Three Non-Executive Directors to the Health Research Authority

Body: Health Research Authority
Appointing Department: Department of Health and Social Care
Sector: Health and Social Care
Location: London
Skills required: IT / Digital
Number of Vacancies: 3
Remuneration: Remuneration is at the standard rate of £7,883 per annum
Time Requirements: Two to three days a month


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

The following people have been appointed as non-executive directors of the Health Research Authority (HRA) for 3 years: Dr Nicole Mather and Professor Andrew George from 1 January 2019 and Richard Cooper from 1 February 2019. The appointments will involve a time commitment of 2 to 3 days per month. Remuneration for these roles will be at a rate of £7,883 per annum. These appointments are 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. These appointments are 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. None of the candidates have declared any political activity.

Date: 01/02/2019

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    17/10/2018 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    12 & 19 November 2018

  • Announcement

    01/02/2019 at 11:00


Assessment Panel

  • Dr Louise Wood, Added 26/09/2018

    Panel Chair

    Director of Science, Research and Evidence. Department of Health and Social Care • Departmental Official

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  • Professor Jonathan Montgomery Added 26/09/2018

    Chair, Health Research Authority • Representative of Organisation

    Show more information

  • Alan Boyd Added 26/09/2018

    President of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine • Independent Member

    Show more information

Vacancy Description



The Ministers are seeking to make three appointments to the board of the Health Research Authority (HRA).


Role and Responsibilities of the a NED


HRA’s Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) 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 be 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 the Health Research Authority 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.


Person Specification

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 record of achievement and personal effectiveness at the highest levels, with an ability to operate effectively on the board of a significant national body.
  • Able to provide effective scrutiny and challenge to the Executive and to hold them to account for the delivery of performance and strategy.
  • 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.


In addition, candidates should bring skills and experience in one or more of the following areas:


Digital Technology Transformation

  • experience in regulation preferably in a technologically driven, professional or scientific context, and/or experience of successfully rolling out and scaling new technology with an understanding of the contribution this can make to improving quality and transforming processes


Health/Social Care research

  • senior level NHS, higher education or charity sector experience including current or recent experience of health and/or social care research or research governance that would have involved using HRA systems as an applicant


Pharmaceutical, biotech or other life science industry

  • senior leadership experience in a relevant industry, with a global perspective and a track record in innovation


Additional Information

Body Role and Responsibilities


The HRA is a Non Departmental Public Body with the remit to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research.  We do this by supporting and promoting a robust and efficient regulatory and governance framework in the UK. We provide the Research Ethics Service (RES), Confidentiality Advice function, assessments and assurances on behalf of the NHS, and learning, guidance and advice for the research community.  Our ambition is to make the UK a great place to do research, where more money invested in research goes into carrying out relevant, good quality research.


Our purpose is to ensure that research involving NHS patients and members of the public is approved through a proportionate and robust system, that they are provided with the information they need to help them decide whether they wish to take part and that their opportunity to do so is maximised by simplifying the processes by which high quality research is assessed.  We have already delivered significant improvements by centralising and simplifying the approval of research in the NHS in England, and are undertaking a range of significant programmes to deliver further improvements.


To achieve our purpose, we work with all relevant partners to help create an environment where:

  • greater numbers of patients and the public can and do take part in health research, and continue to feel safe when they do;
  • applying to do research is simpler, and getting a decision is quicker;
  • researchers find it easier to do high-quality, ethical research;
  • the NHS appreciates how health research benefits patients and staff;
  • industry sees the UK as a great place to do health research;
  • more money from charities and other research funders goes into carrying out research, and less into getting through unnecessary hoops before it starts;
  • clinical trials are registered and research results get published.


The HRA has a number of functions.  We:

  • are the Appointing Authority for Research Ethics Committees in England and provide the RES;
  • by agreement with the Devolved Administrations, we support a UK-wide system for ethical review in the UK;
  • appoint the Confidentiality Advisory Group; an expert group which provides independent advice to the HRA regarding the appropriate use of confidential patient information without consent in the NHS for research, and for other purposes, such as commissioning health services;
  • provide HRA Approval for the NHS, including assessments and coordination of technical assurances by staff, as part of a compatible system across the UK;
  • work in partnership to coordinate our activity with other organisations regulating and governing research, including the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Human Tissue Authority (HTA), Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee (ARSAC);
  • provide advice and support through our advice service, published guidance, information and training programmes;
  • provide the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS), through which all applications for regulation and governance of health research are made in the UK, and have agreed plans to provide a unified approval process from the IRAS platform;
  • have an on-going programme of work to shape effective national roles for the HRA, within our remit to provide a unified approval process and to promote proportionate standards for compliance and inspection.


The HRA relies on the members who serve on its committees, who give their time freely to provide a robust and independent review of research proposals.


The values which drive the HRA are:

  • Inspiring leadership – Enabling people and teams to develop and deliver dynamic, innovative and transformative services and systems
  • Integrity – Being fair, ethical and honest in everything we do
  • Trusted – Being respected for delivering to consistently high standards
  • Transparent – Being accountable and open about all aspects of our work
  • Collaborative – Listening to and working with others to identify and make improvements to the health research environment
  • Empowering – Supporting independent thinking and decision-making


The HRA’s 210 staff are based mainly across five regional offices in England as well as a number of home-based employees.  It has an expenditure budget of £13.3 million (2018/19).




Please see our website for more information:


Our strategic ambitions which set the direction of the organisation and our annually updated business plan can be accessed through the following links:


How to Apply


To make an application please email your CV, a supporting letter and completed monitoring forms to: – please quote ref: E18-22 in the subject field.


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


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


Applications must be received by midday on 17 October 2018.


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 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.


Conflicts of interest


If you have any business or personal interests that might be relevant to the work of Health Research Authority, 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 into 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 Health Research Authority or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the 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.


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: Eligibility Criteria.





Please ensure your CV includes:


  • Your full name, title, home address, personal contact telephone numbers (land line and mobile) and personal email address
  • 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:


George Hilton

Appointments Team

Tel: 0113 254 5071



For further information regarding the role of the Health Research Authority and the role of a NED please contact:


Mark Toal

Tel:  0207 210 2749



Please quote reference E18-22 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.

E18-22 Diversity & Monitoring Form
E18-22 HRA NEDs Candidate information pack - FINAL (2)
E18-22 HRA NEDs Advert - FINAL (2)
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