Trustees (Non-Executive Directors)


Do you want to make a difference? Are you fascinated by nature and in particular the marine environment?  Do you come from a marine science, higher education, business, philanthropic or entrepreneurial background and are interested in stretching your boundaries?  Would you like to use your interests or background and leadership to improve knowledge of the marine environment, promote its importance and help it?  If any of these apply to you, you might be just the person we are looking for.

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) is a marine research organisation and learned society, founded in 1884, and is one of the world’s oldest oceanographic institutions.  Based on the west coast of Scotland, near Oban, Argyll, SAMS is a registered charity and Company Limited by Guarantee.  We are committed to:

  • The creation of new knowledge about the marine environment through undertaking World leading and innovative research.
  • The dissemination of this knowledge, not only through inspirational formal educational programmes, with our principal education partner, the University of the Highlands and Islands, but also the enhancement of societal awareness through our public engagement activities.
  • Using our knowledge to provide solutions for the ethical and sustainable use of marine resources, both in our local environment and internationally.

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SAMS research spans the breadth of marine science, tackling the Grand Challenges facing the World today, as well as local concerns.  We work on diverse interdisciplinary research questions, focusing on three major challenges:

  • To discover the physical and biological processes that drive the marine environment
  • To describe and quantify how coastal environments respond to ever-increasing pressures
  • To develop a sustainable blue economy.

The spread of experience and skills that are sought for the Board is broad.  Individuals are sought who can contribute to at least one of the following areas:

  • Clear demonstration of the ability to operate at Board level, most likely through previous strategic/board-level experience, preferably previous experience in a Non-Executive Director role.
  • Senior role in a university, research, commercial or entrepreneurial organisation; preferably in marine, environmental, education or related sectors.
  • Experience of building effective funding and/or income-generating A record of achievement in marketing and/or philanthropic fundraising would be welcome.
  • Demonstration of a strong commitment to equality and diversity, preferably with experience of leading positive culture change.
  • An ability to work strategically and collaboratively at a senior level with knowledge of excellent corporate governance.
  • Significant organisational business acumen.
  • Ability to lead change successfully and positively influence individuals and organisations.
  • Strong networking skills preferably with a significant commercial network.

Specifically, we are seeking a new Trustee with particular experience in the Higher Education Sector and also a Trustee with marine science expertise, to replace experience lost through natural turnover.  The expectation is these Trustees will join the Education and Research sub-committees, respectively.  However, the third opportunity is entirely open.

SAMS Trusteeships are unremunerated, although travel expenses will be reimbursed.  Appointments will be for an initial three-year term that may be extended for a further three-years.  The minimum time commitment, including preparation for and participation in formal committee meetings, is approximately 10 days per annum. Sub-committee membership will increase this by an extra 1 to 2 days.  The majority of meetings are generally held in Oban.  However, recent experiences have shown that virtual meetings can be very effective, and it is likely these will continue; however, there is an expectation that some meetings will resume in the laboratory in Oban, thus travel time will need to be added to this.

The deadline for applications is 30th April 2021.  Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview virtually around mid May 2021.  More information about SAMS, including governance and the current composition of the Board can be found here.

And our strategy can be viewed at here: SAMS Strategy 2020 - 2025

Application is by covering letter and short CV to be sent to sams.secretary@sams.ac.uk (01631 559272) from whom further information can be obtained. 

The Scottish Association for Marine Science has a positive attitude towards equality, diversity and inclusion.