Thames Valley Police has begun the search to replace outgoing Chief Constable Sara Thornton.
She announced in December she would be leaving for a new job after nearly eight years in the role.
Her successor will be appointed by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley Anthony Stansfeld, who admitted the successful applicant would have to lead the force through a “turbulent period”.
He said: “Thames Valley Police is the largest non-metropolitan police force in England and Wales, and covers a highly diverse area composed of both major towns and cities and large areas of countryside.
“In addition to its normal roles, Thames Valley Police hosts both the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit and the South East Counter Terrorism Unit.
“Since 2010, the force has not only come through the first three-year round of financial cuts without significant cuts in the front line, but has achieved this with improved performance.
“The next three years will be more difficult, and it will require considerable leadership, innovation and resource management skills to take Thames Valley Police through this period of challenge without a drop in performance.
“I am therefore looking for an officer who can lead Thames Valley Police through this turbulent period, both regionally and nationally, and who will maintain the high reputation and esteem that Thames Valley Police is currently held in under the leadership of Sara Thornton.”
Chief Constable Thornton will leave her role at the end of March to become the chair of the new National Police Chiefs’ Council, a newly-created body which represents senior police officers.
The closing date for applicants is Monday, March 2 with interviews nine days later.
The Police and Crime Panel will review the PCC’s appointment process and consider the preferred candidate at a confirmation hearing on March 27.