UK Research and Innovation - Chair

Body: UK Research and Innovation
Appointing Department: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Sector: Science & Technology
Location: London and Swindon
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The UKRI Chair will receive an annual remuneration package of £29,500 per annum for this commitment.
Time Requirements: The UKRI Chair will be appointed for a term of 4-5 years and expected to work 1 day per week approximately.


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

Sir Andrew Mackenzie has been appointment as the new Chair of UK Research and Innovation. Further information on the announcement can be found here.

Date: 08/06/21

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 05/04/21 (this is subject to change)

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Chair of UKRI will play an integral role in guiding this young organisation along its path to corporate maturity. The Chair will work with the CEO, the Board and the Executive Chairs of UKRI’s nine Councils, leading UKRI in pursuit of its objectives, ensuring its success, and the UK’s continued leadership globally on research and innovation. The Chair acts as custodian for UKRI’s mission and objectives and is responsible for overall direction and management of UKRI, ensuring that the Board takes an effective governance role. 

Key Duties/ Objectives for the UKRI Chair 

  • Formulating UKRI strategy – Ensure progress of a coherent strategic approach across the organisation on cross-cutting research and innovation priorities as well as UKRI and its Councils own corporate reform.
  • Working with the CEO to advise the Secretary of State on strategic priorities, the case for investment into BEIS and spending review allocations to UKRI’s Councils. 
  • Building vital relationships with various partners aimed at realising the potential of UKRI research and business to drive economically beneficial outcomes. In particular engaging with the business and academic communities, Government departments, Parliament and relevant all-party groups as well as other public, private and third sector partners including those outside of the UK to increase the relevance and economic impact of UKRI’s research. 
  • Ensuring the UKRI board takes proper account of guidance provided by the Secretary of State for Business energy and Industrial Strategy 
  • Ensuring that there is coordination and co-operation with the Office for Students, the devolved higher education funding bodies and other key partners. 
  • Working with the Senior Independent Members of each Council to ensure that UKRI’s Councils operate effectively and are able to discharge their remits within UKRI. 

Specific responsibilities include: 

  • Chairing board meetings, typically eight times a year, in a way that facilitates the corporate pursuit of UKRI’s objectives and gives due consideration to the interests of all stakeholders across academia and business. 
  • Providing advice to the Secretary of State on appointments to the UKRI board including the CEO and CFO. Support the CEO in recruitment of UKRI’s other senior executive appointments 
  • Chairing the Nominations and Remuneration Committee, which determines senior executive pay policy and contracts, and corporate bonuses, and appointments to research Council committees, as well as regular attendance at the Audit and Finance Committee and attendance at the Strategy Committee when required. 


Person Specification

We are looking for an outstanding individual with a passion for and knowledge of research and innovation to become Chair of UKRI. 

Applications are sought from candidates who are able to command the confidence of the academic, business, higher education and policy communities, promote effective stakeholder engagement, guide and challenge the development of UKRI’s organisational approach, ensure the organisation is realising the full benefits of reform and drive increased value for money and impact from research and innovation investments. 

It is expected that you would be able to demonstrate all the following abilities and attributes: 

  • Ability to Chair the Board of a substantial organisation and ability to develop and drive forward strategic direction;  
  • A passion for the role R&D can play in the UK economy and society.  
  • Strong links to industry and business, or demonstrable ability to build significant credibility within those communities.  
  • Exercise judgement across a broad spectrum of policy and management issues;  
  • Ability to engage with the breadth of UKRI stakeholders at senior level;  
  • Show a good understanding of governance and other governing body management issues, including compliance and probity;  
  • Distinctive leadership skills with translatable experience of influencing organisations or agendas.  
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills;  
  • Promote and embed an inclusive culture;  
  • Ability to provide constructive challenge to the UKRI Executive and to drive forward change in behaviour and practice across the organisation. 


Additional Information

Please tailor your application to show how you meet the criteria listed. You should set out your suitability for the role and how you meet the criteria set out in the person specification.

If you are shortlisted for the role, due diligence will be carried out and your referees are likely to be contacted.

You will be asked to prepare some identification documents if you are invited to an interview – further information will be provided at that stage.

Interviews are likely to be held remotely through Microsoft Teams.

Please note: feedback will only be provided to those candidates who are interviewed.


How to Apply

The closing date for applications is 11pm on 10th March 2021. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

For us to progress your application, you must submit both of the below documents before 11pm on 10th March 2021:

  • curriculum vitae; and,
  • a supporting statement

by email (named in the following example formats: Bloggs, J – CV / Bloggs, J – CL) with the email subject “UKRI Chair” to:

If you do not submit both a curriculum vitae and a supporting statement by 11pm on 10th March 2021, your application will not be progressed any further.

We also ask that you complete an online application form, including diversity monitoring information, which can be found here.

Your curriculum vitae and supporting statement must each be no longer than two pages in length. If you submit documents which are longer than two pages each, any information not contained within the first two pages of each document will be disregarded and will not be seen by the assessment panel.

As a Disability Confident Leader, BEIS will offer interviews to disabled candidates who meet the published minimum requirements for a job or role. If you wish to apply for consideration under this scheme, please complete the declaration in the Diversity Monitoring Form provided. It is not necessary to state the nature of your disability.

Whether you choose to apply under the Disability Confident scheme or not, you can still ask us to make particular adjustments for you when attending an interview.

If you wish to discuss the role further or have queries about the requirements, please contact and we will put you in touch with an appropriate person to speak to.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Nadia Toma in the first instance at

UKRI-Chair-candidate-pack-2021 (1)
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