The Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCOB) has an exciting opportunity for a researcher to make an important contribution to our periodic horizon scanning programme.

We have a strong track record of anticipating developments at the intersection of scientific advances and societal challenges. This ensures our work is relevant, timely, and influential. The successful candidate will review and bring up to date the NCOB’s ‘Long list’ - a set of concise summaries of topics that have been identified through previous horizon scanning activities. The Long list forms the basis of our annual infographic, which aims to illustrate a range of developments in biological and medical research that are likely to raise ethical issues in the short, medium, and long-term.

Our 2022 infographic and current Long list, as well as further information about our horizon scanning programme, can be found here.

We anticipate that the work will involve:

  • Researching each topic on the current Long list (currently 72) and updating or redrafting summaries as necessary to ensure they accurately reflect and incorporate current evidence, developments in research, law and policy, and wider societal trends where relevant.
  • Advising on related developments identified in the course of research, and on changes in the anticipated timelines and impacts for those developments identified.
  • Liaising with NCOB staff to ensure that relevant information is included and organised appropriately.
  • Delivering a final set of topic summaries that can be readily adapted into a new infographic for the NCOB website (the design work will be arranged by NCOB staff).
Person specification

We are looking for a self-motivated individual with a strong and demonstrable interest in ethical issues across biosciences and health, and a good awareness of the research and policy landscape. 

Skills and qualifications required:

  • A relevant degree. PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, or individuals with equivalent relevant work experience are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Research skills, particularly desk-based research.
  • An ability to write clearly and concisely about science and ethics.
  • A good understanding of current bioethics issues and the UK policy environment.

We are aiming for this work to be completed by Friday 30 June 2023.

  • Place of work: the work will be carried out remotely, with the possibility of meeting staff at the NCOB offices in London for briefing meetings if required.
  • Payment: the fee for the commission is £8,500.

Please apply in writing with: 

  • Your CV. 
  • A covering letter (no more than one page) explaining your interest in and suitability for this position. 
  • A relevant writing sample of no more than 2,000 words (this should be an existing piece of work but need not have been published).
  • Names of two referees (we won’t contact them without telling you first). 

The deadline for applications is: 10am, Tuesday 18 April 2023.  

There will not be interviews, but the process may involve an informal conversation to discuss the commission.   

Please email any queries and applications to Carol Perkins. 

Please note the deadline for applications has now passed.