Call for applications to STFC advisory bodies and peer review panels

Closing date for applications is 14 May 2023.

Every year, a number of vacancies become available on the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) advisory bodies and peer review panels. These bodies perform a vital function for STFC, providing advice and guidance that aids our strategic direction and supports our decision-making processes.

This page includes:

  • a summary of what members do, who we’re looking for and how to apply
  • link to guidance documents
  • specific details on each available panel, committees and board vacancy, including eligibility, selection criteria and time commitment

STFC cover funding for Frontier Science Programme core areas (the PPAN areas of particle physics, particle astrophysics, astronomy, and nuclear physics, alongside the accelerator science and computing programmes that accompany them) but also run facilities and advisory panels, therefore, we’re interested in your expertise in different types of the main core areas where applicable.

What members do

Members have the opportunity to influence STFC’s strategy, policies, and funding decisions, as well as guiding STFC to develop the societal impact of our investments and best support our research and innovation communities.

Members will also be able to expand their professional networks and explore a wide range of challenges related to investment in UK science and engineering.

Our handbook for members of STFC’s advisory bodies will help you to understand our expectations of a panel member. The handbook also includes useful information on other topics such as equality and diversity, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, and our policy on travel, subsistence, and remunerated meeting fees.

Webinar recording

Video credit: UKRI. Video transcript and on-screen captions are available by watching on YouTube

Who can be a member

We are committed to the principles of fair and transparent decision-making, promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). In addition to UKRI principles on EDI, STFC continues to develop a range of measures and objectives around EDI. We have undertaken an equality, diversity and inclusion impact assessment (EIA) for this opportunity, see application guidance documents.

We would like to encourage everyone to consider this opportunity. We would also urge colleagues to share these details with everyone in their networks and teams – including any specific diversity networks that exist within your institution.

We want to encourage a diverse range of applicants to all our panels and have a target of 30% in relation to the underrepresented gender (for STFC women) on our panels. We collect other diversity related information, to understand whether our panels are more broadly representative and to inform any future action we might take in this area. We therefore encourage all applicants to share information about themselves. This information will be anonymised and aggregated, to protect individual identity.

We are also highlighting the opportunity for early career candidates to apply for certain vacancies. This has been indicated in the text for specific panels.

The specific requirements for each vacancy are listed, and all applications will be assessed via an appropriate review process. Applications will be assessed on the evidence presented in the application.

We are seeking applications from academia, government, industry, the ‘third sector’ or civil society communities (including charities) relevant to STFC’s grant programmes, and from the communities supported by STFC facilities. Submissions from STFC employees (for example scientists, technologists,  project managers or engineers) who meet the criteria for panels are also welcome.

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided with reasonable accommodation to participate in the panel membership. We are committed to helping you with the application and appointment processes and have tried to make the information clear and accessible.

How to apply

  1. Check the specific details below for the panel, committee and board vacancies before deciding which to apply for.
  2. Read the application guidance documents, which include:
    • a preview of the application form
    • questions and answers from a webinar we held in 2021
    • testimonies from members of STFC panels, boards and committees
  3. Apply using the online form:

Apply for membership of STFC advisory bodies and peer review panels 2023.

Closing date for applications is 14 May 2023.

Additional information

Start dates and term lengths

This is an annual opportunity and, as a result, membership may commence at different times. For most committees and panels members will be appointed for 3 years unless otherwise stated.

Reaching the widest possible pool of applicants

Communities are asked strongly to encourage their relevant network and colleagues to participate. Please pass on the details of this page. Please note, all applicants should apply directly.

If appropriate STFC may open the opportunity up again to encourage a wider pool of applicants and to ensure that we have a balance across the different range of representation and experiences we are seeking. We encourage all members of our community to either put themselves forward for membership of our boards and panels or to recommend other qualified candidates to apply themselves.

Video: about Science Board

Video credit: UKRI. Video transcript and on-screen captions are available by watching on YouTube

Ask a question about applying to an STFC panel or advisory board

Email: psg@stfc.ukri.org

Read the specific details below for the relevant panel, committee and board vacancies before making your application.

STFC panels with vacancies in the 2023 opportunity

See applications for the new Science Board (PPAN) or Science Board (Facilities and Laboratories):

  • Advisory Panel for Public Engagement
  • Astronomy Advisory Panel (AAP)
  • CERN Fellowship panel
  • DiRAC Resource Allocation Committee – Astronomy and Cosmology Sub-Panel
  • DiRAC Resource Allocation Committee (DiRAC) – Particle Physics and Nuclear Theory Sub-Panel
  • Education Training and Careers Committee
  • Ernest Rutherford Fellowship
  • European Committee for Future Accelerators
  • Gravitational Waves Grants Panel
  • Innovation and Business Board (IBB)
  • Life Sciences and Soft Materials Advisory Panel (LS&SMAP)
  • Nuclear Physics Advisory Panel
  • Oversight committees
  • Particle Physics Advisory Panel (PPAP)
  • Particle Physics Grant Panel Theory (PPGPT)
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering Advisory Panel (PS&EAP)
  • Projects Peer Review Panel (PPRP)
  • Public engagement grant panels:
    • Nucleus Award Panel
    • Spark Award Panel
  • Solar System Advisory Panel
  • UK Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Regional Centre Project Board
  • UK Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Science Committee

Panels accepting applications from industry

  • DiRAC Resource Allocation Committee – Astronomy and Cosmology Sub-Panel
  • DiRAC Resource Allocation Committee (DiRAC) – Particle Physics and Nuclear Theory Sub-Panel
  • Education Training and Careers Committee
  • Innovation and Business Board (IBB)
  • Life Sciences and Soft Materials Advisory Panel
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering Advisory Panel (PS&EAP)
  • Projects Peer Review Panel (PPRP)

