Support us to recruit and select the best people to work for the HRA

Last updated on 12 Jan 2023

The Health Research Authority (HRA) is one of a number of organisations that work together in the UK to regulate and approve different aspects of health and social care research. Our vision is for high quality health and social care research today, which improves everyone’s health and wellbeing tomorrow. We help realise this by making it easy to do research that people can trust.

There is more information about the HRA’s role on our website.

Since 2015, members of the public have supported recruitment to certain HRA roles by advising on job descriptions, taking part in workshops, helping to test candidates’ skills, and joining interview panels.

We are looking to grow the number of people that help us with this important work.

What's the activity?

We are looking for around 10 additional members of the public to register their interest to support staff recruitment.

Depending on your experience, interests, and skills, you could support recruitment in different ways. Some activities may take just half a day, whilst others may be two to three days’ work over one or two weeks.

Here are a few examples:

  • taking part in a workshop to discuss the skills needed for a particular job
  • providing feedback on a recruitment advert
  • helping to assess candidates’ skills in engaging with members of the public
  • shortlisting applications
  • interviewing candidates.

These activities usually take place online.

What will be involved?

We are looking for people to register their interest for a 12 month period in the first instance. We don’t know how many, or which roles will be recruited over the next 12 months and so we don’t know whether everyone who expresses an interest will be invited to help.

When our recruitment needs public involvement, we will get in touch to explain what is involved, estimate how much time it will take, and the involvement fee offered.

Some activities, such as a workshop, will have a set time and date. Other activities, such as interviewing, may need more flexibility. You may be working independently, as part of a team or alongside one or two members of HRA staff. Some tasks may need a lot of concentration on written documents. Other tasks may involve discussing your own and other’s perspectives and bias. We will do our best to be clear about what to expect so you can choose if it’s right for you.

In each instance, you can decide if you are available and interested. It’s no problem to say no.

What difference will it make and how will I know?

After each recruitment activity, we will let you know who has been appointed. We will provide brief feedback and invite you to share your own feedback on the process. We will compile and review all the feedback every six months.

Why are members of the public involved in recruiting staff at the HRA?

As with all our public involvement, there are three reasons:

  • it’s the right thing to do. As an NHS organisation we serve the public and it’s only right that members of the public have a say in our work. We’re an organisation that wants to live its values and share them with people applying to work with us
  • it helps us make better decisions. Independent perspectives can help to challenge any bias. External points of view can help define and assess the most important skills, experience, and values for a role. People taking part in and affected by research will bring useful insight to recruiting and selecting the best people to work at the HRA
  • to bring about change. Right now, social care and health research does not benefit everyone equally. For research to be with and for everyone, the HRA needs staff that are committed to doing things differently. This means championing the issues that are important to people; supporting researchers to put people first; talking in a way that everyone can understand; listening to and acting on feedback. Even when this feels difficult. You can help us identify people who can facilitate this change

What support will I receive?

A named member of the public involvement team will provide information about each activity and be available to answer your queries or respond to any concerns. The manager leading the recruitment will brief you on the role and discuss how to work well together.

When you register interest, we will invite you to share your access and support needs and any reasonable adjustments required. We will keep this information confidential. With your permission, we will share it with the HRA staff you work with.

What skills or experience do I need to take part?

You do not need experience of recruitment or interviewing to support this work. However, we think it is important that you meet these criteria. You:

  1. are interested in helping us attract and select the best staff to work at the HRA
  2. believe it is important to be fair when recruiting staff
  3. are able to receive and give clear, constructive, and helpful feedback to people you are working with
  4. can help to identify the skills, experience and values needed to deliver the HRA’s strategy.

We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. We know from experience that different ideas, perspectives and backgrounds create stronger, more creative ways of working, that help us to achieve the ambitions in our strategy. We welcome applications which represent the rich diversity of our community: age, disability, gender identity and expression, ethnicity, impairment, neurodiversity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and other diverse life experience such as being a carer, level of education, living in a deprived and / or rural area, and socio-economic background.

How do I apply?

To apply, contact the public involvement team by emailing by 12pm on Wednesday 8 February 2023.

Please tell us how you feel you meet four criteria above. You can do this by sending in a voice recording or video of up to three minutes or by writing up to 400 words in an email.

If you have any questions, or anything is unclear, you can call the Public Involvement Team on 020 7104 8161.

How will you decide who will be involved?

We will remove your name from your application. One member of the HRA staff and one member of the public who currently supports recruitment will score what you have written against the four criteria. We will invite the people with the ten highest scoring applications to join the group.

Will I receive payment?

Yes, if you are involved in a recruitment. In line with our policy, we can offer involvement fees. For example, £150 per day, £75 per half day and £25 for shorter tasks. We cannot predict how many HRA staff will be recruited in this time period so we cannot guarantee how many different activities you will be involved in, but you will always be able to decline a particular invitation.

Will my expenses be covered?

Yes. It is our policy to reimburse reasonable expenses incurred. For example, arranging for travel, additional childcare, or for a carer or personal assistant. We offer a £5 contribution towards any incidental expenses incurred by attending online meetings.

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