Recruiting: Founding AcadMathSci President

4 March 2024

Exciting news! AcadMathSci launches its search for a Founding President.


UPDATE: 8 April 2024

There has been a small relaxation to the deadline for applications. Please note that:

  • We have relaxed the deadline for submitting applications to 10am on Monday 15th April 2024.
  • However, we still request that potential candidates indicate their intention to apply by the previous deadline of 12.59pm on Wednesday 10 April 2024.
  • The email address for sending applications remains unchanged: president_applications@acadmathsci.org.uk

We are delighted to announce that our search for a Founding President for the Academy for the Mathematical Sciences has begun.  Further details of this key position can be found here and below.

Introduction 

A key recommendation of the 2018 Bond Review The Era of Mathematics was the creation of a national academy focused on the mathematical sciences, to provide a single institution to act as a focal point for the community with the mission of ensuring that mathematical science delivers on its full potential to enrich our world. Over the last eighteen months a team of over 80 people (mostly volunteers) has been working to put the structures in place to establish this key piece of national infrastructure.

The Academy for the Mathematical Sciences (AcadMathSci) is now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, whose mission is to benefit society through the power of the mathematical sciences. We believe that substantial benefits will accrue from having a single Academy connecting and speaking for the mathematical sciences across education, innovation, research, and industry, and which works with government to generate effective policy.

The Academy is now seeking its first President, to lead the organisation through the exciting process of launch and growth from a fledgling organisation to a fully functioning academy, delivering on its mission.

Statement of support from the Council for the Mathematical Sciences: 

The Council for the Mathematical Sciences, and its five member societies, believe there is a need for a single independent body which represents the whole of the mathematical sciences community including educators, practitioners, and academics. Therefore, we established the process to determine the feasibility and set-up of an Academy for the Mathematical Sciences for the United Kingdom. The five learned societies believe a successful Academy will strengthen the mathematical sciences community relationships and impact with government, funding agencies, industry, the public and the media. We fully support the formation of the Academy and will work to ensure it is sustainable, and works in partnership with the societies covering mathematics, statistics, and operational research. Signed: Council for the Mathematical Sciences, The Edinburgh Mathematical Society, The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, The London Mathematical Society, The Operational Research Society, The Royal Statistical Society.

The Academy for the Mathematical Sciences

Vision

The Academy for the Mathematical Sciences will be an authoritative and persuasive voice for the whole of the mathematical sciences. It will work with learned societies, other organisations, and people in the community who develop, teach, research, communicate, and use the mathematical sciences. The Academy’s focus will include teaching and education, academic research pushing the frontiers of what is known, and the implementation of mathematical sciences in practice in industry, commerce, government and elsewhere. The Academy will support the advancement of the field by bringing together those in the community, and by acting to nurture the people pipeline, increase societal engagement and improve the recognition of the power, value and beauty of the mathematical sciences. Our ambition is that our field delivers on its full potential to improve lives, help people, strengthen society, enhance economic productivity, and benefit and enrich our world.

Objectives

The Academy will have advocacy at its heart. It will work to make a difference in many ways including:

  • People Pipeline. The health of the discipline is reliant upon shoring up the people pipeline at all stages from school through to research – including the supply of excellent teachers to ensure a virtuous circle.
  • Policy. The Academy will lead for the mathematical sciences community on both ‘maths for policy’ (where mathematical sciences can support and inform policy development and implementation) and ‘policy for maths’.
  • Mathematical Excellence. The Academy will champion the importance of mathematical excellence and cutting-edge mathematical sciences research, both fundamental and directly applicable. Further, it will work to bolster communication channels in both directions between researchers and users of mathematical sciences for the benefit of all.

The Academy will be focused on the underlying issues that need to be addressed to ensure the UK remains a leader in mathematical sciences. This will include using evidence-led research to identify the right policies and practices to put in place, and working with others to ensure:

  • An increase in specialist maths teacher recruitment and retention;
  • Improved numeracy and maths attainment levels within schools, closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers, and developing the skills of the working population (including equipping people of all ages for a digital future);
  • A strengthened research pipeline, with better support mechanisms (financial and structural) for early-career mathematical scientists, and improved retention of our brightest talent;
  • Improved diversity across the mathematical sciences within the UK, widening access and fostering participation for all;
  • Sustained championing, and challenge to the chronic underfunding, of fundamental mathematical sciences research;
  • The promotion of knowledge exchange across the mathematical sciences, in conjunction with the Knowledge Exchange Hub, encouraging greater use of mathematical science in government policy formulation across all departments and regions of the UK and increased adoption by industry, supporting a drive towards sustained economic growth.

