Call for Ethics Panel Lay Members

The University of Stirling is seeking to recruit new Lay Members to our Research Ethics Panels. We are an international university, with a global reputation for high quality teaching and research. With 80% of our research ranked world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021), our interdisciplinary research makes a difference to society and has a positive impact on communities.

Lay positions on University Research Ethics Panels are unremunerated, although expenses related to University business will be reimbursed.

The appointments will be for three-years in the first instance. Our Panels meet regularly throughout the year.

Our Research Ethics Panels are responsible for overseeing and monitoring ethical issues associated with research activities, such as: non-invasive human research; animal, environmental and conservation research; and invasive or clinical research. The University’s ethical review process exists to ensure our research activities fulfil legal obligations and meet high ethical and safety standards.

The University is seeking lay members for each of our three Research Ethics Panels

Our NHS, Invasive or Clinical Research (NICR) Ethics Panel considers any health/patient research requiring approval by the NHS Research Ethics Committee and/or taking place within the NHS as well as all research involving physically invasive procedures or intrusive interventions on human participants.

Our Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) considers all proposals that involve animals in any way – not just those covered by legislation – and provides ethical advice on standards of animal care, welfare and accommodation.

Our General University Ethics Panel (GUEP) considers all non-invasive human research proposals not reviewed by NICR including, but not limited to, social, environmental and digital research.

The role of the Lay Member is to act as a member of the Research Ethics Panels and to review research applications for ethical approval making recommendations for change if required, contribute to discussions on current projects and topical ethical questions. The Panels aspire to a programme of continual improvement to provide the best service to the University and its researchers. Training will be provided.

Vacancy for Chair of NHS, Invasive and Clinical Research Ethics Panel

A vacancy has also arisen for the Chair of the NHS, Invasive and Clinical Research Ethics Panel (NICR).

Role of the Research Ethics Panel Chair

  • To act as informed and objective friends of the University.
  • To conduct themselves, individually and collectively, in accordance with the accepted principles of accepted behaviour in public life, which embrace selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
  • To develop an understanding of the University, including its vision and mission, its teaching and research activities, and its internal structure and culture.
  • To use their expertise to contribute to decision making processes within the University’s structure for ethical review.
  • To question intelligently, debate constructively, challenge rigorously, decide dispassionately and listen sensitively to the views of others, inside and outside Panel meetings.
  • To exercise their responsibilities in the interests of the University rather than as a representative of any constituency of other interest group.
  • To develop an understanding of the Scottish (and, where appropriate, UK) higher education system and of the University’s relationships with relevant external agencies, including research funding councils and the Home Office.
  • To work effectively with academic deputy chairs and Panel members to progress business.
  • To chair the NICR meetings, attend the UREC meetings and to discuss issues with the academic deputy chairs as required.
  • To respect the confidentiality of ethics Panel business as necessary.

The University would wish to appoint individuals with experience in at least two of the following areas:

  • Teaching, research, administration or management in education or related sectors, including primary, secondary or tertiary education.
  • The professions (legal, finance, health, scientific, etc.).
  • One or more areas of activity in which the University has an academic discipline.
  • Demonstrable interest in the University of Stirling and its future development.
  • Entrepreneurial or other relevant experience in the commercial/industrial world and/or in public service.

The University seeks to represent all the communities it serves. Expressions of interest from people with disabilities, members of minority groups and women are particularly welcome.

Express your interest

For informal enquiries relating to any of the roles above, please contact Ms Rachel Beaton at

Expressions of interest should be submitted by midnight on 24 March 2023.