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Vacancy: Expert Advisor on Human Tissue Banking

Vacancy: Expert Advisor on Human Tissue Banking

8th February 2024

The deadline for applications is 19 March 2024

Job Identification


Job Title

Expert Advisor on Human Tissue Banking

Responsible to

Chief Scientist Office via Head of NHS Research Scotland - Central Management Team


NHS Research Scotland - Central Management Team

Hours of work

On average 25 hours or fewer a month


To be discussed at interview


Human Tissue legislation in Scotland differs from that in the rest of the UK. As part of the approach in Scotland, the NHS Research Scotland (NRS) Biorepositories are accredited by an Independent Expert Panel using criteria comparable to those for research tissue bank licensing in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by the Human Tissue Authority.

NHS Research Scotland (NRS) operates a three yearly cycle of full accreditation and an annual self-certification overseen by an Expert Advisor in conjunction with an independent panel. NRS took over the accreditation process from Healthcare Improvement Scotland in 2018.

NHS Research Scotland (NRS) is a partnership involving Scottish NHS Boards and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of the Scottish Government. The NRS central management team (NRS-CMT) is funded by CSO via a direct Service Level Agreement and sits within InnoScot Health Ltd, a company limited by guarantee which works in partnership with NHS Scotland to identify, protect and develop new ideas that come from healthcare professionals.

Job Purpose

Expert Advisor on Human Tissue Banking

We are seeking an independent Chair for the NRS Biorepository Accreditation Panel to work with NRS-CMT on behalf of the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of the Scottish Government. The Advisor will oversee and help to define the governance arrangements for NHS Scotland for the use of human tissue in research, principally through the accreditation of the four NHS Biorepositories in Scotland located at NHS Tayside, NHS Grampian, NHS Lothian and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

This will be for a fixed term of five years, subject to agreement with CSO annually on funding, with the possibility of extension.

The Chair will:

  • Provide expert advice and guidance on human tissue banking and will support the Accreditation Scheme, ensuring NRS-CMT is up to date with and complies with current national and international requirements and standards
  • Act as the Independent Chair of NRS Accreditation Panel to assess applications for Accreditation
  • Work with NRS-CMT to update and modify the criteria for the three-yearly Accreditation Scheme and annual self-certification, and to advise on the membership of the Panel
  • Review, assess and revise the criteria in relation to the HTA standards for Licensing for Research and other related criteria, e.g., ISO Certification, UKCRC Biobanking
  • Work with NRS-CMT and CSO to determine the most appropriate governance arrangements for NHS Scotland associated biobanking activities
  • Attend meetings of the NRS Biorepository Managers to discuss recent developments and future plans for Accreditation
  • Horizon Scanning for developments in Biorepository/Biobanking Practice

Person Specification

  • Medical or scientific qualification in a subject related to Human Tissue Banking
  • Personal experience of Human Tissue Banking either as an active participant or a regular user of tissue samples for research with relevant publications
  • Well-developed verbal, digital and written communication and interpersonal skills to interact with Biorepository Managers and staff, Biorepository users, Accreditation Panel members (including Lay members), NRS staff, CSO and other professionals involved in Human Tissue Banking
  • Able to act with authority in discussions with Senior Representatives of Scottish Health Boards if required
  • Awareness of UK Human Tissue Banking activities and understanding of the principles of biobanking, data protection, confidentiality, and consent/authorisation in Scotland to allow development of the Quality Standards for NRS Accreditation
  • Understanding of the criteria for licensing and certification of Human Tissue Banking in other parts of the UK, particularly those used by the HTA in Licensing for Research
  • Flexibility to deal with planned periods of concentrated work and unexpected periods of reactive work, e.g., during the assessment of applications for Accreditation and the Panel meeting

Time Requirements and Remuneration

It is anticipated that the workload involved will not exceed on average 25 hours a month.  However, as explained above, the post will require flexibility in working arrangements.

This is a remunerated post and arrangements can be discussed at interview.

How to apply

If you have questions in advance of applying, please contact us. To be considered for this post please submit a brief CV and Cover Letter addressing how you meet the Person Specification to Katharine Barrington at

The post holder will be selected following interview.

The deadline for applications is 19 March 2024.

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