This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

NIHR Academy Selection Committee Chair Role Description



The NIHR is the nation’s largest funder of health and care research. Its people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems together represent the most integrated health and care research system in the world. It has transformed research in and for the NHS and helped to shape the health and care research landscape more broadly. With substantial funding from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), its scope is broad. It focuses on the elements of the ‘innovation pathway’ from early translational research, though clinical and onto applied health and care research.

The NIHR Academy has a specific remit to develop a highly-skilled academic research workforce capable of advancing the best research, which improves health and benefits society and the economy. A wide range of NIHR training and career development awards are managed by the NIHR Academy, which are available at different levels, and accessible to different professional groups.

Each NIHR Academy-managed scheme has a Selection Committee, primarily comprised of academic experts from a variety of professional backgrounds and with differing fields of academic expertise. The Selection Committees assess applications to the respective scheme(s) and make recommendations for funding.

Role Summary

The advertised roles are for Chairs of NIHR Academy Personal Research Training Award Committees.

Chairs of the Personal Research Training award Committees support the delivery of the respective scheme(s) competitions and Chair meetings of the scheme Committees. They provide oversight of the assessment process and the funding recommendations made by the Committee and have a responsibility to ensure that decisions made by the Committee meet the highest standards of probity to ensure the fair use of public money and are based on objective and justifiable criteria, meeting standards set out in the NIHR Academy’s Code of Practice. Chairs are also called on to advise the NIHR of actions that might be taken in response to matters that arise over the course of individual relevant awards and work with the Academy to develop schemes to ensure they remain relevant and achieve their aims and objectives.

Key Responsibilities

Assessment of applications to the relevant scheme

  • Reading and assessing applications to the relevant scheme
  • Knowledge and understanding of the relevant scheme and its purpose
  • Knowledge and understanding of the NIHR Academy remit for personal research training awards

Chairing the Selection Committee Meeting

  • Reading and contributing to meeting documentation prepared by NIHR Academy in advance of meetings
  • Ensuring Selection Committee meetings keep to time
  • Ensuring NIHR Academy procedures and protocols are followed (referring to NIHR Academy staff for guidance when necessary)
  • Facilitating the active participation of all Selection Committee members to provide sound and unbiased decision making on applications
  • Seeking clarification of the Selection Committee views and ensuring there is appropriate discussion before the Selection Committee agrees on a recommendation for each application
  • Ensuring the Academy is provided with a final and agreed list of applications recommended for shortlisting or funding (as relevant)
  • Ensuring NIHR Academy has the required feedback for applications from the Committee
  • Providing final approval for feedback and conditions on awards, where necessary
  • Advising on or recommending action regarding issues that arise post-decision meeting (e.g. on conditional awards or changes to programmes of research)

Wider NIHR Responsibilities

  • Participation at the annual NIHR Academy Forum
  • Participation in Chairs’ or Programme meetings as required
  • Contributing to evaluations of the relevant scheme as required
  • Advising NIHR Academy on adjustments to the relevant scheme

Person specification

Knowledge, qualities and skills


  • Knowledge of the health and care research funding landscape
  • Knowledge of the health and care research training landscape
  • Understanding of NIHR and NIHR Research Training Awards
  • Ability to communicate efficiently and effectively
  • Confident negotiation skills
  • Discretion in handling confidential information
  • Ability to work collegiately
  • Knowledge of global health research landscape (Global Research Professorship Scheme only)
  • Knowledge of practitioner academic careers for non-medics/ non-dentists (ICA Programme Schemes only)



  • Track record of research leadership
  • Involvement in health research training environment
  • Experience of serving on a research funding Committee


  • Experience in a leadership role within NIHR
  • Experience of chairing a research funding Committee
  • Experience of serving on an NIHR Committee
  • Experience of serving on a Research Fellowship Committee (or equivalent)
  • National level involvement in health research

Academic credentials


  • Research degree
  • Current senior position at a HEI

Other Requirements

  • Must be employed by a UK organisation unless applying for Research Professorship or Global Research Professorship Chair.
  • Must not have previously been appointed as an NIHR Academy Selection Committee Chair on a term of 2 years or more.

