CHAIR OF THE NUCLEAR RESEARCH ADVISORY COUNCIL (NRAC)

Closed
Body: Defence Nuclear Organisation
Appointing Department: Ministry of Defence
Sectors: Defence, Science & Technology
Location: London and various MoD sites in UK
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: This is a remunerated Non-Departmental Public Body position paying £465 per day. Travel and other reasonable expenses will be paid in line with MOD policy. This post is not pensionable.
Time Requirements: Up to 20 days per year

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched

    01/10/2019

  • Closed for Applications

    30/10/2019

  • Panel Sift

    To be arranged

  • Final Interview Date

    29/11/2019

  • Announcement

    TBC

Vacancy Description

The Ministry of Defence is looking to appoint a Chair to the Nuclear Research Advisory Council (NRAC). You will be independent of the Ministry of Defence operational activities and will be expected to apply intellectual rigour in support of the NRAC programme.

NRAC provides independent, external, evidence-based advice to the MOD Chief Scientific Adviser (Nuclear) (CSA(N)), MOD Director Warhead (and Senior Responsible Owner, (SRO)), DG Nuclear, and other senior MOD officials as necessary.

Terms of Reference 

NRAC advises upon the UK’s ability to design, certify, manufacture and support an effective and reliable nuclear stockpile in the context of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This includes assessments of effectiveness, resilience and efficiency in terms of:

  • The UK warhead programme
  • The technical capabilities and resources required to support warhead-related activities
  • Strategic arrangements and planning
  • Collaboration with industry, academia, government and international allies.

Role of the Chair

The Council consists of a Chair, a number of Members, and a Secretariat. A variety of technical skills and expertise is required across the Council to enable effective coverage of the Council’s Terms of Reference. The Council’s strategic direction and work programme are reviewed annually by the Chair with input from Members.

Members of the NRAC have a collective responsibility for the operation of the Council. They are expected to apply independent intellectual rigour in support of the NRAC work programme. To carry out its work programme, the Council has mandate to hold meetings with MOD, the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), and other associated agencies and bodies to conduct reviews, receive presentations, attend facility tours, and participate in other activities related to the Terms of Reference. NRAC outputs are delivered in the form of written reports and letters, supplemented with meetings and briefings with stakeholders. The Chair is the principal for the Council with the following responsibilities:

  • Recommends the recruitment of new Members such that the Council maintains a balance of skills and expertise necessary to fulfil its terms of reference.
  • Defines NRAC’s strategic direction.
  • Approves all NRAC interactions and activities.
  • Support development of the NRAC work programme by identifying topics for review (understanding the strategic aim, and why those topics are important), what the key questions are and what part of the UK Warhead programme they affect.
  • Contributes to NRAC’s Annual Report and leads the outbrief to CSA(N) and the SRO, approves all other written outputs and briefings.
  • Engage fully in collective consideration of the issues, taking account of the full range of relevant factors, including any guidance issued by the sponsor department or the responsible minister.
  • Ensures that Council Members (and the Council as a whole) comply at all times with the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies and with the rules relating to the use of public funds and to conflicts of interest.
  • Respond appropriately to complaints, if necessary with reference to the sponsor department.
  • Ensure that the Council does not exceed its powers or functions.

The Council is assisted by MOD officials, including the Defence Nuclear Organisation (DNO) who act as the sponsor department and provide the Secretariat.

NRAC formally reports through the Chair to the MOD Chief Scientific Adviser (Nuclear) (CSA(N), MOD Director Warhead (and Senior Responsible Owner (SRO)), DG Nuclear and other senior MOD officials as necessary, and has formal access via CSA(N) to the Secretary of State (SofS) to whom the Council is accountable.

Communications between the Council, CSA(N) and the SRO will generally be through the Chair, except where the Council has agreed that an individual member should act on its behalf. Nevertheless, any Council member has the right of access to CSA(N) and to the SRO on any matter which he or she believes raises important issues relating to his or her duties as a Council Member. In such cases the agreement of the rest of the Council should normally be sought

Person Specification

Candidates will be required to provide the Ministry of Defence Chief Scientific Adviser Nuclear (CSA(N)) and the appointed Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) for the Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme with objective, rigorous analysis of the UK’s capability to design and manufacture nuclear warheads in support of the UK’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD). The successful candidate should bring a board-level track record of leadership, and evidence of strategic decision making in the delivery of large, complex programmes involving government, private industry and international partners.

Essental criteria:

  • Experience of operating as a Chair of a senior Board or Committee, with an understanding of corporate collegial behaviour and the ability to provide constructive challenge and independent judgement.
  • Strong analytical and communication skills with the ability to manage complex, interdisciplinary discussions with government officials and their delivery entities.
  • Direct experience of delivering complex, bespoke, high-risk technical programmes within a highly regulated environment.

Desirable criteria:

  • A good understanding of the UK nuclear deterrent.
  • A good understanding of the importance of international collaboration in delivering a programme in the defence enterprise.

An understanding of the underpinning technical and scientific capabilities needed to deliver the UK warhead programme

Additional Information

The sift and interview panel will consist of:

Panel Chair – DNO Director, Warhead

Panel Member 1 – CSA(N)

Panel Member 2 – DNO Deputy Director Warhead Capability

Independent Panel Member – Member of MoD Senior Selection Board

The Guaranteed Interview Scheme Declaration Form is also attached to this advertisement and applicants may complete and submit this form along with the rest of their application.

Attachments
25447_Info_pack_NRAC Chair Recruitment-O
25447_NRAC_CHAIR_EOI-O
NDPB_Diversity Form
Guaranteed Interview Scheme Declaration
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