The British Science Association is seeking a new Chair of Council (Trustees), to replace Lord David Willetts at the end of his term as Chair.

Overall Purpose of the job

The British Science Association (BSA) is a charity that aims to make science a fundamental part of culture and society. Our mission is to transform the diversity and inclusivity of science; to reach under-served audiences, and increase the number of people who are actively engaged and involved in science. By unlocking the potential of a more diverse group of people, we increase our ability to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges and shape our future for the better.

The BSA organises major initiatives across the UK, including British Science Week; the British Science Festival; regional and local events through our network of Branches; the CREST Awards, and other programmes for young people in schools and colleges. We run specific activities and training for professional science communicators; we undertake research and policy work; and we seek to influence and collaborate with stakeholders including policy makers and opinion formers, leaders from across different sectors of business, industry and public life.

The BSA is governed by a Council which forms the board of trustees. Up to four members of Council are elected from the BSA’s General Committee (a strategic advisory body). Up to four Council members are appointed by Council, usually to meet a need for a particular skillset or experience. One of the appointed members acts as Deputy Chair and deals with day-to-day governance matters. Council also includes a Treasurer and up to three Vice-Presidents, one for each of our three programme teams: Engagement, Education and Cultural Development.

We are seeking a new Chair, to replace Lord David Willetts at the end of his current term.

Your role

As Chair, your role is to provide strategic oversight of the BSA’s vision and aims, and to represent the BSA to key external audiences. 

Your responsibilities as Chair will be to:

  • Represent the BSA externally and act as a spokesperson for the BSA, including with stakeholders, influencers, funders and the media
  • Set the organisation’s strategy and direction, working collectively with other Council members
  • Leverage your networks to raise the BSA’s profile and funding
  • Chair Council meetings
  • Ensure Council operates effectively, complies with relevant legislation and adheres to guidance on good governance
  • Provide support and challenge to the chief executive and her colleagues
  • Regularly review and improve the board’s effectiveness
  • Demonstrate leadership on the BSA’s commitment to improve diversity and inclusion
  • Approve the Trustees’ annual report to the UK’s charity regulators

Full details (pdf)

To apply

To put yourself forward for this volunteer role, please send a CV and a brief covering letter outlining your suitability for the role to the BSA's Chief Executive, Katherine Mathieson (details on the pdf above) by 9 November 2018.

We will prepare a shortlist for the BSA’s Council to review and then invite one or more people for an informal interview with Council members.

Please highlight any potential conflicts of interest. References and other checks will be carried out before any invitation to join Council is issued.

For an informal conversation about the organisation or the role, please contact Katherine Mathieson.