Non-Executive Director of the Health Research Authority VAC-1686

Body: Health Research Authority
Appointing Department: Department of Health and Social Care
Sector: Health and Social Care
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £7,833 per annum
Time Requirements: A time commitment of two to three days per month


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

Neelam Patel has been appointed as non-executive director of the Health Research Authority for 3 years from 1 April 2021.

The appointments will involve a time commitment of 2 to 3 days per month. Remuneration for the roles will be at a rate of £7,883 a year.

This appointment has been 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. Neelam Patel has not declared any political activity.

Date: 01/12/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    10/09/2020 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    01/12/2020 at 17:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is looking to appoint a Non-Executive Director (NED) to the Health Research Authority (HRA).

The HRA is responsible for improving the UK’s research regulation environment, creating a streamlined approval process to help researchers develop high quality, well-prepared studies at lower cost. Its systems act as the gateway for applications for health and social care research, ranging from observational studies in care settings, tissue banks and research databases, to large, multi-centre clinical trials of new medicines and advanced therapeutics.

As a NED of HRA, you will play a key role in the effective governance and leadership of the organisation. You will contribute to the work of the board, both by actively participating in board discussions and more widely, contributing to the board’s governance, performance management and development of strategy for the HRA.

You will have the ability to operate effectively on the board of a high-profile national organisation, with excellent communication skills and able to provide scrutiny and challenge to the Executive.  You will also have an interest in the work of the HRA and the challenges it faces.

Person Specification

Role and Responsibilities of a Non-Executive Director

HRA’s Non-Executive Directors (NED)s play a key role in the effective governance and leadership of the organisation. They contribute to the work of the board, both by actively participating in board discussions and more widely, contributing to the board’s governance, performance management and development of strategy for the HRA.

NEDs contribute to representing the HRA externally, maintaining (or developing where necessary) excellent relationships with a range of key partners and stakeholders such as the NHS, the public, industry, research funders and researchers, research ethics committees, other arms-length bodies and regulators.

NEDs are also expected to contribute across a range of specific areas, including: ensuring the board listens to the public and patient voice; ensuring appropriate financial controls are in place and risks managed accordingly; contributing to the development of strategy; ensuring that best practice is followed in leadership and people policies and behaviour.

Qualities required for the role of a NED

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.

  • A career record of achievements of scale and relevance, with an ability to operate effectively on the board of a high-profile national organisation.
  • Able to provide effective scrutiny and challenge to the Executive and to hold them to account for the delivery of performance and strategy and delivery of digital transformation
  • Excellent communication skills, sound judgement and the highest standards of personal propriety in relation to governance, accountability, risk and financial management.
  • Demonstrable interest in the work of the HRA and the challenges it faces.

Desirable Criterion:

  • Experience of or familiarity with the life sciences sector


Additional Information

For more information, please visit the Public Appointments website:  If you require an alternative format such as braille, large print or audio please call Ryan Lloyd on 0113 254 5929 quoting the reference VAC-1686.

The closing date for applications is midday on 10 September 2020.  The Department of Health and Social Care values and promotes diversity and encourages applications from all sections of the community.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in the appointment of a NED to the HRA.

To make an application please email your CV, a supporting letter and completed monitoring forms to: – please quote ref: 1686 in the subject field.

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

If you are unable to apply by email, please contact Ryan Lloyd on 0113 254 5929 to discuss alternative options.

Applications must be received by midday on 10 September 2020.

In making an application please note the following:

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 specific 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.

Conflicts of interest

If you have any business or personal interests that might be relevant to the work of HRA, and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your Supporting letter.

If appointed, you will also be required to declare these interests on appointment and they will be entered on a register which is available to the public.

Standards in public life and ensuring public confidence

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of the public and Government. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history (including any convictions or bankruptcy) that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment to Ministers or the HRA or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Advisory Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue/s in your Supporting letter. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media and blogs. Due Diligence may be carried out on any publicly available information and shared with the Advisory Assessment Panel.

The panel may explore any issues you declare with you before they make a recommendation on the appointment.

Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment being terminated, as those who hold public appointments are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of corporate and personal conduct and are required to subscribe to the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies, as part of agreeing to the terms and conditions of appointment. You can access this document at:

There are also circumstances in which individuals may not be considered for appointment, due to them not meeting certain eligibility criteria for appointment. For further information, please refer to Section 2.3: Disqualification from Appointment

If you wish to discuss any queries on conflicts, please see the contacts section.


Please ensure your CV includes:

  • Your full name, title, home address, personal contact telephone numbers (land line and mobile), personal email address and details of any twitter accounts and LinkedIn accounts including your twitter handle/username.
  • Similar contact details for two referees who will support your application. One referee should be the person to whom you are/were accountable in your current/most recent appointment or position of employment. Please indicate the relationship of each referee to you. References will be requested for short-listed candidates prior to interview
  • Brief details of your current or most recent post and the dates you occupied this role. Please identify any past or present Ministerial appointments.

Monitoring form

Please complete the monitoring form. Diversity monitoring information will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel assessing your application.

Political activity information is primarily for monitoring purposes only, however if you are shortlisted for interview, this information will be shared with the selection panel. The reason for this is that it is appreciated that such activities may have given you relevant skills, including experience gained from committee work, collective decision-making, resolving conflict and public speaking. If you have had such experience and you consider it relevant to your application for this post, you should also take the opportunity to include it separately in your supporting statement. If possible, you should not, however, identify the relevant political party in your statement.

If you are appointed to this role, please note that any political activity you declare will be published in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Department of Health and Social Care operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) for disabled people. The Equality Act 2010 defines a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities. Under the GIS a disabled candidate will be selected for interview if they meet the essential criteria for the post.

If you wish to apply under the GIS please complete the GIS form and return it with your application.

All applications will be acknowledged by email after the closing date.


For further information regarding the selection process, please contact

Ryan Lloyd

Appointments Team

Tel: 0113 254 5929



For further information regarding the role of the HRA and the role of a NED please contact Mark Toal

Tel:  0207 2102749


Please quote reference VAC-1686 on all correspondence.

If you choose to apply, we would like to thank you in advance for your time and effort in making an application.

14.1 diversity-monitoring-form-accessible
Guarenteed Interview Scheme Form
Governance Code on Public Appointments
HRA VAC1686 NED Advert (Extended)
HRA Info Pack - (Extended)
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