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Role details

Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia and Neurodegeneration Mission Chair

Application deadline 12 September 2022


Life Sciences Champion
Sponsor department
Department for Business and Trade
Professional, Scientific and Technical
Major Projects
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
£300 to £350 per day
Length of term
Time Commitment- 4-8 days a month Length of term- 18 months but could be subject to extension or renewal
Application deadline
11:59pm on 12 September 2022

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    17 August 2022

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 12 September 2022

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Role description

Dementia represents one of the key health and economic challenges of our time. In the UK it is the leading cause of death, with an economic cost of over £25 billion per annum, whilst the global incidence is expected to triple to more than 150 million by 2050. There are no cures on the horizon, with only four approved symptom-relieving therapies currently available and several potential disease-modifying treatments in the pipeline. However, the underlying science is at an inflexion point, with significant progress being made over recent years in the role of human genetics in disease risk and trajectory and the molecular characterisation of the associated biological processes. Technological advances coupled to the revolution in data science now provide an opportunity to catalyse upon this scientific progress to bring earlier diagnosis and new treatments in neurodegenerative conditions to bear.

The UK Government’s 2021 Life Sciences Vision highlights ‘improving translational capabilities in neurodegeneration and dementia’ as one of its key healthcare missions. The aim of each Mission is to bring together the best industrial and academic science, along with the wider sector, to significantly accelerate the development of new medicines and technologies. The intention is to be modelled on a Vaccines Taskforce type approach, focussed on making tangible progress on areas of population health need, with a dedicated budget and accountable leader.

Following extensive engagement between industry partners, the wider sector and UK Government, an industry-led, not-for profit entity, the ‘Neurodegeneration Initiative’, is proposed to accelerate the development of novel precision treatments in neurodegeneration, by developing innovations in biomarkers, data and digital sciences. It will be co-funded by government and industry with a clear, accountable leader at its helm. This entity would work collaboratively and synergistically with other significant dementia research investments within the UK and internationally to accelerate the field and provide impact on one of the biggest causes of death globally.

A figure is required to lead the Neurodegeneration Initiative and fulfil the role as the Life Sciences Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia and Neurodegeneration Mission Chair. The appointee will need to work with other leadership figures in the wider dementia and neurodegeneration ecosystem to ensure effective collaboration and join up across the whole treatment landscape.

Immediate objectives of this role will be:

·       Secure commitment from founding industry partners, including commitment of their investment.

·       Establish the set-up of the Initiative, including confirming the operating model, board membership, and governance arrangements.

·       Put in place the required resources to run the initiative, including establishing the executive team and support staff.

·       Begin to negotiate any fundamental contracts required to get the initiative going in its first year.

·       Report on initial progress towards the mission aims and hold the government and mission partners to account for delivery of Mission commitments.

·       Represent the Mission and Initiative in relevant (international) forums including through meetings, workshops and media. Help develop an international presence for the Mission.

·       Operate as a key opinion leader and advisor on Neurodegeneration R&D within Government. This includes working with senior officials across BEIS, DHSC, UKRI and NIHR to ensure the impact of Neurodegenerative research across the R&D value chain, and coherency of the Mission within this.

The role is intended to begin as soon as possible, following the successful completion of pre-appointment checks and security clearance. We envisage this role being conducted on a part time basis of approximately 4-8 days a month over the length of the appointment, but this can also be flexed to a certain extent around the candidate’s availability and other commitments, and will be reviewed after an initial time period.

The post holder should be UK based and able to travel to in person commitments where helpful and required, but will also be able to work remotely/from their usual working location. They may in future be expected to work at the location established for the Initiative once that is established for the portion of their time commitments devoted to this role.

All media appearances in the appointee’s capacity as the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia and Neurodegeneration Mission Chair will be handled by the Office for Life Sciences. 

Organisation description

The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) champions research, innovation and the use of technology to transform health and care service, and is part of the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

OLS leads the Government’s drive to make the UK one of the pro-innovation healthcare systems in the world and a prime destination for research, investment and innovation across medicines, medical technologies and digital health.

Person specification

Essential criteria

To be considered for appointment, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all of the essential criteria.

·       Lead Criteria: Outstanding track record in Neurodegenerative R&D.

·       Experience of successfully leading major partnership-based programmes involving private, public, academic and philanthropic partners.

·       Experience in senior advisory or senior management/leadership positions.

·       Experience of working effectively with the Life Science sector, demonstrated either through direct employment in the sector, or of successfully leading major collaborations with the sector while employed in a public, philanthropic or academic setting.

·       Ability to represent a large, high-profile programme across different stakeholders in national and international settings.

Desirable criteria

·       Experience in the effective set-up, development and leadership/administration of major public/private partnerships.

·       Significant experience working with or within the NHS, or comparable health systems globally.

Application and selection process

How to apply

Thank you for your interest in the appointment of the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia and Neurodegeneration Mission Chair. The Office for Life Sciences is managing this recruitment.

If you wish to express your interest in the role, please email your CV and a supporting Letter in one document to – please put “Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia and Neurodegeneration Mission Chair" Application: Your full name” in the subject line of your email application.

Applications must be received by 23:59 on Monday 12 September.

In making an application, please note the following:


Please ensure your CV includes:

·       Your full name, title, home address, personal contact telephone numbers (mobile and, if applicable, a land line), personal email address and details of any social media accounts and LinkedIn accounts, including your Twitter/ Instagram/ etc handle/username.

·       Brief details of your employment and other experience (e.g. voluntary roles) and details of any past or present Ministerial appointments.