Panels accepting applications from early careers

  • Advisory Panel for Public Engagement
  • Astronomy Advisory Panel (AAP)
  • CERN Fellowship Panel
  • DiRAC Resource Allocation Committee – Astronomy and Cosmology Sub-Panel
  • DiRAC Resource Allocation Committee (DiRAC) –
  • Particle Physics and Nuclear Theory Sub-Panel
  • Education Training and Careers Committee (ETCC)
  • Ernest Rutherford Fellowship (ERF)
  • Innovation and Business Board (IBB)
  • Life Sciences and Soft Materials Advisory Panel (LS&SMAP)
  • Nuclear Physics Advisory Panel (NPAP)
  • Particle Physics Advisory Panel (PPAP)
  • Particle Physics Grant Panel (PPGP)
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering Advisory Panel (PS&EAP)
  • Solar System Advisory Panel (SSAP)

Advisory panel for public engagement

The Advisory Panel for Public Engagement (APPE) provides advice to Council, STFC Executive and STFC Public Engagement teams on strategy, policies and programme balance for public engagement with STFC’s science and technology and provides new ideas for programme development. The work of the panel covers the full STFC public engagement programme, delivered between STFC’s national laboratories and the council’s head office in Swindon.

This year, there are up to 8 vacancies on the panel. We are particularly keen to receive applications from individuals working in industry, teachers and educators, science centres, policy bodies, professional societies, from non-STFC research laboratories and institutes and from different sectors which place engagement with people and communities at the heart of their practice. We welcome applications from individuals across all career stages, subject to demonstration of the proportionate required expertise.

Successful applicants will demonstrate expertise in the following APPE selection criteria:

  • expertise in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of a range of public engagement programmes
  • expertise in supporting public engagement delivery in academic or public facing contexts, or both (for example, those in ‘public engagement professional’ roles) – public and private sector experience welcome
  • expertise in the planning, delivery, participation and evaluation of a range of community or youth engagement programmes
  • wide-ranging knowledge of the public engagement and STEM inspiration landscape in the UK (essential) and beyond (desirable)
  • knowledge of the STFC public engagement strategy and wider STFC strategies and priorities

We are committed to a policy of equal opportunities. Appointments to the advisory panel are made on merit. However, we are keen to maintain diversity in its membership. Applications from women, those with a disability or members of minority ethnic groups are therefore especially welcome. We will use diversity of membership as part of our selection criteria where we have 2 or more equally qualified or appointable candidates.

Membership will begin at the October 2023 meeting of the advisory panel, and appointments will initially be for 3 years. The panel meets twice a year, usually in May (in person) and October (online), and meetings are typically be two days long and at least one meeting per year will include an overnight stay at a UK location.

The panel operates via facilitated group working and problem-solving so enthusiasm for or experience of such methods is required. Some working group activity is expected outside of full APPE meetings.

For further information

Contact Jenni Chambers.

Email: jenni.chambers@stfc.ukri.org

Astronomy Advisory Panel (AAP)

STFC advisory panels report to STFC Science Board, providing a route for consultation and interaction with the community. The panels draft and maintain roadmaps describing current and future research opportunities in their areas.

The Astronomy Advisory Panel will have a number of vacancies arising in the next 12 months.  We welcome applications from those with expertise covering all areas of astronomy.

AAP selection criteria:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the national and international contexts relating to this field
  • demonstrate skills in communication, team-working and strategic thinking.

The membership term is nominally a 3-year appointment.

The successful applicants will have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the astronomy programme.

For further information

Contact Michelle Cooper.

Email: michelle.cooper@stfc.ukri.org

CERN Fellowships panel

Applications for a vacancy to the CERN Fellowships panel are encouraged for 2023 as our chair finishes their 3-year term of office.  We strive to have a balanced panel both from a science perspective of theory and diversity.

The panel currently consists of four particle physics assessors, three experimentalists and one theorist. The panel membership usually changes by one person on 1 January each year with membership lasting for up to four years with an option to act as panel chair towards the end of the panel membership. This year the vacancy is for an experimentalist.

How the panel operates

The CERN Fellowships scheme invites applications from graduates for Fellowships at CERN from all its member states. The UK CERN Fellowships panel reviews the applications in particle physics and agrees a marking of 1 to 5 stars that then provide input to the CERN selection committee on UK applicants.

Applications to assess are received from CERN in March and September each year. The review is carried out entirely by online access to the CERN site using the set of criteria provided by them to rank the applications. The panel discuss the rankings and comments for each candidate and once agreed these are sent to STFC to update the CERN application site.

The final decision on the applications is made at the twice-yearly Associates and Fellowship Committee (AFC) at CERN. STFC is informed of the results and the panel are updated on the decisions of the AFC.

Member expectations and selection criteria

CERN Fellowship Panel members are expected to:

  • meet the timescale deadlines of the applications
  • work together with the other panel members to agree a consistent ranking mark
  • advise STFC on the merits of the UK applications for CERN Fellowships
  • adhere to the EDI policy for UKRI and STFC.

CERN Fellowships Panel selection criteria:

  • knowledge of particle physics theory
  • awareness of CERN fellowships
  • understanding of Early Career trajectory
  • experience of assessing early career applications such as for fellowships
  • knowledge of ED&I and good practice.

For further information

Careers at CERN website

Kylie Collett

Email: kylie.collett@stfc.ukri.org

Alternatively, visit the CERN website.

DiRAC Resource Allocation Committee – Astronomy and Cosmology Sub-Panel

DiRAC is the integrated supercomputing facility for theoretical modelling and high performance computing (HPC)-based research in particle physics, astrophysics, cosmology, and nuclear physics, all areas in which the UK is world-leading.

The Resource Allocation Committee (RAC) was established by STFC to review proposals annually and oversee the time allocation process for computing time on the DiRAC facility.

