UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology — Chair

The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is looking for a new Chair to help drive the continued growth of the organisation, providing strategic guidance and acting as a champion for the Centre's environmental, social and economic impact. The new Chair will have proven experience in a leadership role. Ideally, they will have a strong understanding of environmental policy or environmental science and research. (Deadline: 9 February)

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Time commitment: c. 12-16 days per year

Remuneration: £13,000 per year

Deadline: Friday, 9 February 2024


The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) is an independent, not-for profit research institute carrying out excellent environmental science with impact. 

Its 500+ scientists work to understand the environment, how it sustains life, and the human impact on it so that, together, people and nature can prosper. The organisation has a long history of investigating, monitoring and modelling environmental change, providing the data and insights that governments, businesses and researchers need to create a productive, resilient and healthy environment. 

Based across four UK sites in Bangor, Edinburgh, Lancaster and Wallingford, UKCEH has an annual income of around £55 million.

Role specification

As the Chair of Trustees, the successful candidate will provide leadership, guidance, and strategic oversight to UKCEH, ensuring the organisation achieves its objectives and remains at the forefront of environmental research in the UK and beyond. They will play a vital role in enhancing the institution's reputation, impact, and financial sustainability. The responsibilities of the Chair will include:

  • Governance Leadership: Provide strong leadership to the Board of Trustees, ensuring the highest standards of governance, transparency, and accountability
  • Strategic Planning: Collaborate with the Board and senior management to develop and implement the strategic vision for UKCEH, and supporting the executive in setting clear objectives and performance metrics
  • Financial and Risk Oversight: Work closely with the Finance Committee and executive to oversee the financial health of the organisation, ensuring prudent financial and risk management, sustainability, and compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Advocacy and Representation: Act as an ambassador for UKCEH, representing the organisation with major stakeholders, including Governments at home and abroad, and at conferences, events, and in the media to raise awareness and support for its work
  • Support and Evaluation: Provide guidance and support to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and senior leadership team and conduct regular performance evaluations of the CEO

Person specification

The UKCEH is looking for a new Chair to help drive the continued growth of the organisation, providing strategic guidance and acting as a key champion for the Centre's large societal impact. They will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Proven experience in a senior leadership role from any sector
  • Strong understanding of environmental policy or environmental science and research
  • Good knowledge of government processes, policy and decision-making
  • Excellent strategic thinking and decision-making abilities
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, able to enthuse and engage people at all levels internally and externally
  • Ability to work collaboratively with Board and Executive colleagues and drive change
  • Financial acumen and understanding of budgetary processes
  • Excellent understanding of the challenges of commercialising scientific research

Board composition

Lord Cameron of Dillington (outgoing Chair)
Prof. Sir Charles Godfray FRS
Prof. Iain Gillespie
Will Galgey
Linda Naylor
Benet Northcote
Neil Scragg
Alexia Tye
Lynette Eastman
Dr. Stuart Wainwright (Chief Executive)

Terms of appointment

This role is remunerated at £13,000 per year and travel expenses will be reimbursed for site visits and in-person meetings. Board meetings are held quarterly, and the Chair will be expected to make regular visits to all UKCEH sites (Bangor in Wales, Lancaster, Edinburgh and Wallingford) and be involved in other activities as appropriate.


Board meetings are normally held in London or on site, but attendance can be virtual

The deadline for consideration is 9 February 2024.

If you would like to register your initial interest in this role, please fill in the form below.

Please note that registering your interest via this microsite does not constitute a formal application for the role. If it would be worth submitting an application, a member of the Nurole team will be directly in touch ahead of the deadline to let you know and invite you to apply through the Nurole platform.