·       Contact details for two referees who will support your application. One referee should be the person to whom you are/were accountable in your current/most recent appointment or position of employment. Please indicate the relationship of each referee to you. Referees would be approached prior to formally offering you the role.

·       Please limit your CV to two sides of A4 in size 12 font.

Supporting Letter

The supporting letter is your opportunity to demonstrate how you meet each of the essential criteria set out in the person specification, what you will bring to the role and your ambition for the role.

We recommend that you are clear which specific evidence you provide relates to which criterion. Providing separate paragraphs in relation to each criterion is common practice.

Please ensure your full name and the role you are applying to are clearly noted at the top of your letter. Please write all acronyms in full first, and limit your letter to two sides of A4 in size 12 font.

Overview of the application process

We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will advise you of the likely timetable at each stage.

Planned timetable:

·       Closing date: 23:59 on Monday 12 September 2022

·       Panel Sift: from 12 September 2022

·       Panel Interview: from 19 September 2022

·       Confirmed appointment: from mid-October 2022

All applications will be assessed against the essential criteria in the published person specification in this document. The applications will be sifted, and successful candidates will be invited to interview. Information on shortlisted candidates may be provided to Ministers, who may wish to meet with some candidates before making a final decision.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

The assessment panel for the interviews are yet to be confirmed but will be likely to include at least a senior representative from BEIS, DHSC and an external panel member.

Eligibility criteria

In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply. There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards.

You cannot be considered for appointment if:

·       you are disqualified from acting as a company director (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

·       have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

·       your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors.

When you apply, you should declare if:

·       you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this.

·       you are subject to a current police investigation.

You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points.

When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members.

Security clearance

An offer of appointment will be conditional until relevant security checks have been completed. This process is referred to as BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) and is undertaken by HR and the Government Recruitment Service as part of the onboarding process.

In addition, additional checks may be required in order to access restricted systems, information or sites. These checks form the National Security Vetting (NSV) process and provide an individual with an additional clearance level. However, where this applies, candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the website here.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We are committed to increasing the diversity of our leadership and bringing in talent, regardless of its origins. We encourage applications from all candidates regardless of ethnicity, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or gender identity. We particularly welcome applications from people with ethnicity, gender and disability characteristics currently underrepresented. 

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 

As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job advert.

When you apply you should indicate if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

Reasonable adjustments

All candidates are entitled to request reasonable adjustments at any stage of the application process. If you would like to discuss reasonable adjustments prior to submitting your application, please contact  

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life These are:

  1. SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends;
  2. INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties;
  3. OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit;
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office;
  5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;
  6. HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
  7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Conflicts of InterestIf you or a party related to you have any interests which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your supporting letter. This can be in addition to the two-page limit.

Conflicts of interest may include (without limitation), any personal or business interests (including direct and indirect financial interests), positions of employment, other appointments or other positions of authority, that you or any party related to you have and which may influence your judgement in performing your appointment or may be perceived by a reasonable member of the public as having scope to do so.

A ‘party related to you’ could include for example (but without limitation) a spouse/partner, a business partner, a close family member or a person living in the same household as you or a close family member.

Failure to declare a potential conflict of interest may become grounds for withdrawing an offer of appointment. If offered the role, you will also be required to make a Declaration of Interests and to keep the Declaration up to date throughout the tenure of your appointment. The requirement to declare interests will also be included in your Terms and Conditions of appointment. Failure to disclose an interest may, subject to the interest and the circumstances, become grounds for suspension or termination of your appointment.

Standards in public life and ensuring public confidence

If there are any issues in your personal or professional history (including any convictions or bankruptcy) that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment to Ministers or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to our attention and provide details of the issue/s in your supporting letter.

In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media and blogs. Due Diligence may be carried out on any publicly available information.

Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment offer being withdrawn or the appointment being terminated, as the person appointed to this role will be expected to demonstrate the highest standards of corporate and personal conduct and in line with principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies, which includes the Nolan Principles regarding conduct in public life. As part of agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of appointment you will be expected to agree to meeting the principles set out in this Code. You can access this document at

Status of appointment

You will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

This role will be for a period of up to 18 months but could be subject to extension or renewal.

While the contract of employment will be with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, this role will be jointly accountable to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

This dual accountability reflects the established approach the Government takes to Life Sciences, and the importance of harnessing the interests and assets of both Departments (and their Arm’s Length Bodies) in successfully executing the Missions. 

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

Remuneration will be at a rate of c.£300-350 per day plus expenses.

Remuneration will be paid via the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s payroll and is taxable, and subject to National Insurance contributions, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid. Remuneration is not pensionable.

VAT cannot be claimed as payments are taxed at source with HMRC procedures. The individual is not an employee of the Department.

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon termination because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period. 

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.

If you would like to make a complaint regarding your application, please contact the Office for Life Sciences at They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

Data protection

Your personal information will be held in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation. You will not receive unsolicited paper or electronic mail because of sending OLS any personal information. No personal information will be passed on to third parties for commercial purposes.

When we ask you for personal information, we promise we will:

·       Only ask for what we need, and not collect too much or irrelevant information

·       Ensure you know why we need it

·       Protect it and insofar as is possible, make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn't

·       Ensure you know what choice you have about giving us information

·       Make sure we don't keep it longer than necessary

·       Only use your information for the purposes you have authorised

We ask that you:

·       Provide us with accurate information

·       Inform us as soon as possible of any changes or if you notice mistakes in the information we hold about you

OLS may commission support from a third party to help assess applications.

Contact details

If there is anything further you would like to discuss or if you require further assistance when making this application, please email