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Aria chief executive role opens for applications


UK government looking for chief executive to shape research priorities for the £800 million agency

The government has begun its search for a leader of the long-awaited £800 million Advanced Research and Invention agency.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is looking for chief executive to shape the vision, direction and research priorities for the agency while instilling “high-risk, high-reward culture within the organisation from the outset”.

According to a job advert posted 1 June, the successful candidate will be a “respected leader in a scientific field with experience of R&D process, and of starting something new”.

Essential criteria for the full-time role include experience of conducting, or investing in, high-risk-high-payoff research and technology development; understanding of the “frontier-of-the-frontier of technical fields”; and an interest in meta-research, “including the cultural factors that have made Arpa-like agencies successful”.

“Getting Aria up and running is one of my main priorities,” said science minister Amanda Solloway, “so I am delighted to see it take another step towards launching with the start of this recruitment round.

“Aria won’t fulfil its enormous potential without the right chief executive, so I would encourage anyone who shares our vision for high-risk, high-reward scientific research to consider applying.”

Applications will be reviewed by an expert panel comprising the government’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance; BEIS’ director general for science, innovation and growth, Jo Shanmugalingam; former director of the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arati Prabhakar; and director of Stanford ChEM-H, Carolyn Bertozzi.

The closing date for applications is 5 July 2021.

A bill to establish the Aria is currently making its way through UK parliament.