• Image showing the wonderful location of SRSL's headquarters at HIE's Malin House on the shore with flowering meadow in front and the main SAMS research and teaching buildings in the background
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    Our commercial wing needs you:
    We are looking for a dynamic new chairperson for SRSL

Chair of SAMS Research Services Ltd (SRSL)

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) is an internationally recognised marine research institute, registered charity and an academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands based at Dunstaffnage near Oban. This cross sector positioning of our organisation maximises the opportunities to capitalise on our core knowledge base; we deliver excellent learning opportunities for students and early career researchers, research which supports sustainable and ethical use of our ocean resources and leading edge solutions and knowledge to our commercial customers via our commercial subsidiary - SRSL.  With a current annual turnover of approximately £11M and a staff of around 150, SAMS has ambitious plans to further develop SRSL as a major contributor of revenue to underpin research growth from its current turnover of c£2M.

SAMS and SRSL are therefore looking for an enterprising, committed and energetic non executive with the dynamism and commercial experience to take these plans forward.  Our ideal candidate would have sufficient knowledge and/or experience of the research environment to be able to work effectively with academics in a commercial partnership.

The primary role is as Chair of the SRSL Board but you would also be a full member of SAMS Governing Council and a Trustee.

The time commitment for this position is approximately nine days per year plus preparation and travel time, with meetings typically held at SAMS.  A remuneration of £5,000 per annum is paid, together with travel and subsistence expenses.  Appointments will be for an initial three-year term that may be extended for a further three-years.

A full job description and person specification is available on request. Informal enquiries and applications (cover letter and CV) should be sent to Professor Nicholas Owens, Director, Nick.Owens@sams.ac.uk or telephone 01631 559272.

Chair of SRSL board job description

The deadline for applications is 31st May 2019


Personal competencies


  • >Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to establish good working relationships with the Board members of both SAMS and SRSL
  • >Commitment to and empathy with the purpose, principles and objectives of SAMS
  • >Diplomacy, including the ability to manage conflict in a constructive manner.
  • >Networking, influencing and advocacy – proven ability to form and maintain working relationships at senior levels of government, commercial marine sector, and other organisations as appropriate
  • >Ability to contribute to decision-making processes that ensure objectives are achieved and standards are maintained.
  • >An ability and willingness to provide leadership to the organisation


  • >Knowledge, understanding and empathy with the Academic/Research community
  • >Good understanding of the current political environment in Scotland and the UK.


Knowledge and experience


  • >Strategic leadership experience in commercial environment.
  • >Financial management expertise
  • >Proven experience of chairing large decision making meetings
  • >Knowledge and expertise in matters relevant to the successful operation of a complex organisation.
  • >Expertise in an area relevant to the delivery of commercial success in the marine economic sector ideally Aquaculture or Decommissioning
  • >Good understanding of business principles and risk management.


  • >Understanding of the principles of good governance in the context of a research institution.