Independent Ethics Committee – Committee Member Vacancies
Deadline: 14th April 2023
Posted: 23rd February 2023
The VECTOR consortium is seeking four independent specialists to join the Project’s Independent Ethics Committee (IEC). These specialists will join the already appointed Ethics Advisor, who will also be the Chair of the IEC.
The primary role of the Ethics Advisor is to advise the Project parties on ethical matters that arise during the course of the Project and assist the with the management and mitigation of ethical issues.
The role of the Independent Ethics Committee is to support the Ethics Advisor in this role by providing a forum, comprised of subject matter and ethics experts, to debate ethical issues and decide on an appropriate course of action in each case on which to advise the Project parties.
Please see Project governance Structure below at fig.1.
Members of the IEC will be responsible for the following:
- Convening formally on a quarterly basis to discuss any ethical issues, concerns and risks that have been notified to it during that quarter by the ethics coordinator.
- Convening on an ad hoc (extraordinary) basis to deal with any particularly sensitive issues that require more urgent attention.
- Identifying any risks related to ethical issues that have otherwise not been identified and relating these (and advising upon them) to the ethics coordinator.
- Providing advice and recommendations regarding the management of such issues, concerns and risks by the Executive Committee.
- Reviewing implementation of its advice/recommendations by the executive committee (and/or other relevant parties) and providing guidance, as required.
- Liaising with the Ethics Advisor and the ethics coordinator to communicate key ethical risks, and associated advice and recommendations to the Advisory Board, where this is necessary to ensure that the Advisory Board can properly perform its duties.
- Liaising with the Ethics Advisor between meetings, as required.
Membership of the Independent Ethics Committee must include individuals with expertise and experience in the subjects/fields set out below. Whilst it is not necessary that each member of the committee has expertise and experience in each area (in fact, this is not expected), we are seeking to build a committee of experts who between them, have expertise and experience across each subject/field.
Consequently, each candidate must be able to demonstrate expertise and experience in at least one of the following areas:
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning (and associated risks).
- Research ethics
- Data management / GDPR
- Human rights / social justice
- Environmental, social & governance / sustainability (social and environmental)
In addition to the required expertise and experience, candidates should be able to demonstrate the following:
- A diligent, cooperative and supportive work ethic
- Ability to communicate clearly and efficiently, with objectivity, and provide appropriate independent and constructive challenge
- Ability to analyse complex situations and identify relevant issues
- Ability to make high-quality decisions after analysing supporting information and exercising independent judgment, including under time pressure when necessary
- Knowledge of risk methodology and/or experience in the identification and management of risk
- Capacity for discretion and ability to maintain strict confidentiality
This is a voluntary position that the Consortium partners view as a mutual exchange; in return for the provision of time and expertise, committee members will have the opportunity to help direct a large, EU funded research project seeking to contribute solutions to one of the biggest and most important problems of our time. Members will also benefit from access to a large network of individuals and organisations working on a plethora of matters related to the minerals, technology, and sustainability sectors.
The VECTOR Project will run until June 2025. We expect that the time commitment to be approximately 2-3 hours per month. This will include preparation for and attendance at formal quarterly Committee meetings (virtual), attendance at ad hoc extraordinary meetings (virtual), liaising with the Ethics Advisor by email to relay feedback on matters discussed at meetings or raised in the interim, reading Project updates in order to stay up to date with the progress of the Project, and (optional) quarterly attendance at Advisory Board meetings (virtual).
It should be noted that whilst the formal requirement for the IEC to convene is quarterly, due to the nature of the Project and the ethical issues on which the IEC is to provide guidance, it is likely that extraordinary meetings will be required from time to time in the period between formal meetings. When the requirement for such extraordinary meetings arises, meetings may well be required at short notice, so IEC members will need to be comfortable with a degree of flexibility regarding their monthly time commitment (which should be considered as at least quarterly).
To apply for this role, please send your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are interested in the role and how you are suitable to Emily Lewis (Ethics Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We particularly welcome applications from individuals from demographics that are under-represented on committees and boards, including young people, women, trans and non-binary people, anyone who is from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background, anyone who considers themselves to have a disability, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
All applications will be considered by the Executive Committee and Ethics Advisor. These applications will be shortlisted, and shortlisted candidates will be invited to meet the Executive Committee and the Ethics Advisor, who will select candidates for the Committee based on:
- Their demonstrated expertise in the subject matter areas listed in the Candidate Requirements section, above;
- Their suitability for the role, as determined against the criteria listed in the Candidate Requirements section, above;
- Their stated motivations for applying to the role;
- The mix of subject matter expertise demonstrated across all applications received; and
- The need for balanced representation on the Committee, with particular regards to gender, ability, race, age, sexuality and socio-economic background.
The Ethics Coordinator will request approval for the proposed appointments from the Advisory Board, following which the successful candidates will be informed.
Posted: 23rd February 2023.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement nº 101058483.
Co-funded by the European Union.
Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
Co-funded by UK Research and Innovation. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of UK Research and Innovation. Neither UK Research and Innovation nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.