Appendix A - Details of Schemes for which Chair positions are available

HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme

The ICA Programme, managed by the NIHR and funded by Health Education England (HEE), provides research training awards for health and social care professionals (excluding doctors and dentists), who wish to develop careers that combine research and research leadership with continued practice and professional development.

We are recruiting Selection Committee Chairs for the following ICA Programme Selection Committees:

ICA Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship (PCAF) Scheme

The HEE/NIHR ICA PCAF scheme supports health and social care practitioners (excluding doctors and dentists) to develop a competitive doctoral fellowship application. The award funds salaried time for a bespoke training and development programme and is open to early career researchers who are committed to the development of a clinical academic career.

The PCAF Selection Committee meets twice a year via video conference:

  • a one hour pre-assessment meeting
  • a two day Funding Recommendation meeting

ICA Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship (CDRF) Scheme

The Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship (CDRF) scheme funds registered healthcare professionals to undertake a PhD by research and, concurrently, to undertake further professional development and clinical practice. The CDRF is a three year award (up to six years part time), approximately 80% of which is spent working academically over the course of the fellowship. The remaining 20% of fellowship hours is devoted to clinical practice and professional development.

The CDRF Selection Committee meets once a year for a two day interview meeting. The CDRF Chair and co-Chairs also meet for a shortlisting video conference.

ICA Clinical Lectureship (CL) and Senior Clinical Lectureship (SCL) Schemes

The HEE/NIHR ICA Lectureships schemes support post-doctoral ICA eligible professionals to develop the specific skill sets required to achieve credibility as an independent researcher, whilst continuing professional practice and development.

Clinical Lectureships - support those in the early stages of their post-doctoral career who wish to establish themselves as independent practitioner academic researchers over the course of the award.
Senior Clinical Lectureships - support those already establishing themselves as independent clinical researchers but not yet recognised as leaders in their field.
The CL and SCL applications are assessed by one Selection Committee, who meet twice a year:

  • a two hour shortlisting video conference
  • a two day interview meeting.

The Chair and Deputy Chair of the CL/SCL Selection Committee also meet for a 2 hour Peer Review Meeting via video conference.

Full details of these schemes are available in the Applicant Guidance Notes via the ICA Programme webpage.

Personal Awards (PAT) Programme

The NIHR Fellowships programme supports individuals with the potential and on a trajectory to become future leaders in NIHR research. The Fellowships have been designed to support people at various points of their development to become leading researchers, from initial pre-doctoral training right through to senior post-doctoral research.

We are recruiting Selection Committee Chairs for the following Fellowship Programme Selection Committees:

NIHR Doctoral Fellowship (DF) Scheme

The Doctoral Fellowship (DF) scheme is aimed at individuals of outstanding potential early in their research careers, supporting individuals to undertake a PhD in an area of NIHR research. The DF is a three year training award (up to six years part time), clinicians can include 20% of clinical time towards PHD.

The DF Selection Committee meets twice a year for a two day interview meeting. The DF Chair, Co-Chairs and Deputy Chairs also meet twice a year for a shortlisting meeting.

NIHR Advanced Fellowship (AF) Scheme

The Advanced Fellowship (AF) is a post-doctoral Fellowship and aimed at anyone with a PhD who hasn’t yet been awarded a chair. Fellowships are between 2 and 5 years WTE in duration and may be taken up on a part-time basis between 50% and 100% WTE.
The AF Selection Committee meets twice a year for a two day interview meeting. The AF Chairs, Co-Chairs and Deputy Chairs also meet twice a year for a shortlisting meeting and twice a year for an external peer review meeting.

Full details of these schemes are available in the Applicant Guidance Notes via the Fellowships programme webpage.

Research Professorship and Global Research Professorship

Research Professorships (RP) and Global Research Professorships (GRP) are 5-year awards that fund outstanding academics to work at professorial level based at a higher education institution, in partnership with a provider of health, public health and/or care services.

We offer two types of Research Professorships:

  • NIHR Research Professorships - based in England only, with up to five awards offered per annual round
  • NIHR Global Research Professorships - based in low- and middle-income countries and all four UK nations, with up to four awards offered per annual round

The RP Selection Committee meets twice a year, once for a one day shortlisting meeting and once for a two day interview meeting. The Chair and Deputy Chairs also meet once a year for an external peer review meeting.

Full details of these schemes are available in the Applicant Guidance Notes via the Research Professorship programme webpage.