Launched in 2004, the NC3Rs is primarily funded by the Department for Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills (BEIS) via the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and has an annual budget of around £10 million.
Its mission is to use the 3Rs to accelerate scientific discovery, support innovation and technology development, and address societal concerns about animal research.
To achieve this, the NC3Rs:
- Funds research
- Supports scientific training and career development
- Facilitates open innovation in the 3Rs
- Provides a forum for scientific debate and exchange, and access to resources which accelerate the uptake of the 3Rs
- Stimulates changes in policy, practice and regulations
The NC3Rs works with organisations across the bioscience and biomedical sectors in the UK and internationally, including universities, industry, other research funders and regulatory authorities. Its activities are divided between its role as a research funder and in-house programmes led by NC3Rs scientists which focus on providing advice and guidance, facilitating data sharing and knowledge exchange, and collaborations with industry.
The NC3Rs is an independent scientific organisation which operates under the umbrella of the MRC. It has responsibility for setting and delivering its strategy and the use of its resources.
The NC3Rs Board
The NC3Rs Board is a non-executive body which provides advice to the Chief Executive on the NC3Rs strategy and work plan, and monitors delivery against its mission and agreed objectives.
The Board acts as the custodian of the NC3Rs mission. Board members are not involved in the day-to-day business of the Centre but have a central role in contributing to the development of strategy, monitoring and evaluating delivery, and ensuring that financial planning and risk management is robust. Specifically, the Board:
- Monitors delivery against strategy and objectives
- Advises on the scientific and regulatory environment in which the NC3Rs operates, highlighting potential opportunities and risks to the Centre
- Agrees the annual budget and reviews financial forecasts and controls
- Is consulted on major policy and spending decisions
- Reviews the performance of the Chief Executive
The Board acts as a single body, with all members sharing collective responsibility for all of its advice. In providing advice and guidance the Board is required to:
- Take account of emerging science and technology, national and international regulations and policies relating to animal use
- Seek expert advice where necessary
- Ensure a balanced portfolio of research to support the delivery of the NC3Rs objectives
The Board delegates specific responsibilities to the NC3Rs Funding Panels, which include members independent of the Board. Each Funding Panel makes recommendations on applications for funding, advising the budget holder (the NC3Rs Chief Executive) on funding decisions within the allocated budget.
As major funders of the NC3Rs, the BBSRC and MRC have permanent membership of the Board and have additional responsibility for ensuring feedback to their organisations on the NC3Rs and providing advice to the NC3Rs on their organisations’ activities.
Board Member role and responsibilities
The key responsiblites of NC3Rs Board members are to:
- Attend and actively participate in Board meetings, major NC3Rs events, and, where appropriate, chair NC3Rs Funding Panels or working groups and accompany NC3Rs staff to grant holder meetings.
- Advise on the vision, mission, strategy, work plan and major spending decisions, and to monitor progress against objectives.
- Support the Chief Executive and staff in ensuring effective delivery of NC3Rs strategy and work plan.
- Act as an advocate for the NC3Rs within the scientific community and more broadly.
Applicants will need to meet the following essential criteria:
- A commitment to the mission and broad objectives of the NC3Rs
- A good understanding of the use of animals in research and display a commitment to the development of all three ‘Rs’
- An understanding of the priorities, challenges and opportunities for the 3Rs across the biosciences sector
- Proven ability to exercise judgement across a broad spectrum of policy and research issues with the ability to tackle issues outside their immediate area of expertise
- A first class record in conducting and leading internationally respected research
- Current, or previous, membership of a scientific advisory panel or funding panel with a major research funder e.g. MRC, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK
- An ability to work effectively within the public sector requirements for accountability and openness, and within financial constraints
Applicants should be experienced senior scientists, based in leading research organisations, including the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical and agrochemical sectors. Applications are also welcome from senior managers and veterinarians from laboratory animal facilities.
The following general criteria will be used for shortlisting:
- Scientific ‘fit’ for the vacancy
- Breadth of knowledge
- Appropriate level of experience
- Location and sector - we are seeking broad representation from across the UK and the academic, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical and agrochemical sectors.
Assessment of your suitability for the role will be made on the information provided in your application form and CV and also the balance of applicants’ expertise and interests.
The NC3Rs values the diverse skills and experience of its Board members and is committed to achieving equality of treatment; all individuals shall have equal opportunities for advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities.
The NC3Rs particularly welcomes applications from currently under-represented groups; female and ethnic minority candidates and from candidates with disabilities.
Board members are expected to attend two (one day) Board meetings annually, usually in May and November. Participation in other activities, such as attending NC3Rs events and grant holder meetings, may be required.
Board members will be appointed from 1 January 2018 for a three year term with a possibility of a further extension of up to two years at the discretion of the NC3Rs Board Chair. There will be an opportunity to review membership with the Board Chair during the first year of appointment if requested.
Appointments are made in a personal capacity. It is essential that individuals should be able to commit the necessary time and attention to the role, and have the full support of their employer and organisation in doing so.
Declaration of interests
Board members are expected to abide by the principles set out in the ‘Code of Practice for members of Council and MRC Boards’ and are required to declare any private, professional or commercial interests that might, or might be perceived to, conflict with the NC3Rs interests. Board members’ declaration of interests forms are published on the NC3Rs website.
An allowance is payable per day for attendance at Board meetings (the current rate is £160 per day). Travel (standard class) and subsistence expenses will be reimbursed.
Induction for successful candidates
New Board members are expected to attend the Board meeting on 17 October 2017 as an observer. This will be an opportunity to meet the NC3Rs Chief Exective, Board members and staff and to learn more about the activities of the Board.
Submit the application form to firstname.lastname@example.org before 4pm on 24 July 2017. All applications will be acknowledged by the NC3Rs team.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview by an Appointment’s Panel, chaired by the NC3Rs Board Chair, Professor Stephen Holgate CBE (University of Southampton).
Interviews will be held on 29 September 2017. All reasonable expenses incurred in connection with attending an interview will be reimbursed.
If you have any queries, or you would like further information about the role, please email email@example.com.
24 July 2017, 4pm
29 September 2017
Notification of interview outcome
NC3Rs Board meeting dates 17/18
17 October 2017 (as an observer)
7 June 2018
13 November 2018