Expression of Interest
The membership of NIRAB is currently being refreshed. The expressions of Interest for new members has now closed.
Context and Objective
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has tasked the Nuclear Innovation and Research Office (NIRO) with convening a restructured NIRAB which will incorporate a wide range of expertise and operate in a flexible manner. NIRAB has operated as an advisory board to BEIS from January 2014 to April 2021. During that time, NIRAB has reviewed the UK civil nuclear landscape every 3 years and made recommendations to Ministers on research and innovation required to underpin Government policy. The most recent NIRAB report Achieving Net Zero: The Role of Nuclear Energy in Decarbonisation, makes key recommendations that are reflected in the Energy White Paper: Powering our Net Zero Future, HMG, December 2020 and accompanying Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution published by HMG in December 2020.
The reformed NIRAB will be responsible for providing independent advice to Government on:
- The impact and delivery of government’s nuclear research and innovation programmes;
- Opportunities for greater collaboration with industry and international partners;
- The potential for innovation to reduce the cost of the nuclear life cycle;
- Implementation of research programmes to demonstrate new and novel nuclear systems to support delivery of the energy white paper and 10-point plan.
NIRO are seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from individuals with relevant expertise to become members of NIRAB to provide independent advice to Government, and to work in partnership with NIRO within the refreshed advisory framework. We are also seeking to select a chair for the Board.
Fields of Expertise
NIRO are seeking individuals with expertise in one or several areas across a range of fields to provide advice to Government. The following provide examples of the areas in which expertise is sought, the list is not intended to be exhaustive and NIRO invite expressions of interest from experts with specialisms in areas not listed but where they feel Government may benefit from provision within the remit of NIRAB outlined. NIRO will also be seeking to select suitable candidates for the Board from outside of the nuclear sector.
|NIRAB advice to Government
||Areas of expertise (relevant to current policy areas i.e. Small Modular Reactors and Advanced Modular Reactors)|
|The impact and delivery of Government’s nuclear net-zero innovation programme
- Nuclear fuel design and manufacture
- Manufacturing and materials
- Reactor design and operation
- Test reactor demonstration – design & deliver & programme delivery
- Construction technology (including modular and other novel methods)
- Waste management and decommissioning
- Modelling and simulation
- Nuclear regulation
|Opportunities for greater collaboration with industry and international partners
- The UK nuclear industry landscape
- Cross-sector expertise
- Commercialisation of R&D
- The international nuclear arena
- Communication & Engagement
|The potential for innovation to reduce the cost of the nuclear life cycle
- Economics of nuclear
- Cross-sector experience of innovation delivering cost reduction
|Implementation of research programmes to demonstrate new and novel nuclear systems
- Expertise relevant to Advanced Nuclear Technologies
We are keen to ensure that NIRAB is a diverse advisory group to achieve the best outcomes and will be seeking to attract applications to reflect this.
NIRAB are also seeking to appoint a new Chair for the Board and applicants are asked to indicate their interest and suitability for this role.
Scope of the Role of Member
NIRAB will need to draw on a wide range of expertise in order to offer informed advice on a range of issues that may need to be addressed for the future civil nuclear research and innovation programme. NIRAB will therefore comprise 12-14 members with attendance at meetings (around four per year) being determined by the expertise needed to address specific issues on the agenda. NIRAB will have the option to bring in advice from experts as needed, this could be drawn from members’ stakeholder networks, with the option to appoint additional members.
Membership will encompass a wide range of subject matter expertise, and members will be individuals with the credibility and position to represent their fields. Members will be appointed as individuals and be expected to represent the interests of their field rather than their employer.
Members will be expected to commit up to 10 days of time per year; the role will require some or all of the following:
- Attending quarterly board meetings as appropriate;
- Contributing to NIRAB/NIRO workshops to formulate advice on specific topics;
- Providing input to and reviewing NIRAB and NIRO papers to be submitted to BEIS;
- Providing ad-hoc expert advice to BEIS, through NIRO, on topic areas as they arise;
- Writing or contributing to reports including any annual reports.
A limited amount of travel within the UK will be expected to attend board meetings and other meetings as appropriate, with the option to hold meetings virtually.
Successful candidates for NIRAB Membership will have experience in one or more of the areas listed in the table above, and Candidates will be selected to ensure that NIRAB includes a diverse composition of members with:
- A good understanding of the research and innovation needs of the nuclear industry relevant to the current policy areas of focus (i.e. SMRs and AMRs);
- An understanding of the business drivers for the nuclear industry;
- Experience of what works well in technology commercialisation;
Experience of innovation which can be used to drive cost competitiveness;
- Nuclear experience;
- Experience of deployment of innovative technologies in other industries that could be deployed in nuclear;
- Understanding of industry, academia and research facilities.
Scope of the Role of Chair
The role of Chair of NIRAB is independent of Government. In addition to chairing the main meetings of NIRAB the Chair may be called upon to represent the Board in discussions with other key stakeholder such as Ministers, Parliamentary select committees and attending meetings of the Nuclear Industry Council to discuss R&D issues. The successful candidate for the Chair of NIRAB must meet the following criteria:
- Independence: The Chair should not have any affiliation, alliance or commercial relationship with an organisation that could be a beneficiary of the advice offered to Government. Any such relationship could be seen to undermine advice provided to Government;
- Integrity: The Chair must exhibit the integrity needed to engender the trust of both Board members and Government;
- Understanding of the nuclear industry and the research and innovation needs of the UK nuclear industry;
- An experienced or accomplished Chair / ability to optimise the effectiveness and efficiency of the Board by harnessing a range of views to identify common ground;
- Sufficient standing to have credibility with Ministers;
- Sufficient presence to make a compelling case to Ministers;
- Effective and robust communication skills and the ability to identify and clearly articulate key messages with a range of groups, including Ministers, officials, the scientific community and the public.
It would also be desirable for the chair to be able to offer:
- An international perspective;
- Experience of other industries - especially in technology development / commercialisation.
Duration of the Role
Members will be invited to join NIRAB for an initial period of three years with membership reviewed periodically beyond this point.
Conditions of Remuneration and Reimbursement of Experts
With the exception of the Chair, appointments will be unfunded, other than the reimbursement of reasonable travel and subsistence costs. The Chair role is subject to agreement of contract including acceptable reimbursement of costs for expenses and time.
NIRO will collate the responses to this call for expression of interest and in consultation with BEIS will select members for the new NIRAB Board. NIRAB members will be selected to ensure a broad and diverse range of expertise and experience is appointed, a combination of experts best suited to deliver independent advice as described above.
The Chair of the Board will be selected via assessment of applications and informal interview with selected candidates.
Protection of Personal Data