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NIHR Open Research Advisory Board membership - Role description



In 2020, NIHR Open Research was launched to contribute to the NIHR commitment to ensure that the research we fund is published in full, complementing the NIHR Journals Library and supporting the NIHR Open Access Policy.

The Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) programme is currently piloting use of NIHR Open Research by inviting the submission of ‘Articles’ from RfPB funded researchers who have yet to publish the main findings of their projects. Further, whenever researchers are unable to submit a manuscript, a redacted version of the final report will be published and indexed as a ‘Document’. This approach, a combination of Articles and Documents, will enhance transparency of the RfPB portfolio.

The NIHR Open Research Advisory Board will consist of 12 Advisors, with half of them being appointed as representatives from key stakeholders and half being researchers/public contributors recruited through this open process.

Find out more about how to apply here

What type of experience do you need to get involved?

Ideally, the two public contributors will have had some involvement in research, for example, as research participants, as part of a research team, through involvement in the funding review process and/or as evidence users.

The researchers will come from the wide range of fields likely to be publishing on the platform (e.g., public health, clinical evaluation, health services, social care, research data etc) and have an interest in open access and improving the way research findings are disseminated. Aiming to capture varied views from the research community, we expect at least one of the researchers to be at an early stage of their career.

Activities and time commitment

The main roles of the Advisory Board are set out in the Appendix in the draft terms of reference.

NIHR Open Research opened for submission on 23rd February 2021. It is expected that the full site will be made open to the public in the next few weeks with the publication of a first set of RfPB final reports/articles.

The first quarterly meeting of the Advisory Board will be held when the full site has been made public and every 3 months thereafter over teleconference. Meetings are expected to last 1-2 hours with some prereading of around 1-2 hours necessary in advance of each meeting.  

Support available for the role

Support for the role will be provided by another member of the Advisory Board who will provide an introduction to NIHR and NIHR Open Research as well as providing a contact point for queries during the lifetime of the appointment.

Reward and recognition for public contributors

Fees are honorarium payments. They are a form of reward and recognition offered for the contribution that you make to our work. This does not mean that you have a contract of employment with NIHR or the research programmes that we manage.

You are not obliged to accept a fee. We can provide access to a Benefits Advice Service (for contributors accessing state benefits) to help you decide whether to accept an involvement fee. If you prefer not to claim a fee please tell us. Or you can donate the fee to a registered charity of your choice. Again, please let us know. The fee offered will depend on the volume and nature of the particular activity. Please see the table below for rates of payments.

£25 For involvement in a task or activity requiring little or no preparation and which equates to approximately one hour of activity or less.
£50 For involvement in a task or activity likely to require some preparation and which equates to approximately two hours of activity.
£75 For involvement in a task or activity where preparation is required and which equates to approximately half a day’s activity.
£150 For involvement in one-off, all-day meetings.

Please see our How we involve patients, carers and the public webpage for more details about our public involvement approach and strategy.

Appendix: NIHR Open Research Advisory Board Draft Terms of Reference


The primary role of the Advisory Board is to be the official representative(s) of the platform. The Board will:

  1. encourage researchers to achieve full publication of their research;
  2. provide advice on the strategic direction of the platform, including expansion of use beyond the scope of the pilot; and,
  3. provide advice on issues including disputes between the Editorial team and Authors.

F1000Research, the suppliers of the NIHR Open Research platform, will support the Advisory Board. On occasions, Advisor(s) may be asked to provide advice on an especially challenging issue with a publication where we are chartering new ground and where other standard advice groups (such as COPE) may not have clear-cut advice.

Membership and Term

The Advisory Board will consist of 12 Advisors, half being researchers/public contributors recruited through an open process and half of them being appointed as representatives from key stakeholders:

  • NIHR Research Programmes (Chair)
  • NIHR Journals Library
  • NIHR Infrastructure
  • NIHR Academy
  • NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre
  • NIHR Central Commissioning Facility

The expectation is that:

  1. An Observer from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will be present at each meeting.
  2. Advisors will remain in place for a two-year period.
  3. All Advisors shall make all reasonable efforts to attend meetings.
  4. Substitute representation will be accepted at the discretion of the Chair and must be agreed in advance.
  5. The Group shall be deemed quorate if the Chair and more than half of Advisors are present.
  6. In the case of any Advisor being unable to attend a meeting, that Advisor is obliged to provide comment on papers ahead of the meeting.
  7. The Group will invite additional individuals or organisations to attend meetings as required.


At the start of each year the advisors will be asked to contribute towards a strategy for the platform. During each year advisors will provide advice to the DHSC, NIHR and F1000Research. Advisors of this public facing group may on occasion be asked to comment by others (e.g., media, commentators) on the activities of the platform.


Meetings are expected to last 1-2 hours. F1000Research will organise the meetings, developing and circulating an agenda and any necessary meeting papers beforehand (no later than 5 working days before the meeting). The Advisor(s) will chair the meeting. The minutes of the meetings will be circulated after by F1000Research.