The RAC has two sub-panels, one for ‘Particle Physics and Nuclear Theory’ and one for ‘Astronomy and Cosmology’, each of which consider the proposals within their respective remits.

Members will:

  • assess applications for time allocations on the above facility, taking appropriate account of advice from external reviewers, and make recommendations to the STFC Executive
  • aim to achieve the optimal use of DiRAC resources, considering the RAC assessment criteria, STFC strategic priorities, including resource balancing across the different science areas, and the technical capabilities of the machines
  • advise the STFC Executive on any issues related to DiRAC resource allocation policy and practice

There are three vacancies on the DiRAC RAC Astronomy and Cosmology Sub-Panel later this year. Membership will begin on 1 October 2023 for three years. Prior experience of working on similar panels is desirable, but not essential, and we welcome early career academics, providing they can demonstrate suitable expertise.

Each year, members will be required to attend the Astronomy and Cosmology Sub-Panel meeting, the RAC Main Panel meeting (if selected), the annual project reporting meeting (if selected), plus any other ad-hoc activities which may arise if availability allows.

DiRAC members are expected to:

  • be able to work constructively in the area of the panel’s work and as part of a team
  • have knowledge of the STFC Science Challenges, Frontier Physics areas and its strategic priorities
  • be able to meet the commitments and attendance requirements of the panel

Suitable applicants should have expertise in one or more of the following areas (please note that the scientific areas of the second position have been amended since the call was first published, we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause):

  • cosmology, galaxies, dark matter, astrophysics, the use of mathematical and computational tools
  • star formation, formation and evolution of giant molecular clouds, other computational galactic astrophysics
  • solar plasma physics, magnetospheric physics, computational physics and high performance computing

For further information

Contact Sarah Garlick.

Email: sarah.garlick@stfc.ukri.org

DiRAC Resource Allocation Committee – Particle Physics and Nuclear Theory Sub-Panel

DiRAC is the integrated supercomputing facility for theoretical modelling and high performance computing (HPC)-based research in particle physics, astrophysics, cosmology, and nuclear physics, all areas in which the UK is world-leading.

The Resource Allocation Committee (RAC) was established by STFC to review proposals annually and oversee the time allocation process for computing time on the DiRAC facility.

The RAC has two sub-panels, one for ‘Particle Physics and Nuclear Theory’ and one for ‘Astronomy and Cosmology’, each of which consider the proposals within their respective remits.

Members will:

  • assess applications for time allocations on the above facility, taking appropriate account of advice from external reviewers, and make recommendations to STFC Executive
  • aim to achieve the optimal use of DiRAC resources, considering the RAC assessment criteria, STFC strategic priorities, including resource balancing across the different science areas, and the technical capabilities of the machines
  • advise STFC Executive on any issues related to DiRAC resource allocation policy and practice.

There is one vacancy on the DiRAC RAC Particle Physics and Nuclear Theory Sub-Panel later this year. Membership will begin on 1 October 2023 for 3 years. Prior experience of working on similar panels is desirable, but not essential, and we welcome early career academics, providing they can demonstrate suitable expertise.

Each year, members will be required to attend the Particle Physics and Nuclear Theory Sub-Panel meeting, the RAC Main Panel meeting (if selected), the annual Project Reporting meeting (if selected), plus any other ad-hoc activities which may arise if availability allows.

DiRAC members are expected to:

  • be able to work constructively in the area of the panel’s work and as part of a team
  • have knowledge of the the STFC Science Challenges in Frontier Physics areas and its strategic priorities
  • be able to meet the commitments and attendance requirements of the panel.

We invite applications from individuals with expertise in the areas of lattice gauge theories, beyond the Standard Model Physics, and perturbative aspects of QCD in the framework of Lattice regularisation.

For further information

Contact Sarah Garlick.

Email: sarah.garlick@stfc.ukri.org

Education Training and Careers Committee

Applications to the STFC Education Training and Careers Committee are invited. The successful applicants will have the opportunity to contribute to the development of studentships and fellowships policy and strategy.

The committee provides advice to STFC Council and the Executive on strategy, policies, and programme balance for all aspects of education and training relevant to the STFC core programme including studentships, fellowships, equality issues and career development of early career researchers.

The committee oversees the allocation of STFC Doctoral Training Partnerships, the peer review and award of fellowships and Industrial CASE studentships and the quality of training provided by these programmes. The committee meets 3 times a year and members usually serve on the Fellowships panel at some point during their term.

This opportunity welcomes applicants from different career stages and diverse backgrounds who can demonstrate the appropriate skills, expertise and experience listed in the criteria.

STFC is inviting applications from individuals, particularly with the following areas of expertise:

  • astronomy, extragalactic
  • industry

Committee members are expected to:

  • be able to meet the commitments and attendance requirements of the committee
  • work constructively in the area of the committee’s work
  • represent a balance across disciplines, experiments, and institutions
  • follow UKRI and STFC equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) principles and procedures.

Applications will be assessed against the following selection criteria. Please demonstrate how you meet the criteria in your application:

  • experience of assessing grant applications or peer review, particularly for early career applicants such as fellowships
  • experience and interest in strategy and policy with respect to early careers including doctoral and early careers
  • experience of EDI issues
  • knowledge of PPAN science areas
  • knowledge of the strategy of STFC

For further information

Contact Jennifer Varallo

Email: jennifer.varallo@stfc.ukri.org

Ernest Rutherford Fellowship Panel

Applications to the Ernest Rutherford Fellowship Panel are invited. Up to 10 Ernest Rutherford Fellowships are offered each year which provide 5 years of funding to outstanding researchers at an early stage of their career. The Ernest Rutherford Fellowships will enable early career researchers with clear leadership potential to establish a strong, independent research programme. They will encourage talented researchers in UK universities to remain in the country and at the same time attract outstanding overseas researchers to the UK.

