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NC3Rs: National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research

Funding Panel vacancies

There are currently no vacancies on our Assessment Panels. The next recruitment round will open in September 2022.

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 2022 for the following Panels:

  • Grant Assessment Panel
  • Skills and Knowledge Transfer Panel
  • Studentship Assessment Panel
  • Training Fellowship Assessment Panel

The deadline for applications is 4pm17 November 2021.

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

Current vacancies

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

  • Animal welfare and behavioural observations
  • Cancer research
  • Cardiovascular research
  • Complex in vitro models/ 3D model systems/ microphysiological systems
  • Developmental biology
  • Immunology
  • In vivo imaging
  • Neurobiology (particularly neurodegenerative disorders)
  • Non-mammalian models systems (particularly Drosophila and zebrafish embryo/larvae)
  • Pharmacology and toxicology (in vitro and in vivo systems)
  • Statistics and experimental design
  • Stem cell biology and genetics
  • Tissue engineering/ regenerative medicine (particularly bone and muscle)

Applications are particularly welcomed from individuals who also have:

  • Industry experience
  • Interdisciplinary expertise

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 from the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Chemical, Agrochemical and Industry sectors.

We ask that prospective Panel members have a sound knowledge of experimental design and statistical approaches and have undertaken unconscious bias training.

Our Panel members demonstrate:

  • A commitment to the mission and objectives of the NC3Rs 
  • A 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 in the disciplines and techniques box
  • Significant 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)
  • An ability to work effectively within the public sector requirements for accountability and openness, and within financial constraints

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.

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.

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 of the schemes for which we are recruiting 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 Skills and Knowledge Transfer Assessment Panel makes funding recommendations on Skills and Knowledge Transfer grant applications. This scheme supports the wider adoption and use of models, tools and technologies with proven 3Rs impacts through the transfer of knowledge, skills and expertise. Applications are assessed at a Panel meeting in April.

  • 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 then assessed at a Panel meeting in October. 

  • The Training Fellowship Assessment Panel makes funding recommendations on Training Fellowship applications. This scheme supports the development of promising early career researchers with less than three years’ post-doctoral experience. Applications are assessed at a Panel meeting in November.

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.

2022 Panel meeting dates

New Panel members are expected to attend and participate in the 2022 Panel meetings.

Declarations of Interest

Panel members are expected to abide by the principles set out in the ‘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 that might be perceived to, conflict with the NC3Rs interest.


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.

Induction for successful candidates

All new Panel members are expected to attend an induction meeting on 27 January 2022. 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.

How to apply?

Please submit a completed application form and a CV (no longer than two sides of A4) to before 4pm, 17 November 2021.

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

Key dates

Key dates for Panel vacancies
Description Date
Application deadline 4pm, 17 November 2021
Notification of outcome By 17 December 2021
Induction meeting for appointed Panel members 27 January 2022

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 NC3Rs website under the appropriate Funding Panel membership webpage.