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Vacancy details

Closing date: 21 October 2019

Other vacancies

Programme Grants for Applied Research - Subcommittee members

We are seeking senior applied health researchers to participate in Programme Grants for Applied Research funding subcommittees. These prestigious appointments offer experience of making funding recommendations to the NIHR for large scale, high quality programmes of research.

NIHR PHR Programme Director

The Director of Science, Research and Evidence for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), through the Head of Research Programmes, wishes to contract with an institution for the part-time services (up to 2 days per week) of a person to be appointed Programme Director of the NIHR Public Health Research programme (PHR). The current PHR Programme Director, Professor Martin White’s term of office is due to end on 30 June 2020.  

The PHR programme is the leading UK funder of public health research, with an outstanding reputation for research on upstream, population interventions of relevance to public health policy and practice. Under the current Programme Director, the programme has increased in size and matured, and we expect the programme to continue to evolve. Public health research is entering a phase of transformation following the publication of the Academy of Medical Sciences report ‘Health of the Public 2040’ and creation of the Strategic Coordination of Health of the Public Research Committee. There is a push to build on existing strengths to make the UK the world leader in public health and prevention research. This will centre on co-producing research with the public, policy makers and practitioners to ensure it helps answer the most important research questions facing Local Authorities and service providers. As Director you will be instrumental in leading our strategic vision to continue the development of the programme at this exciting time.

You will be accountable to DHSC for the programme and be responsible for the programme’s spend, probity and for the overall scientific quality of its portfolio. You will Chair the Programme Prioritisation Group and Programme Oversight Committee, and oversee the Funding Committee, ensuring that the programme funds the highest quality scientific research of relevance to public health organisations across the UK through both its researcher-led and commissioned research modes. Other responsibilities will include leading on the strategic development of the PHR programme and contributing to NIHR more widely through NIHR Strategy Board and other national forums. You will also play a leading role in delivering public health research across the NIHR. 

The successful candidate will have enthusiasm for and extensive experience of public health research, sound knowledge of research commissioning processes, and the research and development arena more widely, outstanding leadership skills, excellent communication and negotiating skills, proven experience of chairing large committees effectively, proven experience of strategic leadership and involvement in commissioning research. 

The contract will initially be of three years duration, reviewed after two years with a view to possible extension for a further two years. The Department of Health and Social Care will reimburse the successful applicant’s employing institution for their time commitment and justifiable associated expenses such as travel and secretarial support following appropriate negotiation and agreement.  

Application Process: 

We embrace diversity and are committed to equality of opportunity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. 

For informal discussions about the role prior to application please contact: Claire Kidgell, Assistant Director, NETSCC, Beta House, Enterprise Road, Southampton SO16 7NS. Email: 

You may also wish to discuss the role with the current Programme Director, Professor Martin White: 

Please submit a full CV and supporting letter indicating how you meet the person specification and highlighting your suitability for the role by 12:00hrs on the 21 October 2019. Applications should be submitted by email to: 

Applications will be assessed by a shortlisting panel against the essential criteria in early November 2019 and shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview in London in late November / early December 2019.  The intention is that there will be an overlap period with the current post holder to allow a smooth hand-over. It is anticipated that this overlap period will start on 1st March 2020 with the successful candidate invited to attend relevant meetings during this period, shadowing the current Programme Director (specifically the PHR Funding Committee on the 12/13 February 2020, the PHR Prioritisation Committee on the 13 May 2020 and the NIHR Strategy Board in March 2020) as part of the handover process, with the new director taking up the post formally on 1st July 2020.

For more information please read the person specification and job description