The journey so far 

  • January 2018. The independent Bond Review, The Era of Mathematics recommends that “An Academy for the Mathematical Sciences should be established in order to facilitate links between academia, government and industry”. To take forward the recommendations of the review, the Council for the Mathematical Sciences (CMS) launches The Big Maths Initiative, setting up a Strategic Committee, chaired by Claire Craig, and an Implementation Group, chaired by Bernard Silverman
  • June 2019. Recommendations of the Big Maths Initiative are discussed at a virtual event with over 250 attendees from the breadth of the mathematical sciences community. The CMS commissions a team led by David Abrahams to produce a Green Paper, developing a vision and roadmap.
  • December 2021- April 2022. The Green Paper is published and the CMS launches a consultation. The CMS publishes a summary of the outcome of the consultation and its next steps. It issues a call for nominations for an executive committee and chair to drive the academy project forward (the ‘proto-academy’ phase).
  • October 2022. The Executive director, Chair, Executive Committee, and Advisory Board are appointed. The proto-academy is launched, incubated by the Isaac Newton Institute, and with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
  • May-September 2023. An extensive consultation is carried out with representatives from across the breadth of the mathematical sciences community on the evolving plans for the academy. There is overwhelming support for the direction of travel. The Policy Unit is launched.
  • September 2023. The Academy is incorporated as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
  • November 2023. The Government announces that it will “support the establishment of a National Academy focused on Mathematical Science” backed up by “up to £6m of seed funding over the next three years”, subject to business case.
  • February 2024. The search for the first President of the Academy for the Mathematical Sciences commences.

Additional information

In the 2023 Autumn Statement, the UK Government made the welcome announcement that it will “support the establishment of a National Academy focused on Mathematical Science” backed up by “up to £6m of seed funding over the next three years”, subject to business case. The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) published a Call for Evidence on 12th January 2024, requesting views on the focus and objectives for such an academy. After the Call for Evidence, DSIT will conduct a formal process to determine which organisation is best placed to form a national academy for mathematical sciences. The objectives published by DSIT in the Call for Evidence are closely aligned with our vision and objectives. Although there is no presupposition that The Academy for the Mathematical Sciences will be chosen by DSIT, the Academy for the Mathematical Sciences will participate enthusiastically in the DSIT process and very much hopes to be chosen to deliver the new National Academy for mathematical sciences. If it is not chosen, then this appointment process may well be halted.

The role 

The President will not only act as a figurehead for the Academy. The President’s standing, expertise and influence must further the Academy’s strategy and profile at this important stage in its development. The role of the President will inevitably evolve as the academy develops and the structures put in place for the proto-academy phase are gradually replaced by those of the full academy. This process will require flexibility and tact. The role will also demand a very considerable time commitment. It is anticipated that many duties will be carried out remotely, but there will be a need to attend in-person meetings and events around the UK.

The President can be drawn from the academic, public or private sectors. They must have credibility within the mathematical sciences community as a whole.

This is a non-executive position. There will be no remuneration, although reasonable out-of-pocket expenses will be reimbursed; this includes expenses for childcare or care of other dependents while attending meetings and events.

Responsibilities and duties

  1. To be an inspiring public voice of the Academy, persuading others to embrace its strategy and vision.
  2. To engage in advocacy for the mathematical sciences with government and others.
  3. Working closely with the other officers, to provide leadership to the Academy in undertaking its core mission; giving support in particular to the development and implementation of the strategy.
  4. To develop a strong working relationship with the CEO and the trustees.
  5. To support fundraising from major donors, trusts and foundations.

The President will be a trustee, and may be asked to chair the board of trustees. The President will be expected to act in accordance with the Academy’s values statement.

Person specification 

The successful candidate will have:

  • The standing and ability to inspire the confidence of Fellows across all sectors, based on a distinguished career as a mathematical scientist in one or more of the academic, public or private sectors, or as a user or champion of the mathematical sciences at high levels. Appreciation of, and respect for, the full breadth of mathematical sciences disciplines and the mathematical sciences community
  • The profile and credibility to represent the Academy externally, to command the respect of government and leaders in other sectors, and to be influential with decision makers. The ability to speak with authority and a degree of passion about the mathematical sciences to a range of stakeholders including government and philanthropists.
  • Experience of operating at a strategic level, leading on the development of strategy which is arrived at in a consensual and timely manner and commands wide support.
  • An understanding of the different roles of trustees and executive.
  • A genuine interest in and commitment to ensuring that the Academy promotes an inclusive and diverse mathematical sciences community – with a key focus on improving the representation of, and opportunities for, under-represented groups.
  • A collegiate, consensual style, able to build support for decision making and to work well with other trustees, the CEO and other staff.

Start date: As soon as possible.

Term of office: A minimum of three years and a maximum of five, to be discussed with the successful candidate.

How to apply 

Please note the update at the top of the page:

UPDATE: 8 April 2024

There has been a small relaxation to the deadline for applications.

