The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is seeking to recruit up to 19 new members from across ESRC's stakeholder groups for the Strategic Advisory Network (SAN), to provide credible advice and strategic insight into ESRC policy and programme development.

Applications for the SAN are currently live, and the closing date is 16:00 (GMT) on 19 January 2021. To apply for the SAN please fill in the application form at the bottom of this page.

The Strategic Advisory Network (SAN)

The SAN is a flexible resource that complements the work of ESRC. It includes public policy professionals from a range of backgrounds, including the civil service, researchers and users of research from the private and charitable sectors, knowledge exchange and impact experts, and academic researchers.

The purpose of the SAN is to provide the ESRC and its Senior Leadership Team with:

  • strategic expert advice in an agile way so that we can respond effectively to new funding opportunities
  • detailed expert support and advice including the design of strategies and schemes, investment management (pre- and post-award), and interventions
  • a broad perspective of advice on issues, proposals and decisions
  • access to a pool of experts to whom the office can turn for ad-hoc advice and advocacy and to test out new ideas
  • provision of input into general policy advice.

For further information please refer to the SAN terms of reference.

The role

Appointments to the SAN will usually be for up to three years with the possibility of extension up to a further three years. Appointments begin with effect from April 2021.

Members will be invited to join both formal and informal work streams throughout their time on the SAN. These may include formal ‘Task and Finish’ groups that bring together particular configurations of experts to help the office address specific research questions; individual participation in panels or reviews; and informal expert consultations to explore and advise on new possible directions for policies, strategies and programmes.

The time commitment can vary by activity, but it is expected that SAN members will need to commit around four to ten days to SAN work per year. Members are also expected to participate in regular meetings twice a year of the entire SAN. Every effort will be made to support remote participation in SAN activities, if this is appropriate, and to consider flexible and part-time working.

Please note these are non-salaried roles. Members are paid a fee for each activity they are involved with and, when attending meetings in person, are reimbursed for travel and subsistence expenses. To note, civil or public servants are not permitted to receive payment. Please see the SAN terms of reference for further details.

Person specification

We are looking to recruit up to 19 members in this exercise, with a diverse range of expertise and experience in the broad spectrum of the social sciences and/or in the use of social, economic and behavioral research with a commitment to UK Research and Innovation's mission and priorities.

We welcome applications from professionals in the public, private and third sectors who are familiar with the use and application of research evidence as well as academic members, including early and mid-career researchers.

We particularly encourage applications from women, those with disabilities, members of minority ethnic groups, and other groups who are currently or historically under-represented on ESRC's groups, networks and panels.

The SAN will include an appropriate balance of expertise from different organisations as well as reflecting a diverse mix of individuals and backgrounds. Appointments to the SAN are made on merit and are informed by the advice needs of the ESRC.

SAN members are expected to adhere to the Seven Principles of Public Life. Applications are sought from individuals who feel they meet the requirements set out above and the criteria detailed in the application pack (PDF, 90Kb).

Application process

Applications for the SAN should be made through the application form on the ESRC website before 16:00 (GMT) on 19 January 2021.

There are four parts to the application, which are detailed below:

  1. Applicant details: basic information and contact details, including title, name, current position, organisation, sector, telephone number and email address.
  2. Skills, knowledge and experience.
  3. Curriculum Vitae: a CV (pdf, no longer than two sides of A4) containing details of the most relevant professional qualifications, experience, research, and/or other relevant experience to date. The CV must be tailored to best highlight how your experience matches the essential criteria and areas of expertise.
  4. Equal opportunities information: individuals are asked to supply equal opportunities information. Completing this section is optional.

Please note, we will not be holding interviews. It is very important that the information given in the application form and CV is accurate and tailored to the role specifications and selection criteria.

In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (EU) (GDPR), the personal information provided on this form will specifically be used for the purpose of administering this form and aggregated anonymised data will be used for the purposes of monitoring our advisory and decision-making bodies. Analysis of the information will be viewed by ESRC staff only and personal information will not be used for any other purpose without your specific consent.

For further information on how your information will be used, how we maintain the security of your information, and your rights to access information we hold on you, please contact the UK Research and Innovation Information Rights Team.

Key dates



Closing date for application

16:00 (GMT) on 19 January 2021

Final decisions made

w/c 22 February 2021

Applicants informed of decisions w/c 8 March 2021


SAN Application Form