A new chair for the ICMS programme committee


The ICMS runs a programme of international research workshops and related research activity. Our EPSRC grant, started in April 2018, guarantees funding for six years. The ICMS has recently moved into a new building in the heart of Edinburgh, so this is an exciting time for change and development. Proposals for workshops are considered by the Programme Committee which makes recommendations to the Scientific Director. The ICMS is seeking to appoint a new Chair of the Programme Committee to replace Professor Jerry Bona, University of Illinois at Chicago whose term has come to an end. The ICMS is very grateful to Professor Bona for his outstanding work as Chair. The Chair oversees Programme Committee decisions and liaises with the Scientific Director and Centre Manager to ensure the quality and breadth of activity is maintained. To demonstrate independence from the UK mathematical sciences community, the Chair is normally not based in the UK. The Chair serves for three years in the first instance, with a possible extension of up to three further years.  

The ICMS Programme Committee provides an independent assessment of proposals and review of the scientific activities at ICMS. It meets at least once a year, normally in Edinburgh, and assesses proposals at other times via email. It is responsible for the vetting of scientific proposals and to assist the Scientific Director in the identification of areas of the mathematical sciences in which the ICMS should be involved. The Chair, with support from the ICMS, coordinates the Programme Committee activities which include:

  • Recommending referees for scientific proposals;
  • Assessing referees reports and determining a rank list of fundable proposals for consideration by the Scientific Director;
  • Reviewing past activity and recommending improvements;
  • Considering the funding portfolio and recommending areas for future potential funding;
  • Reviewing its own areas of expertise and identifying areas which could be strengthened.

The Chair will be appointed by the ICMS Management Committee on the recommendation of a smaller Nominating Committee.

The ICMS Programme Committee Chair will have a broad range of interests and expertise in research in the mathematical sciences. The Chair will have experience in coordinating activity and will be committed to fair assessment across all areas of the mathematical sciences.

The ICMS is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and welcomes applications from all. Applications from women, those with a disability and members of minority ethnic groups, who are currently under-represented at senior levels in the research and innovation community, are therefore especially encouraged.

The Chair will be appointed for a period of three years in the first instance.

Responsibilities of Programme Committee Chair:

A fully effective Chair:

  • Makes serious commitment to participate actively in Programme Committee business providing timely advice and recommendations;
  • Acts as an ambassador/advocate for the ICMS within the international mathematical sciences community;
  • Supports, advises and challenges the Scientific Director to ensure the high quality of the research programme at the ICMS;
  • Operates across the remit of the ICMS rather than as an advocate for specific disciplines or sub-disciplines;
  • Actively participates in the Programme Committee’s evaluation and planning efforts;
  • Highlights opportunities for the ICMS and helps form strategies to act on these opportunities;
  • Declares conflicts of interest and is sensitive to the judgement of others in discussions, particularly where a potential conflict arises;
  • Is willing and able to provide other ad hoc advice and support to the ICMS in the development of policy and practice.

Applications are sought from individuals who possess a range of expertise and experience in research and innovation across the mathematical sciences.
The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate the following criteria:


  • A commitment to the ICMS’s mission and priorities;
  • Independence from the UK mathematical sciences community;
  • A clear understanding of the current state of mathematical sciences research and the role of interdisciplinary research and the applications of the mathematical sciences;
  • An established record of research in the mathematical sciences and an ability to advise on new opportunities within the remit of the ICMS;
  • Evidence of providing leadership at a strategic level with an ability to exercise judgment across a broad spectrum of the mathematical sciences and their applications;
  • An awareness of barriers to progress and unconscious bias, and a record of promoting inclusivity in research;
  • An ability to tackle and reach decisions on complex issues.


  • Experience of working across international boundaries, particularly with regard to research collaborations and industrial outreach;
  • Knowledge of the decision-making process for publicly funded research and the associated strategic issues, for example alternative funding sources;
  • Experience of public engagement with research.

Reasonable expenses for attending Programme Committee meetings will be met by the ICMS.

If you would like to discuss making an application we recommend that you please contact either the ICMS Centre Manager, Jane Walker (jane.walker@icms.org.uk, tel: 0131 651 4394), the Scientific Director, Paul Glendinning (p.a.glendinning@manchester.ac.uk) or the Chair of the Management Committee, Gabriel Lord, G.J.Lord@hw.ac.uk.
To apply, candidates should submit a short CV and covering letter to the ICMS by email to jane.walker@icms.org.uk by end of the day 29 April 2019. The covering letter is an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate how they meet the person specification.
Once the deadline has passed, receipt of applications (covering letter and CV) will be acknowledged and then passed to the Nominating Committee (see below) to review the applications against the person specification. At the final appointment stages, where applicants are as qualified on merit, the selection panel will seek to achieve a balanced membership of the Programme Committee in terms of, for example, diversity, expertise and experience.
The Chair of the Nominating Committee will make the proposed recommendation of appointments to the ICMS Management Committee. The outcome of the decision will be communicated to candidates in early June.

The Nominating Committee for the ICMS Board appointments is likely to comprise:

  • Committee Chair: a member of the ICMS Advisory Board;
  • ICMS Scientific Director: Paul Glendinning;
  • ICMS Centre Manager: Jane Walker;
  • One member of the ICMS Advisory Board;
  • One independent member of the UK mathematical sciences community.

The Programme Committee is expected to meet on 5 July 2019.