  • We have relaxed the deadline for submitting applications to 10am on Monday 15th April 2024.
  • However, we still request that potential candidates indicate their intention to apply by the previous deadline of 12.59pm on Wednesday 10 April 2024.
  • The email address for sending applications remains unchanged: president_applications@acadmathsci.org.uk

There is no application form. Applicants should provide a curriculum vitae and a cover letter: each should be at most two pages. Your letter should explain why the position is of interest, your ambitions for the Academy during your term of office and, with reference to your previous experience, why you are particularly well placed to lead the Academy at this crucial time. You must also make a clear statement of the time that you are able to commit to the role.

You should email these documents to president_applications@acadmathsci.org.uk by the closing date.

More information

A search committee has been established. Its membership is: Professor Alison Etheridge OBE FRS (Chair); Nigel Campbell; Professor Tom Coates; Professor Ineke de Moortel FRSE; Dame Jil Matheson; Lynne McClure OBE; Simon Yun-Farmbrough. (For further details see: https://www.acadmathsci.org.uk/governance/team/).

Anyone interested in applying is invited to approach any member of the search committee for more information, should they wish: email president_applications@acadmathsci.org.uk indicating which member of the committee to reach out to. Such approaches will be treated in complete confidence until explicit permission has been given to share your name with the rest of the committee or until an application is received.

The updated closing date for applications is 10am on Monday 15 April 2024: potential applicants should email president_applications@acadmathsci.org.uk  by 11.59pm on Wednesday 10 April 2024 indicating their interest in applying.

Interview date: We anticipate that interviews will be held in person in London on either Wednesday 1st, Thursday 2nd or Friday 3rd May.  We ask that candidates flag within their application if this is not possible and we will work to make alternative arrangements.

Academy for the Mathematical Sciences: Values Statement

The Academy aims to bring benefit to the world, and to UK society, through the power of the mathematical sciences. Our core values guide our actions, decisions, and collaborations.

Excellence
  • We uphold and celebrate excellence in the mathematical sciences, recognising and reflecting the highest standards of achievement.
  • We harness such excellence to drive positive change for the betterment of society.
Integrity
  • We take responsibility for our actions, acting with honesty and transparency in all our endeavours.
  • Accountability and ethical conduct are paramount to maintain the trust of the public and the mathematical sciences community.
Impartiality
  • We work with objectivity, free from bias or favouritism.
  • In promoting the mathematical sciences, we maintain a commitment to fairness and impartial judgement.
Partnership
  • We actively seek to engage with a broad range of stakeholders, as collaborative partnerships are essential to achieving our goals.
  • We recognise and value the diverse ideas, perspectives, and experiences that others bring to the mathematical sciences.
Inclusivity
  • We actively promote an equitable, inclusive and diverse mathematical sciences community, with a key focus on improving the representation of, and opportunities for, groups in the mathematical sciences community that are under-represented.
  • We embrace diversity in its many forms, fostering an inclusive environment and taking an inclusive view of what is meant by the mathematical sciences community.
Innovation
  • We encourage creative thinking and innovation in the mathematical sciences to solve complex problems and generate opportunities.
  • An environment that fosters creativity is essential for advancing the field and addressing societal challenges.

 

List of Supporters

  • Dan Abramson OBE​
  • Sir John Aston​
  • Anthony Browne MP​
  • Lord Browne of Ladyton PC​
  • Rt Hon Greg Clark MP​
  • Howard Covington​
  • Dame Caroline Dinenage MP​
  • Sir Simon Donaldson FRS​
  • Edwina Dunn OBE​
  • Rob Eastaway, Maths Inspiration​
  • Prof Alison Etheridge OBE FRS​
  • Sir Anthony Finkelstein CBE FREng
  • Perdita Fraser, National Numeracy​
  • Dr Jamie Frost, Dr Frost Maths​
  • Prof Hannah Fry HonFREng​
  • Prof Peter Goddard CBE FRS ​
  • Lord Hague of Richmond PC FRSL​
  • Sir Martin Hairer KBE FRS​
  • Andy Haldane CBE FAcSS FRS FRSA​
  • Dame Celia Hoyles OBE FAcSS ​
  • Clive Humby OBE
  • Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE
  • Prof Nick Jennings CB FRS FREng​
  • Prof Jon Keating FRS​
  • Prof Frank Kelly CBE FRS​
  • Dr Ewan Kirk​
  • Dame Frances Kirwan DBE FRS
  • Stephen Metcalfe MP​
  • Sir Paul Nurse OM CH FRS ​
  • Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS HonFInstP​
  • Prof Simon Peyton Jones OBE FRS
  • Lord Rees of Ludlow OM FRS FREng​
  • Selaine Saxby MP​
  • Simon Singh MBE​
  • Sir David Spiegelhalter OBE FRS​
  • Sir Martin Taylor FRS​
  • Prof Ulrike Tillmann FRS​
  • Rt Hon Sir Stephen Timms MP​
  • Eben Upton CBE FREng ​
  • Prof Wendelin Werner ForMemRS​
  • Lord Willetts PC FRS​
  • Baroness Wolf of Dulwich CBE