UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is inviting applications for the post of Research Director for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Healthy Ageing Challenge. This call is being led by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The Research Director will provide strong, authoritative leadership on an £10.53 million programme of social science and arts and humanities research for the Healthy Ageing Challenge. They will be responsible for the coherence of research across a portfolio of research activity as well as linking with other Healthy Ageing activities funded. A substantive part of their role will be to lead and co-ordinate the forthcoming Social, Behavioural and Design Research Programme (SBDRP), in which research projects will address key issues facing the older population and ways in which support and care can be delivered effectively.

The successful applicant will be expected to have an outstanding track record of research and impact leadership within areas relevant to healthy ageing, and a broad understanding of the potential for different disciplines within and across the social sciences and arts and humanities to contribute to this research area. Further details of the role and additional eligibility criteria are provided in this document.

Of the £10.53 million research programme, £1.22 million of funding is available for this call. This includes £730,000 available for the Research Director post across 48 months, and £490,000 for a flexible funding pot to be distributed by the Research Director. These figures are presented at 100% fEC and ESRC will contribute 80% of fEC.

The funding for the Research Director post is expected to cover the Research Director’s salary costs, support staff and leadership activities. The flexible fund will be available to the Research Director to administer to award holders to meet the needs of investments in the wider Challenge portfolio and facilitate opportunities to enhance the evidence base.

Applicants are encouraged complete an Intention to Submit (ItS) form by 16:00 on 23 September 2019, and full proposals must be submitted via the Research Council’s Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system by 16:00 on 15 October 2019.

It is expected that the successful applicant will take up the post in January 2020.

Scope of the call

The Research Director will:

  • Work with and will be accountable to the Challenge Director for the delivery of the Social, Behavioural and Design Research Programme providing leadership and coordination across the range of projects commissioned
  • Work closely with UKRI staff, in particular with ESRC (as the lead Council for the research), AHRC and Innovate UK during commissioning and management of the research programme.
  • Act as a key contact point with the authority to speak on the Challenge’s research activity to UKRI Senior Leadership, other ISCF Healthy Ageing activities, key stakeholders, user communities and the media
  • Make connections between programme activity, policy and practice, and the private sector, and add value to research activity in the Challenge portfolio through their connections with key stakeholders and user communities
  • Act as a “thought leader” across disciplines, places, beyond academia, and beyond the portfolio of investments commissioned through the Challenge activity
  • Be a visible face of activity and a champion for research in the Healthy Ageing Challenge, to both internal and external audiences
  • Take responsibility and be accountable for the coherence of research across the Challenge, and for maintaining awareness of the domain and emerging evidence
  • Add value across the research activity, for example by identifying opportunities for shared learning across research projects and co-ordinating the activity of research groups
  • Contribute to building an evidence base of value and impact across the programme of activities and identify opportunities to enhance the impact of investments across the Challenge portfolio
  • Be a conduit for communications around research in the Challenge, bringing coherence to communications and to build a narrative about the collective achievements across the portfolio.

These aspects of the role are not exhaustive and applicants to the Research Director call will be encouraged to present their vision of how they think they can add value within the Challenge.

Please refer to the call specification for further information, including person requirements and eligibility.

Application process

Intention to submit

Applicants to this call are encouraged to complete an Intention to Submit (ItS) form via an online form on the ESRC website call page by 16:00 on 23 September 2019. Please note that the ItS is NOT for any assessment purpose. The ItS is to help ESRC plan shortlisting and interview Panel arrangements. Applicants should not await a response from the funders following the ItS submission, but simply continue with the development of their full application.

Whilst it is encouraged, you will not be precluded from submitting a full application if you do not complete an ItS.

Full proposal

Applications should be submitted via the Research Council’s Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system by 16:00 on 15 October 2019.

Applications should address the aims of the call as listed in the call details and person specification sections with full guidance on how to submit in the call specification.

Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. All applications received before the closing date will receive confirmation of receipt.

Call documents

Key dates

  • Call for proposals open – 19 August 2019
  • Intention to submit deadline – 23 September 2019
  • Deadline for submissions – 15 October 2019
  • Shortlisting panel meeting – 8 November 2019
  • Shortlisted candidates notified – 11 November 2019
  • Interviews – 20 November 2019
  • Applicants notified of outcomes – December 2019
  • Appointment publicly announced – January 2020
  • Start of post – January 2020