Jul 172020

Non-Executive Director - The James Hutton Institute

Business / Organisation Name: The James Hutton Institute
Business / Organisation Sector: Not-for-Profit
Business / Organisation Website: https://www.hutton.ac.uk/
Business / Organisation Type: Other
Role Title: Non-Executive Director
Remuneration: Expenses only

Role Description

Recruitment of Non-Executive Directors - The James Hutton Institute

The James Hutton Institute is a well-respected and globally recognised research organisation delivering fundamental and applied science to drive the sustainable use of land and natural resources.

The Institute combines strengths in crops, soils and land use, and environmental research to make a major contribution to the understanding of key global issues, such as food, energy and environmental security, and developing and promoting effective technological and management solutions to these.

The past five years have seen significant changes in the context in which the Institute delivers its world-class science. Greater collaboration with a wider range of funders and the private sector is being encouraged to deliver the innovation agenda and create wealth.

The Board consists of twelve Non-Executive Directors and, with several due to retire, the Institute wishes to appoint three new members to its experienced and diverse Board by the end of 2020.

Full Candidate Briefs are available. To help the Institute fulfil its core purpose, we are looking for candidates with a variety of skills and experiences, used to operating at Board level.

Expertise in one or more of the following areas is required:

  • Environmental, Climate Change, Energy and/or interdisciplinary science
  • Commercial/entrepreneurial skills
  • Dealing with Governments at a local, national or international level
  • Qualified Chartered Accountant (required to serve on the Audit and Finance Committee)
  • Socio-economic science
  • Substantial experience of agriculture

The James Hutton Institute has a positive attitude towards diversity including gender balance amongst its staff, students and Board members and is proud to have achieved the Scottish Government’s 50/50 by 2020 objective.

This is a fixed term role of an initial three year posting

To obtain a briefing document please contact: Connor Donaldson, HR Assistant: [email protected]

Application Details

Main Purpose

Participate fully in the activities of the Board and Sub-Committees to ensure that the organisation meets its commitments to stakeholders.

Main duties of post holder

  • Be aware of and fulfil governance responsibilities and conduct board business effectively and efficiently
  • Approve the strategic direction of the Institute and take significant decisions relevant to the achievement of stated objectives.
  • Debate, challenge, and advise the Executive on the range of scientific, political, and financial issues of importance to the Institute
  • Hold the Executive to account ensuring Institute is managed effectively, ensuring solvency and safeguarding assets and adherence to Employment Code
  • Participate as a member of appropriate sub-committees in line with the relevant terms of reference for each.
  • Participate in all meetings according to accepted rules of order ensuring that decisions are reached in an orderly, timely and democratic manner.
  • Ensure compliance with EU and UK legal requirements including employment, H&S, intellectual property and information rights laws
  • Ensure compliance with company laws by ensuring internal control systems are in place, risks are managed, powers delegated appropriately
  • Act as an ambassador for the Institute and its work with key stakeholders in government, industry, the scientific community and wider society in Scotland and beyond
  • Participate in the Board engagement process will all staff throughout the organisation

Time Commitment

There is an expectation that the time commitment will be in the region of 1 – 2 day per month.


A clear understanding of the operating context of the organisation

Essential Qualifications/ Experience

Depending on specific requirements at the time of recruitment this may include one or more of the following :

  • Commercial/entrepreneurial skills
  • Knowledge of the UK research and innovation landscape
  • Science background relevant to the Institute mission
  • Qualified CA
  • Experience of providing advice to Government on policy and strategies
  • Knowledge and experience of the agricultural sector in the UK and internationally
  • Clear demonstration of the ability to operate at Board level most likely through previous strategic/Board level experience
  • Can demonstrate a strong commitment to equality and diversity.

Desirable Qualifications/ Experience

  • Previous experience in a Non-Executive Director role
  • Previous experience at Director / Executive / senior management level in a science based organisation.
  • Experience of leading positive culture change in similar size organisations.

Essential Skills

  • An ability to work strategically and collaboratively at a senior level with knowledge of excellent corporate governance.
  • Significant business and political acumen
  • Ability to lead change successfully and positively influence individuals and organisations

Note: Due to the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions it is possible that interviewing of candidates will be held remotely. You should therefore ensure you have access to a broadband connection and ideally a PC or laptop.

We will not consider the use of 3rd party recruitment agencies for the sourcing of candidates for this position.

The James Hutton Institute is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

The James Hutton Institute is a: Stonewall Diversity Champion; Athena SWAN Bronze Status Holder; Disability Confident Committed Employer and a Living Wage Employer.

Closing Date: 07/08/2020
Contact Name: Connor Donaldson
Contact Telephone: 01382 568 915
Contact Email: [email protected]

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