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NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science

Funding Panel vacancies

Our Funding Panels are responsible for assessing the scientific excellence and 3Rs impact of diverse, innovative applications for research and career development funding, and advising the budget holder on funding decisions. Each Panel acts as a single decision-making body, with all members sharing collective responsibility for its decisions.

We are currently inviting applications from talented researchers to become Panel members from January 2024 for the following Panels:

  • Grant Assessment Panel
  • Partnerships and Impact Assessment Panel
  • Studentship Assessment Panel

The deadline for applications is 16.00 (GMT), 20 November 2023.

We particularly welcome applications from currently under-represented groups, including women and ethnic minority researchers, and researchers with disabilities or long-term conditions.

Current vacancies

For this recruitment round, we are looking for Panel members with expertise in the following disciplines and techniques:

  • Cancer biology (particularly simple and complex in vitro models)
  • Genetics (including in vivo and in vitro model systems; genome editing and sequencing)
  • Developmental biology
  • Cellular and molecular neuroscience 
  • Tissue engineering (particularly bone and musculoskeletal biology)
  • Infection and immunobiology (including skin and intestinal microbiome expertise)
  • Mathematical and computational modelling for different biological applications (including analysis of large complex data sets)
  • Statistics and experimental design (a background in in vitro studies is desirable)

Applications are particularly welcomed from individuals who also have:

  • Industry experience
  • Interdisciplinary expertise

We also ask that prospective Panel members have a sound knowledge of experimental design and statistical approaches to ensure the highest standards of methodological rigour.

If you have any queries, or you would like further information, please email

Person specification

Applications are sought from committed senior scientists, who have relevant experience and expertise, to become NC3Rs Panel members.

Applicants should be based in leading UK or European research organisations, including Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Chemical, Agrochemical and Industry sectors.

Our Panel members demonstrate:

  • Commitment to the mission and objectives of the NC3Rs 
  • Good understanding of the use of animals in research and an interest in the development of all three ‘Rs’
  • A productive track record in research related to one of the areas specified within the disciplines and techniques section
  • Experience of contributing to peer review processes
  • A proven ability to exercise judgement across a broad spectrum of research issues, including those outside their main areas of expertise
  • A successful track record in applying for and obtaining major grant funding over a number of years (not essential for applicants from industry)
  • The ability to work effectively within the public sector requirements for accountability and openness, and within financial constraints

Prospective Panel members must have both permission and support from their host institution before applying.

As it is not possible for the membership of a Panel to reflect all relevant areas of expertise, members are expected to contribute to discussions in their own field and also to advise on other issues, sharing responsibility for the decisions of the Panel as a whole.

Selection criteria

The following general criteria will be used for shortlisting:

  • Scientific ‘fit’ for the vacancy
  • Breadth of knowledge
  • Appropriate level of experience
  • Geographic location - we are seeking broad representation across the Panels
  • Gender and ethnicity balance

Assessment of your suitability for the role will be made on the information provided in your application form and CV. In addition to this information, we may also use publicly available information, in line with the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), to assist with membership decisions.

The NC3Rs values the diverse skills and experience of its Panel 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. Applications from women, those with a disability, and members of minority ethnic groups, who are currently under-represented at senior levels in the research and innovation community, are therefore especially encouraged. 


For each of our funding schemes there is one call for applications per year. Further information on the assessment procedures and Panel involvement for each scheme we are recruiting for can be found below:

  • The Grant Assessment Panel assesses Project grant applications that support the development of new 3Rs approaches and technologies. Applicants submit formal outlines which are assessed by the Panel at a shortlisting meeting at the start of March. Only applicants successful at the outline stage are invited to submit a full application which is then assessed at a Panel meeting in July.
  • The Partnerships and Impact Assessment Panel makes funding recommendations on Partnerships and Impact grant applications. This new scheme supports the provision of training, transfer of knowledge and expertise, and fit-for-purpose studies with the aim to achieve wider adoption of 3Rs models, tools and technologies so that they are used in routine practice. Applications are assessed at a Panel meeting in May.
  • The Studentship Assessment Panel considers PhD Studentship proposals that aim to embed the 3Rs in the training of graduate scientists from a broad range of scientific backgrounds. Applications are assessed at a Panel meeting in October. 

As it is not possible for the membership of a Panel to reflect all the relevant areas of expertise, members are expected to contribute to discussions in their own field and also to advise on other issues, sharing responsibility for the decisions of the Panel as a whole. Panel members are expected to attend and participate in its associated meetings and to read all applications, with a specific focus on those assigned to them and relevant to their area of expertise. Panel members may also be asked to contribute to other NC3Rs activities and meetings during their tenure.

New Panel members will initially be appointed for a three-year term with an option for extending for a further two years following review by the Panel Chair. Appointments are made in a personal capacity.

2024 Panel meetings Date 
Grant Assessment Panel Outline shortlisting meeting 29 February 2024

Grant Assessment Panel

Full application meeting

2 July 2024
Partnerships and Impact Assessment Panel meeting  November 2024
Studentship Assessment Panel meeting TBC

New Panel members are expected to attend and participate in the 2024 Panel meetings. NC3Rs Panel meetings were held virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to hold some meetings virtually, as well as in-person when possible, to enhance engagement and networking


An allowance is payable per day for attendance at Panel meetings (the current rate is £160 per day). Travel (standard class) and subsistence expenses for attendance at Panel meetings (including family care costs) will be reimbursed as appropriate.

Reasonable adjustments

We want to make our recruitment processes as well as participation in our Panels accessible to all, and this includes making adjustments for individuals with neurodivergencies, disabilities or long-term conditions.

If you have any queries regarding the application process or you would like this application in a different format (e.g. accessible PDF, large print etc.), please contact

Should your application be successful, we will work to fulfil your requirements to enable you to fully participate in Panel meetings. Please let us know in advance if you would like to discuss in confidence how we can support you, either through providing information in the diversity monitoring section of your application form or through contacting

Induction for successful candidates

All new Panel members are expected to attend an induction meeting on 30 January 2024. If making an application please keep this availability. The meeting will provide newly appointed Panel members with guidance on their role and an overview of the NC3Rs including its functions/methods of operation where these relate to the work of the Funding panels. It also provides the opportunity to meet with fellow Panel members and NC3Rs staff.

How to apply?

Please submit a completed application form and a CV (no longer than two sides of A4) to before 16.00 (GMT), 20 November 2023.

If you have any queries, or you would like further information about the role, please email

Key dates

Key activity Date
Application deadline 16.00 (GMT), 20 November 2023
Notification of outcome by 19 December 2023
Induction meeting for appointed Panel members 30 January 2024

Privacy notice

The NC3Rs is an independent scientific organisation which for logistical reasons operates under the umbrella of the Medical Research Council (MRC) which in turn is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

All personal data provided to the NC3Rs will be processed in accordance with current UK data protection legislation.

The information you provide will be processed by the NC3Rs solely for the purpose of NC3Rs Panel member recruitment. Your information will be retained and used to manage recruitment in accordance with the UKRI’s retention policy.

Information on how we use personal data can be found in the UK Research and Innovation Privacy Notice.  

The appointed individual’s Conflicts of Interest information (including name and institution) will be published on the funding pages of the NC3Rs website.