James Lind Alliance Adviser (Self-Employed Independent Facilitator)

Apply here for the James Lind Alliance Adviser vacancy by midnight on Sunday 18th June 2023.

Role Description

As a JLA Adviser, you will work closely with the JLA Coordinating team at the National Institute for Health and Care Research Coordinating Centre based at the University of Southampton.  The work of the JLA Coordinating team includes recruiting and training JLA Advisers, helping prospective PSPs to prepare for the priority setting process, allocating Advisers to work with PSPs, managing communications activity, and overseeing the external JLA Advisory Group.  The JLA Coordinating team and the JLA Advisers form the JLA Executive, which oversees the JLA method as set out in the JLA Guidebook. 

How JLA Advisers work with PSPs:

The JLA PSP process starts by those wishing to run a PSP submitting a completed readiness questionnaire to the JLA coordinating team. Once the coordinating team is satisfied that the PSP is prepared and has the resources in place, the Coordinating team allocates a JLA Adviser to work with that PSP.  Allocation of Advisers to PSPs is based on a judgement of Adviser availability and workload. The role of JLA Advisers is to encourage, support and facilitate PSPs, ensuring that the core values of inclusivity, evidence base and transparency are upheld in the process and outcomes.  Commitment to the principles and philosophy of the JLA is an essential part of the role.  

JLA Advisers contract directly with each PSP.  They are paid from the PSPs’ own budgets and not from the JLA or University of Southampton.  They typically work with each PSP for an average of 10 days over the 12–18-month priority setting process, based on an eight-hour day, and accounted for in a timesheet.  Once fully trained, we would expect Advisers to be working with around six or more PSPs at any one time.

The primary responsibility of JLA Advisers is to provide guidance and support for Priority Setting Partnerships.  This includes:

  • Liaison with PSPs, including lead organisations or individuals and potential partners/funders to support them in establishing the PSP. We expect Advisers may have to do up to half a day of pro-bono activity in the initial stages of contracting and establishing roles and responsibilities with a PSP
  • Chairing the PSP Steering Group (online and in-person meetings)
  • Advising on the development of a protocol for the PSP
  • Providing ad hoc advice throughout the lifetime of the PSP on JLA methodology, with reference to the JLA Guidebook
  • Chairing and facilitating the final priority setting workshop for PSPs
  • Liaison with others involved in the PSP
  • Advising on presentation and reporting of the PSP Top 10
  • Reporting to the JLA Coordinating team on PSP activity and outputs
  • Supporting other JLA Advisers with facilitation at PSP final workshops
  • Covering the work of other JLA Advisers at times when they may be unable to work with their PSPs.

How JLA Advisers work with the JLA Coordinating team at the National Institute for Health and Care Research Coordinating Centre, University of Southampton

In addition to working with individual PSPs, JLA Advisers form part of the JLA Executive Group and contribute to methodological developments, updates to the JLA Guidebook, and JLA communications activity.  Advisers support each other as a team by sharing their knowledge and experience.  They are expected to have a commitment to their own learning and development as Advisers, as well as to the development of the JLA methodology, using their experiences to help evolve and improve the priority setting process.

JLA Advisers are also part of the wider stakeholder group, known as the JLA Advisory Group, of those who have interest in, and experience of, the JLA. 

JLA Advisers attend JLA Executive and training and development meetings and perform ambassadorial activities on behalf of the JLA as agreed.  Such meetings will amount to approximately five - seven days per year and there is agreed funding from the JLA to pay advisers for this time.  Meetings are either online or face-to-face, usually in London or Southampton.  The JLA has a budget to cover costs of travel to these meetings for UK-based advisers.  

JLA Advisers are required to report to the JLA Coordinating team on their JLA activity (on a monthly basis as a minimum) and to demonstrate flexibility in responding to queries and meeting requests with PSPs and with the JLA Coordinating team.

Core competencies for JLA Advisers:

Communication skills

  • Able to appropriately and effectively communicate with a wide range of stakeholders including senior clinicians, patients, people who may be vulnerable or have particular needs, carers, and researchers, helping them to work together
  • Able to uphold the core values and reputation of the JLA and integrity of the process and methodology
  • Able to deliver effective presentations to a wide variety of groups about the JLA and priority setting processes. 

