UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology — Trustee Director (Science)

UKCEH seeks a Science Trustee who will play a pivotal role in overseeing its work and financial resilience by monitoring and guiding its scientific endeavours. They will bring extensive experience from academia, industry, or a related area, with a track record of significant contributions to the scientific community within environmental science. They will contribute to the strategic vision of UKCEH and ensure its research remains at the forefront of ecological and hydrological innovation. (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 include:

Scientific Strategy and Vision:

  • Contribute to the development of UKCEH’s scientific strategy, aligning it with its mission and long-term organisational objectives
  • Provide insights and recommendations on emerging trends, methodologies, and technologies relevant to environmental research
  • Advise on strategic interaction with key parts of the science community – including funders, academia and industry in the UK and internationally
  • Providing oversight and assurance of policies related to scientific integrity and responsible research conduct

Scientific Excellence and impact:

  • Advocate for, and uphold, scientific excellence within UKCEH
  • Provide advice on opportunities to increase the impact of scientific outputs and products, including through commercial or spin-out routes
  • Support efforts to attract and retain top-tier scientific talent, fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

Collaboration and Networking:

  • Facilitate collaborations and partnerships with external scientific institutions, industry partners, and stakeholders
  • Represent UKCEH at scientific events to enhance its visibility in the scientific community and promote its work

Communication and Outreach:

  • Assist in communicating complex scientific concepts to diverse audiences, including board members, stakeholders, and the public
  • Support efforts to engage with the broader community and raise awareness of UKCEH’s scientific contributions.

Person specification

The new Science Trustee joining the Board of UKCEH will be a recognised leader within environmental science. They will bring extensive experience from academia, industry, or a related area, with a track record of significant contributions to the scientific community. This could include a history of leadership of major scientific programmes or membership of impactful scientific committees. Some experience or involvement in the management of a science-related organisation is highly desirable. 

They will be able to provide insights and assurance in the best interest of the organisation, considering both scientific and governance perspectives. They will also have a commitment to ethical conduct in scientific research and the ability to provide assurance for the application of policies related to scientific integrity and responsible research conduct.

UKCEH is open to receiving applications for whom this may be a first time Trustee role. What is essential is that they are recognised as someone with high-level experience of environmental research within an applied, solution-focussed organisation.

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 unremunerated, and reasonable, pre-agreed travel expenses will be reimbursed. The appointment is for a three-year term, which can be renewed twice at the discretion of the Board.


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.