Chair of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research

Body: The Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research
Appointing Department: Department of Health and Social Care
Sector: Health and Social Care
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £7k per annum paid quarterly
Time Requirements: Up to a maximum of 20 days per year


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

Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR)
Professor Chris Day has been appointed as Chair of OSCHR for 3 years from 1st October 2018.
The appointment will involve a time commitment of 20 days per year. Remuneration for the role will be at a rate of £7,000 per annum.
This appointment is made jointly by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Secretary of State of Business, Energy and Industry Strategy, and 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. Professor Day has not declared any political activity.

Date: 25/09/2018

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Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    20/04/2018 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

  • Professor Chris Whitty Added 22/03/2018

    Panel Chair

    DHSC Chief Scientific Adviser, DHSC senior sponsor for OSCHR and Interim Government Chief Scientific Adviser • Departmental Official

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  • Jenny Dibden Added 22/03/2018

    Director of Science and Research at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy • Departmental Official

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  • Moira Rankin Added 22/03/2018

    Independent Member

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Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are seeking to make an appointment to the board of Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR).


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 principal UK publicly-funded health research funders (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. Develop the relationship with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as appropriate, to ensure that the UK health research priorities are appropriately communicated and aligned with the wider UK science base.
  • To lead the OSCHR Board on providing advice on foresight of potential impacts and opportunities in relation to the changing UK environment and EU Exit for health research.
  • Provide advice to BEIS, DHSC, HM Treasury, UKRI 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 Industrial Strategy.
  • 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

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.

Essential Criteria

  • 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 authorative advice.
  • Expertise in, and a sound understanding of, 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

As a result of the 2006 Review of funding in UK health research led by Sir David Cooksey, the independent Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR) was established.

Sir David’s review identified considerable strength in the UK science base, but revealed cultural, institutional and financial barriers to the effective translation of health research into clinical practice. The report envisioned a cultural change among the public funders of health research to address the barriers to research collaboration and to support the application and translation of basic research into patient care and economic benefit.

The Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR) was established in order to:

  • Bring alignment on the MRC, NIHR and other government funders of health research in Scotland & Wales
  • Bring about effective cross-working arrangements whilst maintaining some clarity of the funding landscape
  • Eliminate unnecessary duplication
  • Bring about increased capacity and capability for translational research and
  • Drive stronger partnerships with industry & medical research charity funders.


Since 2007, the OSCHR Board has demonstrated a powerful capacity to work across government through collaboration, addressing many of the issues required to ensure a comprehensive health research environment and leading to improved health outcomes and economic growth. The OSCHR process has made significant contribution to the development of the key life science strategies and has proposed a number of initiatives that have been crucial to the sector’s development. In 2010 OSCHR published a shared vision which encapsulated an agreement between the funders to work together to enhance the UK competitiveness in health research.

In 2011, Ministers considered that there was no longer a need for OSCHR to have a scrutinising role or to focus on the gaps in translation identified by Cooksey. However, it was agreed that there was still a need for some overall coordination and foresight that would continue to drive development of health research and life sciences policy that would put the UK in the driving seat on key technologies including genomics, regenerative medicine and the use of health informatics for research.

OSCHR is one of a number of fora where the public funders of health research work together with other stakeholders and it has been shaped and changed as needed, so that it remains relevant today. In 2013, the National Audit Office reported that OSCHR has had a positive impact on the health research funding landscape. More recently, in 2017, a separate report from the NAO reported that there are well-established arrangements for the coordination of human health research, and suggested that emerging areas of research may find it useful to draw upon the OSCHR example when developing their own arrangements for leadership and coordination.

How to Apply

To make an application please email your CV, a supporting letter and completed monitoring forms to: – please quote ref: A17-49 in the subject field.

If you are unable to apply by email you may send your application by post to:

Daniel Clemence Department of Health and Social Care, Room 1N09, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UE

Applications must be received by midday on 20 April 2018.


Supporting letter

 The supporting letter is your opportunity to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria set out in the person specification. It will benefit the Advisory Assessment Panel if you can be clear which particular evidence you provide relates to which criteria. Providing separate paragraphs in relation to each criterion is common practice. Please write all acronyms in full first.

Please ensure your full name, the role to which you are applying and the corresponding reference number for the post are clearly noted at the top of your letter.

Please limit your letter to two pages, and type or write clearly in black ink.

Candidate Information pack_Final
Monitoring Form
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