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Join our Scientific Advisory Committees

We are inviting applications from senior experts to join our independent Scientific Advisory Committees (SACs). This year we are also recruiting associate members, aimed at encouraging early and mid-career experts to be involved in the work of the FSA.

Last updated: 3 February 2023

The work of the independent committees that advise us helps to ensure our advice to consumers is based on the best and most recent scientific evidence. To learn more about the work of the SACs, click the below video to hear from the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Novel Food Processes (ACNFP), Dr Camilla Alexander-White.

Person specification

We are looking for experts to fill 21 expert roles, across five committees and expert groups. Applicants to the SACs must be able to demonstrate the following:

Required general skills

  • experience and evidence of effective contribution to multi-disciplinary groups advising on complex scientific or technical questions 
  • strong analytical and judgement skills, with independent thinking and being open to challenge 
  • well-developed interpersonal and communication skills with a collaborative style and an ability to engage and communicate with non-expert audiences. excellent command of written and spoken English

Required expert skills

For each committee we are recruiting persons with specific expertise, as outlined below. Candidates must demonstrate a high-level of expertise in one or more of these areas, evidenced by a strong record of achievement at a national or international level, with strong networks in the field. For scientific roles this can be evidenced by publication in high profile peer-reviewed journals and/or presentation at international meetings. 

Associate Members

The purpose of an associate member of a Science Advisory Committee (SAC) is to encourage early or mid-career researchers to be involved in the work of the FSA by joining a SAC which they may not otherwise be able to join as a full member. They will be assigned a member, or the Chair, of their SAC to act as a mentor on all committee work.  

Associate members will serve a 1-year term, to allow them to gain a good understanding of the SAC’s remit and ways of working. 

Areas of Expertise/Positions Available

We are looking for expertise in a wide range or areas across the different committees and groups covered in this recruitment, detailed below. For more detail on the work of each of the committees for which we are recruiting, please see https://www.food.gov.uk/about-us/the-work-of-the-scientific-advisory-committees

Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment  (COT) 

  • Organic chemistry 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Immunotoxicology  
  • Reproductive toxicology  
  • Pathology

The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) 

  • Human epidemiology 
  • Public sector catering 
  • Food animal parasitology 
  • Risk assessment methodology

The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP)

  • Diet and nutritional toxicology  
  • Clinical Microbiology/mycology 
  • Genetic modification and genome editing techniques in microbes 
  • Veterinary expertise to support review of safety for animals of GM / PBO feed applications

The Advisory committee on Animal Feedingstuffs (ACAF)

  • A Chair 
  • Lay member  
  • Toxicology 
  • Veterinary expertise, particularly with an interest in poultry nutrition 
  • Expert in manufacturing and stability  
  • Chemist that can support assessment of synthetic compounds, impurities and residues

The Joint Expert Group on Additives, Enzymes and other regulated products (JAERJEG)

  • A Chair  
  • Exposure 
  • Genotoxicity

We are committed to the principles of public appointments based on merit and equal opportunities, with independent assessment, openness and transparency of process. We welcome applications from suitably qualified people, regardless of their protected characteristics and working patterns. For further information please email the SAC Recruitment Inbox

Applicants, whether selected or not, may separately be invited to join our Register of Specialists, through which they may be invited to provide advice or research on a one-off contractual basis. 

Ways of working

The SACs use Microsoft Teams and SharePoint as a platform to share documents and information and to hold virtual meetings. Members will be required to access and use Microsoft Teams and SharePoint effectively as part of their roles, so will need access to a computer with a stable internet connection and a webcam. 

Time Commitment

The SACs hold up to eight one-day meetings a year, usually in London, with occasional travel outside London, and members provide additional input between meetings, and on occasion form subgroups focusing on specific short-term topics. The FSA may also request advice from committees on an ad hoc basis or in emergencies.  

The overall time commitment will depend on the extent of members’ participation in the groups’ meetings and FSA’s strategic needs, but a minimum commitment is expected to be around 15 days a year. 

Public Service Values

Successful applicants will be expected to uphold public service values in fulfilling the role of independent adviser to the FSA. Candidates invited for interview will be asked about any issues in their personal or professional history that could draw into question their ability to fulfil this role, and it is important that candidates bring any such issues to the attention of the panel.

Fees and expenses 

These positions are not salaried, but members may claim fees and reasonable travel and other expenses, for work on and for the SACs, in line with the Guidance on Committees Fees and Expenses.

The current members fees are:   

  • Chairs:  £400 per day’s work on committee or expert group business  
  • Members:  £300 per day’s work on committee or expert group business    
  • Associate Members: £150 per day’s work on committee business  

Members may make a cumulative claim for work between meetings if a significant amount of time is spent on a single piece of work or on a series of short pieces of work.

Eligibility

  • Members cannot hold any paid or high-profile unpaid posts in a political party, and not engage in specific political activities on matters directly affecting the work of this body.  

We welcome applications from existing members of government Scientific Advisory Committees; however, applicants must list relevant current appointments in the application to identify any cross-membership and assess any potential conflicts of interest. 

How to apply

Please read the person specification before completing your application form.  Please note if you require the application forms in an alternative format, please get in touch with the SAC recruitment team

Each applicant must complete and provide:  

  • An application form, including a completed political activity questionnaire  
  • Declaration of interest
  • CV and/or list of publications   
  • Monitoring questionnaire (optional)

England, Northern Ireland and Wales

England, Northern Ireland and Wales

Important
Submission closes on 3 March 2023 at 23:59.  

Please do not print the forms, they must be completed digitally and returned to us via email. Please also avoid saving the forms in PDF format wherever possible.  

Please email completed application forms to the SAC recruitment team 

Timeline for appointments

Interviews for shortlisted applicants will take place in April 2023. 

Appointments will be confirmed in May 2023. 

Induction will take place in June 2023.  

Location: Virtual or London.