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Executive Chair, Science and Technology Facilities Council

STFC - The Science and Technology Facilities Council

Salary: Competitive (TBC) + an opportunity for performance related pay 

Hours: Full time (Can be reduced to 4 days per week to allow time for research activity)

Contract Type: An initial period of 3 years with the opportunity for reappointment

Location: Oxford. Please note, this role includes regular travel to sites across the UK and international travel on a fairly frequent basis

About STFC 

The STFC supports research, innovation and skills in the fields of particle physics, astronomy, nuclear physics and space science. It also designs, builds, operates and exploits world-leading, large-scale research and innovation facilities in the UK on behalf of the entire UK scientific community, regardless of discipline.  Through research and innovation, STFC seeks to understand the universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, and yet it creates impact on a very tangible human scale. From cancer treatment to airport security, high-tech jobs to hydrogen-powered cars, energy generation to accident-scene emergency care; STFC’s impact is felt within and beyond the UK in many aspects of daily life.  

For 2023/2024, the STFC’s budget is ca. £900 million, and it directly employs around 3,000 staff. STFC operates over £2 billion of investment in major research infrastructure and is delivering an investment portfolio of over £1 billion in ongoing and new construction projects.   

About the role 

We are seeking an inspirational leader with international standing, scientific credibility and a proven track record in leadership to be the next Executive Chair of the STFC.  

The Executive Chair, advised and challenged by STFC’s Council, is responsible for setting and implementing the strategic vision for STFC and shaping UKRI’s direction and position on research in particle physics, nuclear physics and astronomy, including space science, as well as emerging technology areas such as AI and quantum.  

As a visible and credible leader of both STFC and its wider community, you will provide direction ensuring delivery of world-class research, innovation, skills development and infrastructure investment. You will also form part of the governance of CERN , SKA and ESS, representing the UK as a member state.  

In addition, you will be a key member of UKRI’s senior leadership team, responsible for decision-making across the organisation and leading one or more major cross-cutting activities, including UKRI’s major infrastructure investment portfolio. 

Therefore, if you are an accomplished, highly respected expert of international standing, with a proven track record of running large scientific facilities and a firm grasp of developments across the spectrum of STFC’s remit, then we would like to speak to you.  

For the full role profile, including responsibilities and essential criteria, or to organise an informal and confidential discussion, please click here to download the candidate pack.

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we ask the biggest questions in the universe to find answers that change the world around us. We seek understanding. We’re proud of the impact we make. And we’re committed to helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy. Being part of all this means contributing to work that pushes boundaries and creates possibilities. You’ll work with, and learn from, true experts. Whatever your role, you’ll be free to question, and encouraged to share ideas. And, in a positive and supportive culture, you’ll discover just what a difference you can make when you’re equipped and inspired to excel.

We’re a place where curious minds thrive. Not bound by profit, we explore ideas that others don’t, ask questions that others won’t, and discover answers that others are not equipped to find. And, alongside Mars landings and black holes, we also explore diverse, international projects in everything from science and engineering to computing and technology. Whether it’s at the cutting edge or behind the scenes, our work is intellectually challenging. It’s very often ground-breaking.  And it’s endlessly, irresistibly fascinating.

For more information about STFC please visit https://stfc.ukri.org/ 

You can also visit our careers site https://www.stfccareers.co.uk/ 

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. 

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation. 

More information can be found at www.ukri.org.  

Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.  For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.

The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’.

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

How to apply 

Your application should be submitted in two parts.

Both parts must be submitted by 23:59 on Wednesday 6th March 2024 in order for your application to be considered complete. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

Part one: CV and Statement of Suitability

Please submit your application by 23:59 on Wednesday 6th March 2024  You will need to supply:

  • A curriculum vitae; and,
  • A supporting statement

Your curriculum vitae and supporting statement must each be no longer than two A4 pages in length. Please ensure your documents are named as ‘Surname, first initial – STFC Executive Chair – CV/Statement of Suitability’.

Your Statement of Suitability should provide specific information about why you believe you would be suitable for appointment into the STFC Executive Chair role and a flavour of what you would want to do in this role, if successful. Think about your knowledge, skills, experience, personal attributes, and vision for the organisation, and take full advantage of the space available. Use practical examples where possible and ensure you refer to the essential criteria for this role. Please include a section that sets out what you believe the main challenges and opportunities to be for SFTC and how you might address them. Again, please aim for no more than 2 A4 pages.

Please note, you will only be assessed on the content of your CV and supporting statement, and not the ‘experience’ section of the application.

Should you have any problem with submitting your application via the UKRI Careers Portal, please do send an email to publicappointments@ukri.org with ‘STFC Executive Chair’ in the subject heading. A member of our team will then be in touch.

Please note, to apply via the UKRI Careers Portal you will receive a notification confirming your profile has successfully been created (if you have not previously set up an account) and a second notification confirming your application for this role has been submitted. If you do not receive the second notification confirming your application for this role has been submitted, please contact publicappointments@ukri.org, so we can ensure your application has been received.

Part two: Diversity Monitoring and Conflicts of Interest Form. Please click here to complete this form. 

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom
Salary: Competitive (TBC) + an opportunity for performance related pay
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 13th February 2024
Closes: 6th March 2024
Job Ref: 2400006F
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