Trustees (Non-Executive Directors)


Are you fascinated by the marine world?  Would you like to use your skills, creativity and energy to help us improve knowledge of the marine environment and promote its importance and value?  Are you interested in widening your horizons?  If any of these apply to you, you might just be the person we are looking for to join our Board.

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

The Scottish Association for Marine Science has a positive attitude towards diversity.  We are committed to equality of opportunity and inclusivity amongst our staff and students: we aim to achieve balanced gender representation in our Board membership.


We are committed to:

- The creation of new knowledge about the marine environment through undertaking world leading and innovative research;

- The dissemination of that knowledge, not only through inspirational formal educational programmes, with our principal 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.


SAMS research spans the breadth of marine science, tackling the Grand Challenges facing the World today.  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.


We are seeking new TRUSTEES to join the SAMS Board, commencing in Summer 2024.


Individuals are sought who can demonstrate one or more of the following:

- An ability to operate strategically and collaboratively towards common goals.

- Background in marine / environmental science research

- Experience of higher education

- Background in finance, risk/compliance and/or law.

- Background in media and communication, and/or public engagement

- Senior operational role in a university, research or third sector organisation.

- Experience of building effective philanthropic / fundraising relationships and networks.

- Demonstration of a strong commitment to equality and diversity.


These positions are unremunerated.  Appointments will be for an initial three-year term that may be extended for up to a further three-years.  The minimum time commitment, including preparation for and participation in formal committee meetings, is approximately 10 days per annum.  There are a number of sub-committees of the Board and most Trustees are also members of these committees, including as Chair, for which extra time commitment of two or three days is required.  Most meetings are held in Oban, although recent experience has shown that virtual meetings can also be very effective.  Should travel expenses be incurred these will be reimbursed.  

To arrange an informal discussion about the posts, please contact Susan Watts (Deputy Chair) at 


Application for the role is by:

- covering letter; and

- a short CV

To be sent to by the deadline for applications of 11th March 2024.  Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview virtually in April, with the possibility of face-to-face interviews later.  More information about SAMS, including governance and composition of the Board of Trustees at:


SAMS Group is committed to being an equal and open organisation. Diversity and inclusion are important to us, and we strive to remove any barriers that may prevent people from applying to join us. We encourage applications from all backgrounds, and from all who share our values and can help us to broaden our knowledge and range of ideas.