Members of the Ernest Rutherford Panel will be asked to recommend appropriate expert peer reviewers, attend sift/prioritisation meetings and interview panels.

This opportunity welcomes applicants from different career stages and diverse backgrounds who can demonstrate the appropriate skills, expertise, and experience.

STFC is inviting applications from individuals with the following areas of expertise:

  • Particle astrophysics and cosmology
  • Astronomy extragalactic
  • Astronomy near universe
  • Astronomy near exoplanet/solar
  • Nuclear physics
  • Particle physics theory
  • Particle physics experiment
  • Accelerator physics

Panel members will be expected to:

  • be able to meet the commitments and attendance requirements of the panel.  This will involve selecting reviewers for applications in your field of expertise, scoring and assessment prior to sift meetings, attendance for 1 or 2 days at sift, preparing candidate feedback following sift meetings and preparation work prior to interviews if required.  Interviews will be held over 4 days
  • have the ability to work across research disciplines and separate from personal biases
  • adhere to UKRI’s EDI policy and procedures.

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria. Please demonstrate how you meet the criteria in your application:

  • experience of assessing grant applications/peer review
  • knowledge of PPAN science areas
  • knowledge of the strategy of STFC
  • skills in participating and balancing views, arguments, and interests of other participants
  • understanding Early Career trajectory.

For further information

Susan Blackwell

Email: susan.blackwell@stfc.ukri.org

European Committee for Future Accelerators

STFC invites applications to fill in two positions for accelerator and particle physicists to represent the UK at the European Committee for Future Accelerators (EFCA).

The positions are for a three-year term, renewable once. The applicants will be selected by the UK ECFA members in consultation with the Chair of PPAP and the IOP HEPP group.

Their names will be submitted by the UK r-ECFA representative to the ECFA chair for endorsement by the plenary ECFA assembly in November 2023.
ECFA’s aim is to assist in the long-term planning of European high-energy physics and accelerator facilities and to encourage international collaboration. ECFA is advisory to CERN management, Council, its committees and other organisations.

ECFA members are delegated by their countries while attending as individuals. The UK currently has six active members.

Candidates for this role should have an overview and interest in the status, development and perspectives of particle physics, its accelerators and detectors, in the UK, Europe and beyond. They will have been, or now wish to be, engaged in developments for the future of these areas. They will be able to assess relevant developments in one or various areas of ECFA’s activity and are able to operate in the international context of ECFA.

Further information can be obtained from the ECFA terms of reference:

Selection criteria:

  • an understanding of particle physics, accelerators and detectors, in the UK, Europe and beyond.
  • domain expertise and evidence of a first-class record in conducting and leading internationally respected research or evidence of applying frontier science research (for example in particle physics, nuclear physics, particle astrophysics, accelerator programmes) within the public, private or third sectors
  • evidence of providing advice at a strategic level, for example, policy documents, strategic or peer review capacity, managing R&D or research and resource investments, expert groups, liaison roles, panels
  • experience of working across international boundaries, particularly with regards to research collaborations
  • a willingness to travel and act as an advocate for the UK research community.

For further information

Contact Jess Atkinson.

Email: jessica.atkinson@stfc.ukri.org

Gravitational Waves Grants Panel

STFC is looking for new members to review support for gravitational waves. The role of the panel will be to assess and make recommendations to the STFC executive for research awards in gravitational waves research.

The remit of the panel will cover:

  • detector R&D
  • development, operations and exploitation of suspended-mass laser interferometric gravitational wave detectors

As a member you will work as part of a small panel and will:

  • gain an overview of the STFC gravitational wave programme
  • play a role in shaping this world leading programme
  • develop a greater understanding of the proposal writing and peer review process

We are looking to recruit four to six panel members with a range of expertise as follows:

  • scientific expertise – astronomers potentially with expertise in gravitational wave astronomy
  • detector R&D and development – preferably in precision instrumentation for astronomy instruments, but experience from other scientific areas welcome
  • data modelling and analysis for exploitation – preferably in an astronomy context, but experience from other scientific areas welcome
  • operations – experience of operating observatories or telescopes

Ideally you will not be a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. However, if you are a member, but expect not to benefit from or be conflicted with applications to the call, we will consider your application.

For further information

Contact Melanie Kidd.

Email: melanie.kidd@stfc.ukri.org

Innovation and Business Board (IBB)

This new body aims to bring together leaders of major partners in innovation and industry to leverage their industrial experience and networks into STFC’s activities and to provide guidance and feedback for new business engagement strategies.

The Innovation and Business Board will provide advice to STFC on how to accelerate end-to-end innovation and stimulate business growth delivering on UKRI’s World Class Innovation objective:

  • UKRI Vision: an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit
  • UKRI Mission: to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and public good
  • UKRI Values:
    • we are collaborative partners
    • we are innovative, creative and catalysts
    • we act with integrity and we focus on excellence

STFC is looking to recruit panel members for the Innovation and Business Board. There are up to four vacancies available, the term of membership will ordinarily be for three years, commencing in September 2023, with the possibility of reappointment.

Members are asked to attend meetings up to three times a year with other businesses conducted via email. Please note these roles are not remunerated.

Applications are invited from individuals with substantial experience of research-led, or industry-led innovation and delivering new business derived at the intersection of academia and industry.

What the board will do

The Innovation and Business Board will:

  • provide industry and business perspectives regarding STFC activities
  • provide advice on the implementation and future development of STFC’s Innovation, Campus and Industry Engagement strategies
  • assist STFC in demonstrating success by providing advice on measuring and communicating the impact and benefit of supported activities
  • provide input to STFC’s skills and expertise development plans to increase alignment with industrial needs as appropriate
  • provide advice on STFC funding opportunities and existing funding mechanisms
  • act as advocates for STFC across industry and business landscape

Meetings and Reporting

The Innovation and Business Board meets three times a year. An annual report will be presented to STFC Council.

