Arts and Humanities Research Council, Executive Chair

Swindon, Wiltshire
Up to £120,000 per annum
Friday, 25 October 2019
End of advertisement period
Sunday, 24 November 2019
Academic Discipline
Arts & Humanities
Contract Type
Full Time

Arts and Humanities Research Council, Executive Chair

Location:  Polaris House, Swindon with regular travel to London

Salary: up to £120,000 per annum

UK Research and Innovation, the UK’s leading research funding agency, is seeking to appoint an exceptional and inspirational arts and humanities academic of international standing to lead the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as its Executive Chair.

The Executive Chair, working with the AHRC Council, is responsible for setting the strategic vision for AHRC and contributing to the direction of UKRI. As a visible and credible leader of both AHRC and the arts and humanities communities you will provide direction, ensuring delivery of far reaching research, skills development and infrastructure investment goals with demonstrable outputs and outcomes.

As a member of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Executive Committee, the Executive Chair of AHRC will be accountable to, and work closely with, the UKRI CEO.   The AHRC’s Executive Chair may also be responsible for leading and delivering one or more cross cutting areas for UK Research and Innovation.

UK Research and Innovation

Established in 2018, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is a non-departmental public body, bringing together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK, and Research England. UKRI is charged with maximising the value from £7 billion of the UK Government’s investment in research and innovation. This includes nearly £2bn per annum of investment which is delivered through new cross-Council collaborative and innovative initiatives. An Arms’ Length Body with a strong voice for research and innovation, both to government and internationally, UKRI is supported and challenged by an independent chair and board. UKRI is principally funded through the Science and Research Budget by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

As well as the nine distinct Councils, UK Research and Innovation also comprises of a strategic, analytic and corporate hub to help facilitate developing multidisciplinary activity and joint working between the Councils and a stronger more joined up voice within government.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council

The AHRC works to support and promote world-class Arts and Humanities research that helps to deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world that we live in.  Arts and Humanities research is central to our ability to participate in culture in all its various forms, to address complex contemporary challenges and to create economic prosperity in which everyone can share.

The quality and range of research supported by the AHRC not only provides economic, social and cultural benefits to the UK, but contributes to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe, bolstering the UK’s reputation as a creative powerhouse.

In 2017/18 the AHRC’s gross research expenditure was around £110 million. AHRC has around 120 FTE staff. The Executive Chair will be responsible for funding decisions within the AHRC’s subject matter remit and for the health of the disciplines in the UK, including investments in doctoral training.

Additional Information

BEIS is committed to providing equal opportunities for all, irrespective of race, age, disability, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, transgender and working patterns and to the principle of public appointments on merit with independent assessments, openness and transparency of process.

Applications are welcome from all, especially women, minority ethnic and disabled candidates who are under-represented at this level in public life.

Applications are also welcome from those who wish to work part-time, in particular as part of a job-share arrangement, and those who wish to undertake the role on secondment from their current employer.

In order to ensure that UKRI is made up of executives with the appropriate level of skills and experience, both UK nationals, and international candidates are encouraged to apply.

BEIS offers professional training courses on public sector finance and governance for those new to the public sector

The AHRC Executive Chair will be appointed for a term of 4 years. This is a full-time post based in Polaris House, Swindon and with frequent travel to Victoria Embankment, London.

This role is subject to pre-appointment scrutiny by the Science and Technology Select Committee.

How to Apply

An executive search exercise is being undertaken by Perrett Laver in parallel with raising awareness through advertising the post. Perrett Laver will support the selection panel in the discharge of its duties, both to assist in the assessment of candidates against the requirements of the brief and to identify the widest possible field of qualified candidates. All applications will be completely confidential.

For further details, including the full person specification, please visit: quoting reference 4377 or contact Harriet Howlett at

The closing date for applications is 3rd January 2020 at 09:00 GMT.

The applicant pack can be made available in an alternative format on request; please contact Perrett Laver on +44 (0)20 7340 6274.