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Executive Chair

Research England

Council: Research England

Reports To: CEO, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

Term: 4 years

Salary: Annual salary of £120,000 with Performance Related Pay of up to 10% (with scope to negotiate up to £144,500 base salary for an exceptional candidate). Remuneration and expenses are taxable. 

Location: Flexible/Bristol

About UKRI - Research England

Research England is an integral part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) alongside the seven Research Councils and Innovate UK. UKRI is led by an independent Chair, Board and CEO and is sponsored by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Board facilitates multidisciplinary activity and joint working between the Councils, Central Government, and other key partners. 

Research England supports research and knowledge exchange primarily in English higher education institutions and invests over £2bn a year across a range of different programmes. It also operates some funding programs UK wide and collaborates closely with partners in the Devolved Administrations. Areas of responsibility include: implementing the UK’s Future Research Assessment Programme; leading work on the sustainability of the university research sector in England; and supporting the translation of R&D from Universities into economic and wider societal impact. Some major programmes include the UK wide Research Partnership Investment Fund, Higher Education Innovation Funding, and coordinating the Knowledge Exchange Framework. 

Research England’s vision is for English higher education providers (HEPs) to play a central role in the economy and society delivering world-class research with transformational real-world application, developing the skilled and talented workforce that modern research and development (R&D) intensive economy needs, and operating as major international players to enhance the UK's global reach and influence.

About the role

The successful applicant will be accountable to the Board and CEO. They will be appointed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. They will be expected to appear in front of the Science and Technology Select Committee if required. 

The Executive Chair will be responsible for effective, co-operative and inclusive leadership and for providing clear strategic direction. They will be closely involved in the wider leadership and decision-making of UKRI and have the opportunity to lead on one or more major cross-cutting themes for UKRI.  

The Executive Chair will have a significant role in championing UKRI's relationships across the Higher Education sector, the other UK Higher Education funding bodies, and the Office for Students. 

About You

  • You will be a highly respected senior leader and manager with proven experience of delivering research and innovation results
  • You will have an in-depth understanding of research and knowledge exchange in the UK Higher Education sector - particularly the operational implications of institutional block grant funding
  • You will be an inspirational leader and communicator with a collegiate approach, able to command confidence and credibility with a wide range of partners
  • You will possess the ability to build and deliver a clear strategic vision for Research England, based on a detailed understanding of the landscape
  • You will have the flexibility to adapt and respond to major developments and manage risk

How to apply:

To apply for this crucial role, you must submit one PDF document which includes both a CV and supporting statement to

Prior to applying, we would recommend emailing to see a full copy of the candidate pack, or for a further discussion about the opportunity.

Key dates:

The role will close at 11pm 16th December 2021

Shortlisting 18th & 19th January 2022

Interviews will take place Tuesday 22nd February 2022 9am – 1pm & Thursday 17th March 2pm – 5pm

All dates are subject to change.

Diversity statement:

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us. You can find out more about our commitment to diversity.

Location: Bristol, Work from Home
Salary: £120,000 to £144,500
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 15th November 2021
Closes: 16th December 2021
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