A meeting will be quorate when eight external members and six internal members will be able to attend the meeting.

The secretariat for the Innovation and Business Board is provided by the STFC Business and Innovation Directorate.

Selection criteria

It is intended that the Innovation and Business Board will have representation from a variety of academia and industry sectors, reflecting the broad spectrum of research carried out at STFC’s facilities.

Members of the external advisory group will be selected based on the evidence provided against the following criteria:

  • extensive experience at a senior level in an industrial research environment or working at the interface between industry and academia
  • proven ability to provide advice at a strategic level with the ability to exercise judgement across a broad spectrum of policy and research issues
  •  knowledge of the role of the UK research infrastructure, and understanding of STFC’s programmes and its priorities
  • awareness of the national and international scientific and funding landscapes in which STFC operates
  • a demonstrable ability to think and act strategically and address difficult decisions across a broad spectrum of issues. Confident and well-informed in debate
  • ability to quickly form positive working relationships with a wide range of people
  • ability to commit the necessary time and attention to the role and where appropriate, have the full support of their employer and organisation.

Please upload a copy of your CV in the online application process.

Timetable for appointment (draft planning):

  • 20 March 2023 – call opens
  • 14 May 2023 – call closes at midnight UK time
  • week commencing 5 or 12 June 2023 – shortlisting
  • week commencing (to be confirmed) – candidate interviews
  • week commencing (to be confirmed) – panel decision letters issued and members confirmed
  • October 2023 – Innovation and Business Board meeting

For further information

Contact Dymphie Webb.

Email: dymphie.webb@stfc.ac.uk

Life Sciences and Soft Materials Advisory Panel

The purpose of the facility advisory panels is to provide a link between Science Board and the community and represent the needs of the community to STFC.

There are two advisory panels in this area, the other being the Physical Sciences and Engineering Advisory Panel.

The remit of the panels is to:

  • maintain an overview of activities within their research area as relevant to STFC, in particular, but not exclusively, relating to facility provision, both UK and international
  • consult and interact with the community to ensure its views are canvassed and there is an appropriate and effective route for communication with STFC on strategic programmatic issues
  • provide advice to Science Board on specific questions as requested
    liaise with other advisory panels when appropriate.

Examples of programmatic issues where the panel has been asked to provide advice include the UKRI infrastructure roadmap programme (in relation to the multidisciplinary facilities) and STFC reviews concerning or related to facility provision.

Panel membership is for a period of three years. There are up to six vacancies for panel members for terms to start on 1 September 2023.

The panel has one face-to-face meeting annually and on occasion has other meetings (usually by videoconference) as business requires.

The selection criteria for panel membership are:

  • familiarity with STFC’s national and international facilities (CLF, Diamond Light Source, ESRF, ESS, ILL, ISIS Neutron Source, European XFEL) in the context of the life sciences and soft materials subject area (essential)
  • skills in communication, team-working and strategic thinking (essential)
  • a user of more than one neutron facility, synchrotron facility, laser facility or free-electron laser (FEL) facility (desirable)
  • knowledge of facility strategy, for example through membership of peer review panels or strategic advisory panels (desirable)
  • demonstrated engagement with the community (desirable)

Applicants are welcome from those at all career stages who can demonstrate the criteria above.

For further information

Contact Rachel Reynolds, starting your subject line with ‘panel membership recruitment’.

Email: rachel.reynolds@stfc.ukri.org

Nuclear Physics Advisory Panel

STFC is seeking new Nuclear Physics Advisory Panel members. The advisory panel helps provide input to STFC Science Board and is a valued link for consultation and interaction with the Nuclear Physics community.

Panel members will usually meet three to four times a year, to help draft and maintain a roadmap describing current and future research opportunities within their areas of expertise and provide input to strategic reviews when required.

The workload is usually light, and previous panel members have found membership to be a positive experience in representing and shaping the direction of the UK community, and gaining an insight into STFC strategy. Membership terms are for 3 years.

Suitable applicants should have:

  • relevant scientific or technical expertise
  • demonstrable commitment to UKRI’s values and objectives
  • an understanding of the UK and international context to their area of nuclear physics
  • an ability to act as a representative of their science area when formulating strategic priorities for the UK nuclear physics community

Please ensure you include details addressing the criteria and why you wish to join the advisory panel.

We welcome applications from early career researchers, who have found this a great opportunity to participate in the community and expand their knowledge.

We have one vacancy this year in nuclear astrophysics, so would welcome applications in this area, although applications from all areas of nuclear physics, hadronic physics and theory would also be considered.

STFC seeks to ensure the panel represents a balance across institutions, subject areas, and experiments.

Please note, STFC’s remit does not cover nuclear energy (reactors, fuel and so on), or nuclear security. These are covered by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

For further information

Contact Melanie Kidd, and start the subject line ‘Membership:’.

Email: melanie.kidd@stfc.ukri.org

Oversight committees

Oversight committees are a key part of STFC’s governance and oversight framework and are established by STFC to provide independent advice, oversight and review of the project on issues of risk and project cost, schedule and scope over the lifetime of the project.

Comittee members must be familiar with the STFC governance structure which is laid out in the project management framework.

The oversight committee is independent of the project’s management and provides independent expert advice on scientific, technical and management matters to STFC.

STFC is looking to establish three new oversight committees for fundamental nuclear physics projects in 2023 and are seeking applications for the committee roles.

Typically, an oversight committee will consist of a chair and three to four other members.

Suitable applicants should have relevant expertise in any of the following:

  • scientific expertise in nuclear physics and with technical knowledge in developing detectors and experiment construction projects
  • technical expertise in developing detectors and detector construction projects (this can be outside the nuclear physics science area, for example from particle physics experiments)
  • Project management
  • Knowledge of working with international collaborations and project management
  • Demonstrable commitment to UKRI’s values and objectives

Being part of an oversight committee is an exciting role, assessing situations and making recommendations on projects, seeing the project through the duration of its lifecycle.

