Member of the Board of Trustee-Directors x4

Harpenden, United Kingdom

About Rothamsted Research

Rothamsted Research (‘RRes’) is the oldest agricultural research institute in the world. They work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries. Their founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and they are known for their imaginative science and their collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices.

Through independent science and innovation, they make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In terms of its economic contribution, the cumulative impact of their work in the UK exceeds £3000 million a year (Rothamsted Research and the Value of Excellence, by Séan Rickard, 2015). Their strength lies in their systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, supported by unique capabilities and interdisciplinary teams, and strengthened by partnerships.

Rothamsted is home to three unique resources. These National Capabilities are open to researchers from all over the world: The Long-Term Experiments, Rothamsted Insect Survey and the North Wyke Farm Platform.

They are strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with additional support from other national and international funding streams, and from industry.

You can find further details on their website https://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/

Member of the Board of Trustee-Directors of Rothamsted Research - Role Profile

The Board of Rothamsted Research (‘RRes’) is legally and ethically responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the Charity and has a duty to ensure that it provides a service that is a public benefit and meets the needs of its beneficiaries and target audience whilst complying with all relevant charity and company legislation and the requirements of its funders. Day-to-day management is delegated to the Chief Executive Officer and Institute Director, who the Board is expected to support in the development of strategic direction and policies, objectives and goals. The Board is collectively responsible for promoting the success of the Charity by directing and supervising the Charity’s affairs. Its role is to provide leadership within a framework of prudent and effective controls, which enable risk to be assessed and managed.

Rothamsted Research are seeking a diversity of candidates for the positions of four Trustee Directors, each with experience and skills in one of the following:

  • legal
  • entrepreneurship and innovation
  • farming and
  • science (to be aligned with the work undertaken by Rothamsted Research and not from a competitive scientific field).

Trustee-Directors are not expected nor required to be an expert in all the fields requiring decisions, but they must be prepared to address the issues. This requires that they have read and understood the background information available or presented at Board and Committee meetings and be prepared to contribute to these. If necessary, the Trustees may choose to seek external professional advice to enable them to make more informed decisions.

Specific to the role-holders will be their ability to provide mentoring to the technical and operational staff at the institute. Trustee-Directors will play an external role that will focus on networking, policy influencing and raising the profile of Rothamsted Research. Potential candidates will therefore be politically astute and aware, with excellent diplomatic and networking skills and experience within their given field of expertise.

Candidates must also be committed to the mandate of Rothamsted Research, upholding the goals, values and principles of the institute.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Member of the Board of Trustee-Directors will have the following key responsibilities:

Business Service Delivery

Developing and advancing the Institute’s strategic priorities

  • Contribute to the development and delivery of RRes’s strategy and vision
  • Build a strong relationship with Board members and the Institute management team
  • Contribute to the approval of a realistic and credible business plan in a timely manner

Governance and Resource Management

Contributing to Institute functionality

  • Ensure the Board fulfils its duties to ensure the sound financial health of RRes, with systems in place to ensure financial accountability
  • Ensure the Board and Institute act within their Charitable Objects, complying with the requirements of the Charity Act, Companies Act and any other relevant legislation
  • Ensure the Board and Institute work within the agreed policies and procedures adopted by RRes, including compliance with the adopted Articles and Members Agreement

Working with Others

Strategic decision making, representing the Institute externally and influencing at the most senior levels across the board

  • Raise RRes’s profile in creating and enhancing links with potential funders, industry and partners
  • Champion RRes at external functions, meetings and events

Leadership and Management

  • Implementing and driving a vision and strategy for the Institute and ensuring key deliverables of business plan are aligned to the overall strategic plan
  • Establish and build a strong, effective and constructive relationship with the Institute management team, ensuring they are held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives

Required Competencies

  1. Drive for Quality:  Takes calculated risks to achieve goals
  2. Strategic Thinking: Shapes organisational vision in context of wider external environment and creates new paradigms
  3. Creativity and Innovation: Leads, enables and shapes change
  4. Developing Self and Others: Creates environment that helps self and others to develop, and anticipates future learning beyond current job requirements or needs
  5. Professional Conduct: Nurtures a climate of mutual respect
  6. Productive Relationships: Proactively builds team spirit
  7. Effective Communication: Actively develops and protects the reputation of the department/ Institute

Qualifications & Experience

  • Professionally qualified with a relevant degree/postgraduate qualification
  • Five to ten years’ experience in a senior leadership role in a public or private institution. Experience in a research institution would be advantageous.
  • Experience of managing and developing a significant team or teams of experienced professionals

Terms of Appointment

This is a four-year fixed term position, renewable once. The roles are unremunerated although reasonable travel expenses will be paid for candidate who are based in the UK.

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by Rothamsted Research to undertake this assignment. 

Application form