The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is a corporate body with executive responsibilities set up under the Science & Technology Act 1965 and by Royal Charter. NERC is a non-departmental public body under the umbrella of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).
Council members have corporate responsibility for all the Council's actions and those of NERC staff. The Chairman, members of Council and the Chief Executive are appointed by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, who sets broad guidelines within which Council members are expected to work.
The process to appoint new members to NERC Council is conducted by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) in conjunction with NERC (normally annually or as a vacancies arise). The process is undertaken under the Code of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Further information and application forms are available from the BIS website.
Council should decide on all issues of major importance, including:
- issues of corporate strategy
- key strategic objectives and targets
- major decisions involving the use of financial and other resources and personnel issues, including key appointments
Day-to-day responsibilities are delegated to the Chief Executive.
Council is accountable to Parliament, users of services, individual citizens and NERC staff for:
- NERC's activities
- its stewardship of public funds
- the extent to which key performance targets and objectives are met
Council members come from NERC's academic and user communities. They:
- should be able to reflect and express authoritatively the perspective and views of their research or user community, while contributing to the Council's successful pursuit of its mission
- must at all times observe the highest standards of impartiality, integrity and objectivity in relation to the stewardship of public funds and managing NERC
- ensure that high standards of corporate governance are observed at all times