Oversight committee members:

  • benefit from being part of STFC governance and assurance
  • gain a detailed understanding of how STFC programme management works
  • in some cases have the opportunity to learn about other areas of research outside of their own remit

An oversight committee will meet every six months and will perform the following activities:

  • note the initial approved scientific objectives and scope of the project
  • monitor and comment on progress of the project taking particular account of milestones, budgets and management plans
  • review the projects risk register, monitor the evolution of the risks mitigation and advise STFC as appropriate
  • advise STFC on bids against the contingency and working allowance
  • advise STFC on the science priorities if it becomes necessary to re-scope the programme and advise on the scientific objectives of the revised programme
  • report to STFC on any material change in scope proposed by the projects
  • report to STFC any other issues that may materially affect the ability of the project to realise its scientific aims
  • undertake a final review of the projects on completion

Further information

Contact Jenny Hiscock or Melanie Kidd.

Email: jenny.hiscock@stfc.ukri.org

Email: melanie.kidd@stfc.ukri.org

 

Particle Physics Advisory Panel (PPAP)

The STFC Particle Physics Advisory Panel reports to Science Board, providing a route for consultation and interaction with the community. The panel drafts and maintains a roadmap describing current and future research opportunities in their area and provides input to strategic reviews as the need arises.

Panel members will usually meet three to four times a year and previous STFC panel members have found membership to be a positive experience in representing and shaping the direction of the UK community and gaining an insight into STFC strategy.

There are three vacancies available and membership will begin in October 2023, with membership terms for three years.

Suitable applicants should be able to provide evidence of:

  • relevant scientific or technical expertise
  • an understanding of the UK and international landscape of particle physics
  • demonstrable expertise in the strategy, planning, and evaluation of research programmes
  • ability to communicate their perspective as a representative for their science area, while also working towards a collective voice for the whole community
  • commitment to UKRI’s mission and objectives

Applications are welcome across all areas of particle physics. We seek to ensure the panel represents a balance across institutions, subject areas, and experiments. Prior experience of working on similar panels is desirable.

All applications will be assessed based on STFC panel recruitment guidelines.

For further information

Contact Nicole Ashman.

Email: nicole.ashman@stfc.ac.uk

Particle Physics Grants Panel Theory (PPGPT)

The STFC Particle Physics Grants Panel Theory (PPGPT) is responsible for assessing and making recommendations to the STFC Executive on research grant applications associated with the exploitation of the particle physics theory programme. This includes:

  • particle physics phenomenology
  • string theory
  • quantum field theory (QFT)
  • lattice quantum chromodynamics (QCD)
  • particle astrophysics
  • theoretical cosmology

The panel advises the Science Board and STFC Executive as required on all issues relating to research grants, including monitoring long term trends, and highlighting community interest and future direction.

There are five vacancies available and membership will begin in October 2023 for an initial period of three years, to include the next theory grant review in 2024.

Suitable applicants should be able to provide evidence of:

  • relevant scientific expertise
  • understanding of the UK and international landscape of particle physics and particle astrophysics
  • expertise in the strategy, planning, and evaluation of research programmes
  • ability to make reasonable and sound judgments beyond area of expertise
  • ability to work well as part of a team to make group-based decisions
  • commitment to UKRI’s mission and objectives

We seek to ensure the panel represents a balance across institutions and subject areas. Understanding of STFC funding mechanisms and prior experience of working on similar panels is desirable but not essential.

All applications will be assessed based on STFC panel recruitment guidelines.

For further information

Contact Nicole Hedges.

Email: nicole.hedges@stfc.ukri.org

Physical Sciences and Engineering Advisory Panel

The purpose of the facility advisory panels is to provide a link between Science Board and the community and represent the needs of the community to STFC.

There are two advisory panels in this area,:

The remit of the panels is to:

  • maintain an overview of activities within their research area as relevant to STFC, in particular, but not exclusively, relating to facility provision, both UK and international
  • consult and interact with the community to ensure its views are canvassed and there is an appropriate and effective route for communication with STFC on strategic programmatic issues
  • provide advice to Science Board on specific questions as requested
  • liaise with other advisory panels when appropriate.

Examples of programmatic issues where the panel has been asked to provide advice include the UKRI infrastructure roadmap programme (in relation to the multidisciplinary facilities) and STFC reviews concerning or related to facility provision.

Panel membership is for a period of three years. There are up to six vacancies for panel members for terms to start on 1 September 2023.

The panel has one  face-to-face meeting annually  and on occasion has other meetings (usually by videoconference) as business requires.

The selection criteria for panel membership are:

  • familiarity with STFC’s national and international facilities (CLF, Diamond Light Source, ESRF, ESS, ILL, ISIS Neutron Source, European XFEL) in the context of the physical sciences and engineering subject area (essential)
  • skills in communication, team-working and strategic thinking (essential)
  • a user of more than one neutron facility, synchrotron facility, laser facility or free-electron laser (FEL) facility (desirable)
  • knowledge of facility strategy, for example through membership of peer review panels or strategic advisory panels (desirable)
  • demonstrated engagement with the community (desirable)

Applicants are welcome from those at all career stages who can demonstrate the criteria above.

For further information

Contact Rachel Reynolds, starting your subject line with ‘panel membership recruitment’.

Email: rachel.reynolds@stfc.ukri.org

Projects Peer Review Panel (PPRP)

The Projects Peer Review Panel (PPRP) review and provide advice and recommendations to STFC for large or complex projects with significant scientific priority in one of the following areas:

  • particle physics
  • nuclear physics
  • astronomy
  • particle astrophysics
  • accelerator physics
  • computing for physics

Details of the current membership are available on the PPRP page.