Chairing meetings and workshops

  • A proven track record of effective and impartial chairing of meetings or groups both in person and online
  • The ability to actively listen
  • The ability to be assertive and diplomatic
  • The ability to effectively manage and support the diverse range of people involved in PSPs, from senior clinicians to potentially vulnerable patients/carers and to manage sensitive situations
  • An understanding of and commitment to equality and inclusion. 


  • A proven track record of effective facilitation of diverse groups of five to 30 participants in person and in virtual settings
  • The ability to manage and enable the inclusion of the diverse range of people involved in PSPs, from senior clinicians to potentially vulnerable patients/carers
  • The skills to explain and implement the JLA method effectively
  • The ability to confidently manage sensitive situations with empathy and professionalism
  • The flexibility to adapt as unanticipated opportunities and challenges appear. 

Knowledge and experience of:

  • JLA processes and the JLA Guidebook (although training will be provided)
  • The UK's health research landscape and the health and social care community. 

Project management

  • Extensive project management experience
  • The ability to keep to deadlines and to keep other people to task and within budget
  • Organised, methodical, and able to retain a perspective for both strategy and detail. 


JLA Adviser performance is monitored throughout the contract period.   Performance is discussed at an annual review meeting with members of the JLA Coordinating team.

Advisers are expected to meet high standards of professional behaviour, delivering consistency and good practice against professional standards.  Adviser performance is reviewed against the above core competencies and the following criteria:


Advisers will uphold the JLA principles and core values of inclusivity, evidence base and transparency. Advisers are expected to uphold the reputation of the JLA and to meet consistent levels of professional behaviour in terms of working with PSPs, Steering Group members, PSP partners and the Coordinating team. This includes behaviours in meetings, correspondence, and contracting. Advisers are expected to work within the JLA Executive and in a spirit of collaboration and supportiveness. 

Responsiveness and availability

Advisers will maintain high levels of responsiveness to both individual PSPs and the Coordinating team. This includes responding to email queries, providing PSP progress updates and submitting invoices in a timely manner as well as demonstrating flexibility of availability for meetings with both PSPs and the JLA Coordinating team.

Value for money

Advisers are expected to provide good value for money to the JLA, and to adhere to agreements made about remuneration.  Advisers are expected to agree ways of working and remuneration including travel and subsistence costs where required with PSPs in a timely manner and will be expected to maintain timesheets for hours worked on individual PSPs.


Adviser performance will be assessed from the PSP feedback surveys administered by the JLA Coordinating team and from the occasional ad hoc observations of chairing and facilitation by the Coordinating team or nominated Adviser. The Coordinating team will seek feedback from individual PSPs at mid-point through the PSP process and at the end of the PSP process. Advisers are expected to achieve high levels of performance in this feedback.    


The JLA Coordinating team will provide initial training to new JLA Advisers and will provide opportunities for observing and shadowing current Advisers with their PSP activity.  Ongoing training and mentorship will be provided to support continuous improvement, learning and development.


The JLA coordinating team will contact the referees given by successful applicants.   

Contract Period

The initial contract period will be until 1st August 2024 and will commence on the date on which a purchase order is issued by the University of Southampton and a Ways of Working document signed by the JLA Adviser - target start date 1st August 2023. 


JLA Advisers are required to have Public Liability Insurance (currently £2m per occurrence) and Professional Indemnity Insurance (currently £2m per occurrence).  These levels are set by the University of Southampton.  


The daily rate for JLA Advisers is £550 (excluding VAT), plus reasonable travel expenses subject to negotiation.  This includes the daily rate to be charged to Priority Setting Partnerships and the daily rate for attendance at JLA Executive meetings and any ad hoc ambassadorial activity paid for through the JLA Coordinating team.

Communication with Staff

JLA Advisers will update the JLA Coordinating team on all aspects of relevance to their work and will respond to enquiries and requests for information in a timely manner.  


JLA Advisers will uphold the JLA principles and core values of inclusivity, evidence base and transparency.  They will also ensure the image of services remains outstanding and consistent with JLA and the wider NIHR.