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NIHR Social Care Advisory Panel – membership guidance for applicants



Background information

The aim of the NIHR social care advisory panel is to facilitate the development of a critical mass of expertise to work alongside NIHR to support the identification and commissioning of important research questions in adult social care by ensuring appropriate social care expertise is available at all stages of the decision making process.  It will also provide a valuable resource to guide future NIHR activities in this area and support capacity building across the research community. 


Members would appointed through an annual process of both self-nomination as well as inviting nominations from key National organisations and bodies. Experts would be drawn from across both the UK academic, practitioner communities and third sector with a particular focus on recruiting individuals currently in an active front line role in order to support capacity building across the sector.  

Terms of reference

Panel members would be expected to provide high quality reviews and advice within their areas of expertise. More specifically members would be expected to:

  • Support and advise on the funding of research applications by providing guidance on both the importance of the research question and/or scientific quality through more formal peer review mechanisms, where appropriate (up to three reviews per year) 
  • Provide advice and guidance on the development of NIHR commissioned calls (up to two per year) 
  • Support the identification and development of future topics for research
  • Provide specialist advice to NIHR through attendance at NIHR prioritisation and funding committees, no more than one committee per year. Meetings are usually held in London. 

In addition, NIHR will:

  • Publish details of panel members on the NIHR website 
  • Limit the number of review requests to no more than six in any 12 month period. 
  • seek to ensure that all proposals sent for review are appropriate to the members areas of expertise 
  • Deliver a comprehensive induction programme to ensure the members role within the NIHR process is clear
  • Provide a research review training programme for ‘advanced’ practitioners

Terms and conditions

Duration of role: Successful candidates will be advised of their term of office at the time of appointment. In most cases it is likely to be initially three years with regular review points and the possibility to extend to five years.

Payment: Members are not paid to undertake the role. However, they can claim reasonable expenses if attending a committee meeting (e.g. travel costs within the UK) in accordance with the NIHR policy.

Support for members: Support will be made available from NIHR programme staff at any time. Programme staff will work with new members to ensure an appropriate induction programme is in place.  Support will be made available from NIHR programme staff at any time. Programme staff will work with new members to ensure an appropriate induction programme is in place.

Declarations of interests/conflict of interests: All members are required to declare if they have any interest that might be in conflict with their role, for example whether they are connected to an application under review or consideration at a committee (if attending) either an applicant or co-applicant. Members should declare any other conflict of interest such as if an individual is known personally, or if the member could gain financially if the research was funded. If there is a potential conflict of interest, the risk should be raised with the programme staff.

Continued Professional Development (CPD): Members will be permitted to use the title ‘member of the NIHR social care advisory panel’. In discussion with the relevant professional body, members may be able to claim CPD points. Where appropriate, NIHR will provide written confirmation of a member’s contribution.

NIHR Privacy Policy: For further details about how the NIHR uses and protects any information - including your personal information - which the NIHR collects and receives when you use any of its websites, systems or services please see the NIHR Privacy Policy.


Members are usually appointed via open advert for a fixed period of time. In some instances, when particular areas of knowledge, skills or experience are required to support particular pieces of work an individual may be directly appointed. 

The opportunity will be advertised both on the NIHR website and actively disseminated to relevant social care organisations and bodies. We embrace diversity and are committed to equality of opportunity. Applications would be welcome from all sections of the community 

Potential members will apply through the standard NIHR online application form. The selection process will be undertaken by members of the secretariat from both NIHR co-ordinating centres; CCF and NETSCC.

Person specification

Candidates should have experience at an appropriate level within their area of expertise, and have a significant record of research and publication, and/or extensive senior management or experience within adult social care. 

Essential Criteria  

  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of the importance of, and need for, social care research. 
  • Relevant social care background; current or recent experience of working in or with the UK social care sectors at an appropriate level and/or track record in social care research.
  • Relevant professional qualifications and registrations
  • Work-based or professional knowledge or experience relevant to the NIHR remit of the applied social care research 
  • Experience of assimilating a large volume of written information and condensing it into a succinct critical appraisal of the information provided.
  • Experience of participating in formal meetings, and ability to present reports and contribute to group discussion.
  • Ability to communicate efficiently and effectively and to provide constructive feedback.
  • Computer literate, and willing to use a computer-based management information system.
  • Discretion in handling confidential information.


  • Knowledge and experience of peer review processes.
  • Up to date knowledge of developments within NHS, social care or public health R&D including research methods.
  • Experience of NHS, social care or public health R&D.

How to apply

Please complete the online registration form.

If for whatever reason there are no vacancies on the panel at the time of application, applications will be kept on file and applicants will be eligible for appointment for two years from receipt of application.

If you have any queries or would like more information, please e-mail