Expressions of interest sought for trustee/academic vice-president (AVP)

Professor Phil Kalra will step down from the post of trustee and academic vice-president in September 2019.

Phil writes “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as AVP, which has exposed me to several varied aspects of academic nephrology, some more challenging than others. The experience gained from being involved in the organisation of 3 consecutive annual UK Kidney Week conferences has been invaluable. I took a lead role for the 2017 Liverpool meeting and co-lead role for Harrogate last year, and the helpful feedback from delegates and industry has led to some improvements that are being applied by a wider team that is now putting the Brighton 2019 programme together.

My tenure coincided with the AVP role rotating to become chair of the UK Kidney Research Consortium, a body overseeing the encouragement and stimulation of clinical research study development through our CSG structure. As I was concomitantly chairing the NIHR CRN Renal Disorders specialty, I have had the privilege of helping to drive forward our UK renal clinical research initiative, which is envied by several analogous specialties.

Interacting with the five committees which currently compose the Academic Affairs Committee has in truth been challenging, with some a lot more active than others. There are many key issues facing Education and Training and these are being addressed with impressive drive, and we are now seeing a fresh approach in the rare diseases area that will hopefully see increased research outputs from the rare disease groups within RaDaR.

Most importantly, in of all these roles I have been strongly supported by the Renal Association trustees and by many inspirational colleagues from up and down the UK, and working with them has been an absolute pleasure. I have no doubt that whoever takes over from me in September 2019 will be able to count on that!”

The Renal Association would like to thank Phil for his commitment, dedication and major achievements in his term as academic vice president and wish him well. With several months to go we would like the successful candidate to be elected in June, to shadow Phil in his duties until September when they will take up the position of trustee and academic vice-president.

The Organisation

The Renal Association (RA) is a dynamic charity and the leading professional body for the UK kidney community. It has over 1,000 members who deliver clinical care for people with kidney diseases, kidney research or related fields. It comprises two arms within one entity. The highly recognised Renal Association UK Renal Registry (UKRR) collates outcomes from UK kidney units and publishes an annual report which guides service delivery and is involved in education, research and improving the quality of patient outcomes and experience. The Renal Association professional arm supports lobbying in kidney matters (dialysis, transplantation, chronic kidney and rare kidney diseases), high quality clinical care, education and research. It aims to support kidney doctors, patients and allied healthcare workers.

The RA is a registered charity with over 30 employees based in Bristol.

The Opportunities

Following an external governance review earlier this year, the RA seeks to strengthen its trustee board with the appointment of non member trustees to help lead the Association as it continues its exciting development and delivers its strategic plan, which will be launched in April 2019. Major changes are already underway including the appointment of a CEO over the whole entity (currently providing operational leadership over the Registry arm). The secretariat supporting the professional arm was recently brought in house. There are huge opportunities ahead for the RA and this role. Leveraging the opportunities for ‘Big Data’ epidemiologic research by the RA Registry and rare disease research (RaDaR) in addition to overseeing the development of online educational material for members are key. Supporting the RA aims of enabling trainees in research, QI and professional development and building closer relationships with the multi-professional team societies will bring further benefits to the whole community.

The Person

The RA Board is seeking expressions of interest from outstanding people to take responsibility for the governance of the RA’s academic activity.

Applicants should be clear, strategic thinkers interested in the important charitable aims of the RA. You should be able to demonstrate objectivity, willingness to contribute time and energy and willingness to be accountable to the organisation.

You will be expected to attend the trustee board meetings (four face to face meetings per year plus monthly board teleconferences) and will be asked to attend and/or chair sub-committee meetings or task and finish groups including the programme committee for UK Kidney Week®. Experience of chairing meetings is essential.

For more information about the RA and this role please see the role description and candidate information pack.


Deadline for expressions of interest is: Friday 26th April
Elections will take place: Tuesday 7th May to Tuesday 28th May

How to Express Interest

To submit an expression of interest, please send the following to renal@renal.org:

  • Letter stating your interest and explaining how you believe your skills and experience match the requirements of the role, directly addressing the criteria as outlined in the person specification
  • 2 page CV

Equality & Diversity

The RA is committed to creating and sustaining a positive, fair and mutually supportive environment. We accept, respect and value people with diverse identities and backgrounds and believe our differences make us stronger and more effective in achieving our goals. We ensure appointments are made on the recommendation of a transparent, balanced and appropriate panel, are made on the basis of merit, and encourage applications from all suitably qualified and eligible candidates.

For further details about the RA please see its website.

To arrange an informal discussion about the role, please contact Chief Executive, Ron Cullen, via email.