PPRP will normally meet between eight and ten times a year, across different STFC sites and may have some additional meetings for specific activities.

Meetings may be a combination of in person and virtual, and each meeting will require some degree of preparation. A subset of members will be selected for each meeting to achieve a balance of expertise across disciplines, institutions, and experiments.

You would not be required to attend every meeting but may be required to review proposals outside of your core area of expertise.

The membership of PPRP is drawn from the particle physics, particle astrophysics, astronomy, nuclear physics (PPAN) areas, including the accelerator science and computing communities. In addition, PPRP’s members also include project management experts, who deliver an additional assessment of the proposals.

Membership would begin in January 2024, with appointments for two years, in the first instance.  All applications will be assessed based on STFC panel recruitment guidelines.

We welcome applicants with experience in the following:

  • relevant scientific or technical expertise within the PPAN science areas
  • an understanding of national and international PPAN or facility science contexts
  • in-depth technical understanding or significant project management experience on projects
  • involvement in conducting, leading, or directing research in an academic or other research institution

Experience in the following is advantageous but not essential:

  • previous experience of peer reviewing proposals in STFC’s remit
  • experience of serving on STFC panels, boards or oversight committees or equivalent

For further information

Contact Nicola Hedges

Email: nicola.hedges@stfc.ukri.org

Public engagement grant panels: Spark Award and Nucleus Award

We are looking to recruit new members for our Spark Award and Nucleus Award public engagement grant panels

Our mission is to use the Science and Technology Facilities council (STFC) science and technology as the basis of inspiring public engagement. We operate dedicated public engagement grant funded programmes to support high quality engagement across the country, build community networks and partnerships and raise the standard of engagement.

We are prioritising public engagement that works with communities facing profound socioeconomic disadvantage through our Wonder Initiative.

If you have experience of or are an advocate for engagement and would like to be involved in what we do, there are opportunities to join our public engagement grant panels.

Much of our funded public engagement works with schools and young people and we would particularly welcome applications from teachers, informal science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) educators and the youth work sector.

Nucleus Award Panel and Nucleus Awards

Nucleus Awards operate one call per year, typically opened in autumn. The scheme is open to a wide variety of applicants and organisations for any new idea or evolution of a project that has been previously supported by an STFC Spark Award.

Nucleus Awards are normally funded up to a maximum of £125,000 and typical duration is up to 36 months. Award holders undertake high quality programmes of public engagement that inspire and involve target audiences that inspire target audiences with stories of STFC science, technology, and facilities. Award holders may use Nucleus Awards to create and sustain public engagement networks that develop communities of practice.

As a member of the Nucleus Award Panel, you will be expected to assess applications through a two-stage process of shortlisting based on outline proposals and subsequent review of full proposals and applicant interviews and you will provide advice and recommendations throughout this process.

Two meetings take place each year (one associated with each process stage) to assess applications and make recommendations. These meetings are usually virtual, and each meeting will require a more significant degree of preparation in advance. You may also be required to review proposals outside of your core area of expertise.

We seek panel membership applications from:

  • researchers with public engagement experience
  • individuals working in science centres
  • educators in schools and colleges
  • professional societies
  • STEM providers
  • companies
  • non-STFC research laboratories and institutes

Much of our funded public engagement works with schools and young people and we would particularly welcome applications from teachers, informal STEM educators and the youth work sector. We also welcome applications from individuals across all career stages, subject to demonstration of appropriate experience and expertise.

We welcome applicants with experience and expertise in the following:

  • relevant experience and understanding of the UK landscape of public engagement with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
  • demonstrable experience and significant level of understanding of the STFC public engagement programme
  • knowledge of STFC Facilities and grant funded research
  • knowledge of the STFC research areas in astronomy, physics, space science, computational science, and the work of our national and international laboratories

or:

  • experience in formal or informal education contexts, or youth work sector

Panel members will be expected to:

  • to assess and make recommendations to STFC for awards in public engagement
  • take account as appropriate of the recommendations of any strategic and policy advice provided by STFC
  • meet the commitments and attendance requirements of the panel (usually virtual) – this will involve scoring and assessment of proposals prior to meetings, attendance for up to 2 days preparing appropriate feedback to applicants where required
  • be able to work across different STEM and research disciplines

Membership will begin at with the assessment of proposals received to the autumn 2023 Nucleus Award funding opportunity (shortlisting meeting likely to date place in late 2023 or early 2024).

Appointments will initially be for three years. Meetings are typically online. We endeavour to keep panel meetings for each assessment stage to a single day but may require continuation to a second day.

For further information

Email: stfcpublicengagement@stfc.ukri.org

Spark Award Panel and Spark Awards

Spark Awards operate two funding opportunities each year, typically in spring and autumn. The scheme is open to a wide variety of applicants and organisations for engagement around any aspect of the STFC portfolio.

Spark Awards are funded up to a maximum of £15,000 and typical duration is up to 12 months. Spark Award holders undertake high quality programmes of public engagement activities that inspire and involve target audiences and introduce STFC science and technology and the work of our facilities to new audiences.

As a member of our Spark Award Panel, you will be involved in assessing diverse applications that cover the full STFC public engagement programme and you will provide advice and recommendations on applications to this scheme.

Two meetings take place each year to assess applications and make recommendations. These meetings are usually virtual, and each meeting will require some degree of preparation in advance. You may also be required to review proposals outside of your core area of expertise.

Spark Award funding recommendations are based on the content of submitted proposals, due to the modest funding threshold applicant interviews are not held.

We seek panel membership applications from researchers with public engagement experience, individuals working in science centres, educators in schools and colleges, professional societies, STEM providers, companies and from non-STFC research laboratories and institutes.

