About the SSRC

More information about the Social Science Research Committee.

Who we are and what we do

The Social Science Research Committee (SSRC) is an independent Scientific Advisory Committee which was established in April 2008. The SSRC was established by the Food Standards Agency under Section 5, part 3 of The Food Standards Act 1999.

The role of the SSRC is to help the Agency achieve its strategic goal of strengthening its capacity for social science research. It provides assurance to the Agency’s Board about how the Agency gathers and uses social science evidence and advice.

The SSRC has 12 members – 10 are independent expert members (including the chair) and 2 are independent lay members. Details of our current members can be found at the link below.

All SSRC members are required to declare any personal or business interest that may, or may be perceived by a reasonable member of the public, to influence their judgement. This Register of Members' Interests is available below.

The roles and responsibilities of SSRC members and the secretariat, its relationship with the Agency and how the SSRC operates are set out in the SSRC Terms of Reference and Code of Practice at the link below.

The SSRC is supported by a secretariat provided by the Food Standards Agency.
For further information on the SSRC, please contact:

SSRC Secretariat
Area 1C, Aviation House
125 Kingsway
London WC2B 6NH

Tel: 020 7276 8743

Email: ssrc@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk

What are our priorities and how are we doing?

The SSRC Annual report will cover the committee's activities, progress and future plans as well as its self assessment. Copies of annual reports published to date are available on this website.

How we work

The SSRC Code of Practice describes how the SSRC will operate. SSRC meetings are open to the public and papers, minutes and reports are published on this website. Agendas are published in advance of meetings.

The SSRC operates in accordance with the guidelines and procedures established by the Agency and to relevant guidance and rules established across Government for the operation of Advisory Committees and public bodies. These include the Agency’s Good Practice Guidelines and cross-Government guidance and principles including Guidelines on the Use of Scientific and Engineering Advice in Policy-Making; Principals for Scientific Advice to Government and Code of Practice for SACs (CoPSACs).

Appointments to the SSRC are made in accordance with the principles set out in the Nolan Report on Standards in Public Life. In making such appointments, the Agency is committed to affording equal opportunities to all those with the requisite qualifications and expertise irrespective of race, age, disability, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, transgender and working patterns. The overriding principle is that appointments are made on merit. Members are appointed for their individual qualifications and the expertise they can bring to the Committee, and not to represent any particular sectoral interest. The balance of the Committee is intended to ensure that it has a wide range of expertise on which to draw, in order to enable it to advise the Food Standards Agency effectively.

Vacancies and further information on procedures for appointments are published on this site when vacancies arise.

The SSRC has no independent budget or expenditure. The FSA covers the costs for the operation of the SSRC - this includes secretariat support, SSRC members’ fees and expenses as well as administrative costs for meetings, publications and events. These are all recorded formally in the accounts of the FSA. SSRC members are not employed by the FSA and they do not receive a salary for their work on the SSRC. They are, however entitled to claim expenses and fees for attending meetings and in some circumstances, for work between meetings. These are set out in the SSRC Code of Practice. A summary of the Agency's expenditure on supporting the SSRC are provided in SSRC Annual reports available on this website.

The SSRC operates under Agency policies and procedures on complaints, records management personal data, and charging for information. In the case of a complaint, we ask that people contact the SSRC Secretariat in the first instance; if not satisfied then they can go to Agency complaints co-ordinator. Click here for more information on the Agency’s complaints process.

More in this section