 2023
  • Non-Clinical Training and Career Development Panel: 22-23 March 2023

For the Experimental Medicine Panel and the Better Methods, Better Research panel, the panel meeting takes place after new members’ start date (1 April 2023). Successful applicants will be invited to participate at this meeting as a full member.

Principles for recruitment

Principles for boards

We aim for each board to have between 18 and 24 members including representation from a diversity of organisations, backgrounds, characteristics, and perspectives. Each
board should aim to include some representation from:

  • MRC units or institutes
  • industry members
  • international members

All research boards should have adequate expertise to evaluate translational research applications, including tactics and approaches, and have an understanding of early phase trials.

Principles for boards and panels

Recruitment to the boards and panels aims to:

  • broaden the diversity of membership
  • steadily increase the number of women and ethnic minority members
  • increase the ratio of mid-career to later-career members
  • ensure a strong representation for basic research across all boards and panels
  • include industry representation as appropriate.

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

Last updated: 8 September 2022

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