The Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCOB) is a leading independent policy and research centre, and the foremost bioethics body in the UK. We identify, analyse, and advise on ethical issues in biomedicine and health so that decisions in these areas benefit people and society.

Developments in biomedicine and health are essential to solving the world’s problems, but also raise profound ethical challenges. For over thirty years we have tackled some of the most complex and controversial bioethical issues facing societies across the globe. We aim to bring clarity to complexity and find practical ways through leading to shifts in public understanding and lasting policy change in the UK and internationally.

We are looking to recruit a new Council member with a background in philosophy to be part of the deliberative body that drives the intellectual function of the organisation. The main responsibilities of the role are to decide on the future work programme and strategic direction of the NCOB, scrutinise and ensure the quality of work and outputs, and make decisions on the membership and function of the organisation. There are also opportunities to become involved in horizon scanning, topic selection and project work. Council members are encouraged to be actively involved. As well as being part of discussions around interesting and important issues in a supportive multi-disciplinary environment there are opportunities to improve skills, such as in chairing and communication, for example writing blogs and representing the NCOB externally.

Candidates do not have to be directly involved in the field of bioethics, but they should be able to demonstrate an interest and appreciation of the issues. Key qualities include a willingness to contribute to debate in an open and constructive manner.

We welcome applications from non-academics and from people at all stages in their career. We value diversity which is a key part of our multi-disciplinary approach and our commitment to hear from all relevant voices in our work. We are keen to encourage applications from all sections of the community including those from groups that are currently under-represented on the Council. We particularly encourage applications from minority ethnic candidates, those who are LGBTQ+, or who have a disability.

If you are interested in learning more, please see the information pack for further information. Applications should be in the form of a statement of interest which outlines your interest in the NCOB and what you can contribute, a short curriculum vitae, and the names of two individuals we could approach for a comment as to your suitability for membership.

Please apply using our recruitment site. The closing date for submissions is 10am on Monday 8 January, 2024. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed and the successful candidate will be invited to their first Council meeting on 26 April.

If you would first like to talk informally about the Council and how it works, please feel free to contact us. Please email Operations Lead, Carol Perkins in the first instance:

Who belongs on the Council?

Current Council member, Anne Kerr, has written about her experience of applying for and being on the Council.

"Like many academics who are the first in the family to go to University, I still struggle with the occasional pang of imposter syndrome, even although things have moved on considerably since the 1990s. I don’t mind admitting I had to be encouraged to apply for the Council and doubt I would have applied on my own initiative. I approached the interview process with trepidation and worried I did not have the right background or expertise on bioethics. I distinctly remember fretting over whether or not I would be seen as someone who knew how to properly deliberate about contemporary bioethical challenges on the train down to the interview..."


Anne Kerr

Anne Kerr

Anne is Professor of Science & Technology Studies and Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow. She has a background in Science and Technology Studies and Medical Sociology, researching professional, patient and public encounters with innovative health technologies, including assisted conception, reproductive genetics, regenerative medicine, and genomic medicine for cancer. She has written widely on her research with colleagues from across the social and bio-sciences, focusing on how patients, researchers and clinicians craft the opportunities and risks of biomedicine.