Chair of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR) VAC-1729

Body: The Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR)
Appointing Department: Department of Health and Social Care
Sector: Health and Social Care
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Remuneration will be £7,000 per annum
Time Requirements: for a time commitment of 20 days per year


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Office for the Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR) – chair
Rt Hon Professor Lord Kakkar has been appointed as chair of the Office for the Strategic Coordination of Health Research for 3 years from 11 October 2021.

The appointment will involve a time commitment of 20 days per year. Remuneration for the role is set at a rate of £7,000 per year. Lord Kakkar has confirmed that he does not intend to take the remuneration. 

This appointment is made in accordance with the Cabinet Office Code of Governance for Public Appointments. The regulation of public appointments against the requirements of this Code is carried out by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The appointment is made on merit and political activity played no part in the decision process. However, in accordance with the Code, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Lord Kakkar has not declared any political activity.

Date: 08/10/2021

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    11/06/2021 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    08/10/2021 at 11:00


Assessment Panel

  • Professor Chris Whitty Added 13/05/2021

    Chief Medical Officer • Departmental Official

    Show more information

  • Alexandra Jones Added 13/05/2021

    Director of Science, Research and Innovation at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy • Representative of Organisation

    Show more information

  • Professor Iqbal Singh Added 13/05/2021

    Chair of the Centre of Excellence in Safety for Older People and Member, Honours Health Committee, • Independent Member

    Show more information

Vacancy Description

Ministers are seeking to appoint a new Chair of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research.

Role and Responsibilities of the Chair

The Chair of OSCHR will:

  • Lead the OSCHR Board and help to forge agreement between the OSCHR Partners to a shared vision for the continued strategic development of UK health research policy, taking account of the views of the independent Board members and, the wider stakeholder community.
  • Focus on the co-ordination and light touch oversight of UK health research policies in order to maximise the role that health research plays in the promotion of growth in the UK economy.
  • Chair the OSCHR Board meetings, typically three times per year, in a way that facilitates the pursuit of the Government’s health research priorities and gives due consideration to all relevant stakeholders.
  • Maintain the existing strong partnerships and excellent working relationships between the UK public funders of health research (OSCHR partners) and the NHS, life sciences industry sector and medical research charity sector in order to maximise the return on the public investment in UK health research.
  • To lead the OSCHR Board on providing advice on foresight of potential impacts and opportunities in relation to the changing UK environment following EU Exit for health research.
  • Provide advice to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Health and Social Care, HM Treasury, UK Research and Innovation and the Devolved Administrations on the further development of the UK’s health research policies. Take a strategic view across the UK health research funding landscape and engage with relevant Government departments as required during Spending Reviews, taking into account developments in the Government’s Plan for Growth and implementation of the UK’s R&D Roadmap.
  • Report jointly to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Secretary of State for Health and Social care.

Person Specification

Qualities required for the role of the Chair

The Department of Health and Social Care values and promotes diversity and encourages applications from all sections of the community. The boards of public bodies should reflect the population they are there to serve. Boards also benefit from fresh perspectives, and we are always keen to encourage candidates with private sector experience to consider applying for our roles.

Essential Criteria

To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment.

  • Ability to Chair the Board of an influential partnership, setting the agenda and providing strategic direction.
  • Ability to facilitate and lead discussion of policy and other strategic matters drawing in the skills, knowledge and expertise of all members of the Board – both Partners and independent board members and engaging with other stakeholders to promote collaboration in health research and to provide authoritative advice.
  • Expertise in, and a sound understanding of, the UK health research landscape and policy together with credibility within the NHS, academia and commercial sectors to effect changes to enhance the UK health research landscape.
  • The ability to command the respect and influence leaders in government, HM Treasury, health research and the life sciences commercial sector to facilitate discussions that will inform the further development of health research policy.
  • The ability to promote collaborative and strategic linkages between stakeholders, including medical research charities; public funders of health research; academia; the NHS; and life science industries.
  • A proven ability to exercise judgement across a broad spectrum of strategic and policy issues and to engage fully and effectively across Government at the highest levels.

Desirable Criteria

  • A recognised senior research leader with experience in Academia, the NHS, Research Funding or the Life Sciences Industry.
  • An understanding of the international context for science and research and the requirements of Life Science industries, academia, health research funders and the NHS in order to underpin a thriving UK health research sector as part of the government’s strategies for economic growth and the life sciences industrial sector.

Additional Information

Please refer to the candidate information pack for further details.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in the appointment of the Chair to OSCHR.

To make an application please email your CV, a supporting letter and completed Monitoring form to: – please quote VAC-1729 in the subject field.

If you are unable to apply by email please contact Dan Clemence on 0113 2545335 or

Applications must be received by midday on 11 June 2021.


FINAL - Candidate_Information_Pack
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