The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Call for Nominations: Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the European Commission

08 May 2020


File Form: Statement on qualifications / profile of the candidate PDF icon Commission Decision on the setting up of the Group of Scientific Advisors

Outstanding candidates are now being sought by European Commission.

The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors provides high quality, timely and independent scientific advice to the College of European Commissioners on any subject when requested to do so by the College. Its seven members are appointed by the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation from a short list established under the responsibility of an independent, high-level identification committee.

Outstanding candidates are now being sought for the renewal of this short list. The purpose of the 2020 call for nominations is to replenish the short list of eligible candidate-members of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, in the first place to replace two members whose mandate will expire in November 2020, and in the second place to serve as a pool of candidates from which further replacements can be made in the future. Candidates should be individuals who

  • have the highest eminence as scientific leaders and the qualifications and experience reflecting the criteria set out below;
  • have the trust and confidence of the scientific community and of policy makers;
  • are available and willing to work as member of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors and able to function independently and in the public interest.

Gender balance, the reflection of the breadth of the research community across Europe and consideration of younger next-generation leaders, are among these factors and criteria. The candidates will be shortlisted by an independent, high-level Identification Committee and all names and all personal data concerning candidates will be treated as confidential.
To allow the Identification Committee to make an informed assessment, it will only consider nominations that are accompanied by a short statement signed by nominating organisations (e.g. Royal Irish Academy) regarding the qualifications and broader profile of each candidate. Self-nominations will not be considered. The statement should include:

  1. A synopsis of the candidate’s background and curriculum vitae;
  2. Relevant professional experience (e.g. universities, scientific institutions, business, government, etc., indicating also any administrative or scientific advice-to-policy experience);
  3. Major publications and other significant works as well as prizes;
  4. Broader aspects of the candidate as appropriate (e.g. country of residence, experience abroad, nationality).

The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors is expected to meet at least six times per year for one- or two-day meetings that are held usually in Brussels but can also take place in other European cities. Meetings are conducted in the English language. Members can furthermore be requested to play an active role in the preparation of scientific opinions. The maximum number of days per year which the Scientific Advisors are expected to devote to these tasks is up to 40 working days which include meetings and remote work for ordinary members and up to 60 working days for the chair and deputy-chair person.
Members are appointed from the short list by the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, whose mandate is exercised by the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, for a term of up to three years, renewable once. The length of two consecutive terms shall not exceed five years

Factors and criteria to be considered

The selection process of candidate members of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors will take into account the criteria and conditions for identification that are laid down in Article 3, paragraph 7 of Commission Decision C(2018)1919 of 5 April 2018 amending Decision C(2015) 6946 on the setting up of the Group of Scientific Advisors. Among these conditions are individual ones e.g. the reputation as research leaders, and those available in the collective skill set of the Group ones such as the ability to communicate science well.
Pursuant to that Article, the following elements will be considered:

  • The composition of the group shall ensure that authoritative and absolutely independent scientific advice can be provided, combining wisdom and experience with vision and imagination. The credibility of the group shall be built on the balance of qualities amongst the women and men who make it up, and they shall collectively reflect the breadth of the research community across Europe. Consideration shall also be given to younger next-generation leaders.
  • Members of the group shall individually have an undisputed reputation as research leaders and for their independence and commitment to research. They shall both have a track record of research practice and experience of scientific or policy leadership at the European or global level.
  • Members shall reflect the broad disciplinary scope of research, embracing the natural sciences, medicine and engineering, as well as the social sciences, economics, and the humanities. However, they shall not perceive themselves as representatives of a discipline or of a particular line of research; they shall have a broad vision which collectively reflects an understanding of important developments in research, including inter-and multi-disciplinary research, and the needs for scientific advice for policy at European level.
  • Beyond their proven reputation as scientists and researchers, the membership shall collectively bring experience in providing scientific advice to policy makers, acquired across a broad range of Member States, and at European and international levels. That shall include skills in the public communication of science, as well as experience in areas such as data analytics and visualisation, involvement in legislative processes, studies of scientific advisory systems, and the wider political context in which the group is situated.
  • The group shall include members with experience in bodies such as advisory councils and committees, government scientific advisors, academies of science and learned societies, universities and research institutes. It may be valuable to the group to include members who have gained experience in more than one country and members from outside the European Union.

To express an interest in being nominated by the Royal Irish Academy please complete the Statement on Qualifications / Profile of the Candidate form and submit it to by 1 June 2020.

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