We seek panel membership applications from:

  • researchers with public engagement experience
  • individuals working in science centres
  • educators in schools and colleges
  • professional societies
  • STEM providers
  • companies
  • non-STFC research laboratories and institutes

Much of our funded public engagement works with schools and young people and we would particularly welcome applications from teachers, informal STEM educators and the youth work sector. We also welcome applications from individuals across all career stages, subject to demonstration of appropriate experience and expertise.

We welcome applicants with experience and expertise in the following:

  • relevant experience and understanding of the UK landscape of public engagement with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
  • relevant experience and understanding of the STFC Public Engagement Programme
  • Knowledge of the STFC research areas in astronomy, physics, space science, computational science, and the work of our national and international laboratories

or:

  • experience in formal or informal education contexts, or youth work sector

Panel members will be expected to:

  • to assess and make recommendations to STFC for awards in public engagement
  • take account, as appropriate of the recommendations of any strategic and policy advice provided by STFC
  • meet the commitments and attendance requirements of the panel (usually virtual) This will involve scoring and assessment of proposals prior to meetings, attendance for up to one day and preparing appropriate feedback to applicants where required
  • be able to work across different STEM and research disciplines and associated engagement plans

Membership will begin at with the assessment of proposals received to the autumn 2023 funding opportunity and associated meetings of the Spark Awards panel (likely late 2023 or early 2024).

Appointments will initially be for three years. Meetings are typically online and one day in duration.

For further information

Email: stfcpublicengagement@stfc.ukri.org

Solar System Advisory Panel (SSAP)

STFC advisory panels report to STFC Science Board, providing a route for consultation and interaction with the community. The panels draft and maintain roadmaps describing current and future research opportunities in their areas.

The Solar System Advisory Panel will have a number of vacancies arising in the next 12 months. We welcome applications from those with expertise covering all areas of solar system science.

SSAP selection criteria:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the national and international contexts relating to this field
  • demonstrate skills in communication, team-working and strategic thinking

The membership term is nominally a three-year appointment.

The successful applicants will have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the solar system science programme.

For further information

Contact Michelle Cooper, starting your subject line with ‘SSAP membership recruitment’.

Email: michelle.cooper@stfc.ukri.org

UK Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Regional Centre Project Board

Panel description

The UK SKAO Regional Centre (SRC) Project Board is looking for new members to serve from the 1 July 2023 for two years, with an option to extend for an additional year, with three positions available this year.

The committee will meet quarterly, but more meetings can be added depending on the requirements of the UK and international SKAO programme.

The operation of the SKAO assumes the existence of a network of SRCs, one of which will be in the UK.

The SRC network (SRCNet) is required to provide the portal for scientists to access the SKA including provision of computing resources and support to enable the user community to analyse SKA data products.

The UK SRC Project Board’s purpose is to:

  • provide external guidance and advice on scientific, technical and management matters related to the UK SRC project
  • monitor the delivery of the UK SRC project
  • provide advice regarding the UK SRC’s future development
  • consider and approve amendments to the UK SRC Project Plan and endorse future requests for funding applications to UKRI and other funding bodies
  • ensure that the activities of the project reflect the UK research community’s interests
  • act as a ‘critical friend’ to the collaboration, providing support and challenge

The positions on the board are ideally suited for those in astronomy or with a background in digital research infrastructures with strong links to the radio astronomy community. However, individuals from cross disciplines are welcome to apply.

Selection criteria

Demonstrate:

  •  expertise in digital research infrastructure, UK astronomy, SKA and other radio telescope facilities
  •  an understanding of the national and international contexts relating to this field
  • an understanding of the needs of the radio astronomy community
  • skills in communication, team-working and strategic thinking

For further information

Contact George Madden.

Email: george.madden@stfc.ukri.org

UK Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Science Committee

Panel description

The UK Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Science Committee is looking for new members to serve from the 1 June 2023 for two years, with an option to extend for an additional year. There are six vacancies available this year.

The committee will meet a minimum of three times a year, but more meetings can be added depending on the requirements of the UK and international SKAO programme.

These meetings offer a chance for members to hear the latest updates regarding progress on the project and to feed this news back to their respective communities.

This is also an opportunity for members to provide input into how STFC and the SKAO might facilitate closer engagement with the UK scientific community and better share information regarding SKAO science to the public.

The committee also works closely with an early career research (ECR) sub-committee which has representation at all meetings. Membership to the ECR sub-committee is not requested in this call.

The workload is usually light, and previous committee members have found membership to be a positive experience in representing the UK scientific community and helping to achieve the UK science priorities and objectives from the SKAO.

The positions on the committee are ideally suited for researchers at any stage of their career in the radio astronomy or related fields (including high-performance computing (HPC) and software development) with links to the UK scientific community.

(there is a separate call for early career researchers (PhDs and postdocs) to join the ECR sub-committee)

However, facilities users, applicants from academia, research institutes, those from cross disciplines, and national laboratories are welcome to apply.

In the interests of maximising inclusivity, we ask for no more than one member per university. The following universities and institutions are already represented:

  • Durham University
  • Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
  • University of Bath
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Oxford
  • UK Astronomy Technology Centre

If you are located anywhere outside these places, we would encourage you to apply for this role.

Selection criteria

Please provide a statement outlining why you would be appropriate for the committee and your interest in the SKAO.

We would like to hear from applicants who have some of the following experience (but this is not essential):

  • the ability to act as a SKAO representative of their university or institute and local science community while also working towards a collective voice for the whole community
  • experience of research facilities (radio telescopes or distributed HPC facilities)
  • experience of organising ‘town hall’ meetings and similar events
  • experience with equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) initiatives

Applications are welcome from different career stages and diverse backgrounds.

For further information

Contact Simon Haynes.

Email: simon.haynes@stfc.ukri.org

Last updated: 4 January 2024

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