UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology — Trustee Director and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee

UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) seeks a new Finance Trustee who will chair the Finance and Audit Sub-Committee, ensuring a robust accounting, reporting and control environment. The successful candidate's expertise in finance will contribute to the strategic decision-making process, ensuring the financial sustainability and integrity of UKCEH. (Deadline: 9 February)

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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

UKCEH is looking to expand its Board of Trustees as it expands its reach and impact. Trustees have a strong alignment with the vision and mission of the charity and proactively help to work towards its success.

Trustees are willing to:

  • Provide advice, guidance, and challenge to the evolution of the charity's strategy, plans and projects
  • Bring independence of judgement, the capacity to bring a fresh, external but constructive view to decision making
  • Play a full role as a charity Trustee, including attending Board meetings and other committee meetings, as needed - general duties and responsibilities of a Trustee are found here
  • Commit to operating in a non-executive, rather than executive, function
  • Bring passion, interest and enthusiasm for the charity's vision and values - helping it extend its influence and reach

Other specific roles and responsibilities will include:

Financial Oversight:

  • Reviewing the financial performance of the organisation
  • Overseeing key accounting and control matters
  • Providing guidance and insights on financial matters
  • Chairing the Finance and Audit Sub-Committee, a sub-Committee of the main Board which meets quarterly and has delegated responsibility for a range of financial and treasury management matters

Strategic and Financial Planning:

  • Contributing to the development of strategies aligned with the organisation's mission and goals, ensuring that the financial framework supports these strategies and maintains overall financial sustainability
  • Collaborating with the finance team and Board members to establish financial objectives and key performance indicators
  • Reviewing and approving annual budgets, monitoring financial performance against budgeted targets

Risk Management:

  • Overseeing key organisation risks and specific understanding of financial risks
  • Staying informed about financial and regulatory developments that may impact the organisation.

Compliance and Governance:

  • Ensuring that appropriate financial policies are in place and comply with relevant legislation and regulations
  • Working closely with the Finance and Audit Committee and external auditors to ensure a robust and effective system of internal controls
  • Ensuring that clear and appropriate financial delegations are in place

Investment and Treasury Oversight:

  • Collaborating with investment managers to oversee the organisation's investment portfolio
  • Monitoring investment performance and advising on investment strategies
  • Overseeing treasury management

Stakeholder Engagement:

  • Engaging with other trustees, senior leadership, and external stakeholders to communicate financial information effectively
  • Liaising with external stakeholders including the auditors and investment manager
  • Acting as a financial ambassador, representing the UKCEH in financial matters

Person specification

The new Finance Trustee joining the Board of UKCEH will ideally be financially qualified. Possession of a recognised professional qualification in finance or accounting, such as ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant), or equivalent is highly desirable.

Applicants will bring extensive experience in financial management, with a strong understanding of financial principles, accounting standards, and regulatory requirements. 

Since they will chair the Finance and Audit Sub-Committee, familiarity with governance practices, financial controls, and risk management, either through prior Trustee experience / board exposure / relevant training will be extremely valuable.

Additionally, the successful candidate will have a strong commitment to ethical conduct in financial matters, ensuring transparency and accountability in financial practices.

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 unpaid, however reasonable pre-agreed travel expenses will be reimbursed. Attendance is required at quarterly Board meetings and quarterly Finance and Audit Sub Committee meetings. In between meetings the post holder may be expected to meet ad hoc requirements and have periodic meetings with key staff members. 


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.