This vacancy is now closed

Trustees - Edinburgh

Non-for-Profit Sector - Executive/Management
Ref: 1820 Date Posted: Monday 03 Jul 2017
Linkedin shareMore

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh are looking to appoint new Trustees for their board. 

Appointments for four years from July 2017

Scottish Ministers are looking to fill two Trustee positions on the Board of the Royal Botanic Garden (RBGE).  The appointments are an opportunity to help shape the future of one of the world’s most renowned botanic gardens.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

This is an exciting opportunity to play a part in shaping the future of one of the world’s most renowned botanic gardens.  The RBGE is an international centre of excellence in plant science and horticulture.  It undertakes a wide educational programme for every stage in life, is one of Scotland’s leading tourist destinations and is a centre for community engagement and recreation – connecting plants to people.

First and foremost, the Garden is a scientific institution focussed on understanding and conserving the world’s plant diversity.  Its work on accelerating species discovery facilitates a wide range of conservation projects around the world, and its expertise in DNA sequencing provides important insights into plant evolution and ecology.  This research is underpinned by one of the richest collections of wild plant species in the world, an herbarium containing three million preserved plant specimens and a highly acclaimed specialist library and archive.

The Board

There are currently seven members of the Board of Trustees out of a statutory maximum of nine.  Members have collective responsibility for overseeing the RBGE and pursuing its statutory remit.  The Board is responsible for agreeing the organisation’s strategy, ensuring that the highest standards of governance are complied with; and to hold the Regius Keeper (and senior staff) to account for the management of the organisation and the delivery of agreed plans on time and within budget.  It should take due account of advice given by the Regius Keeper who is not a member of the Board.


RBGE is a dynamic organization that remains at the forefront of global and national plant science, education and collections’ management by ensuring it is outcome focussed and responds to the needs and opportunities of a changing world.  This requires the Board to have a sound understanding of how to identify and seize business opportunities and to be adept at strategic planning including the development and delivery of the Scottish Government approved RBGE Corporate Plan.  One position requires applicants to demonstrate:

  • understanding opportunities/seeing the bigger picture
  • communication and influencing, using networks and opportunities

RBGE’s ambition is to use its assets even more profitably, to further increase its self -generated income to invest in research, conservation, education and public engagement.  In particular, RBGE is keen to ensure that it maximises its financial return from being a leading visitor destination and for the second position, is seeking applicants to demonstrate:

  • realising the potential of physical and intellectual assets

It would be desirable if applicants for both positions could demonstrate:

  • analysis and decision making
  • constructive and supportive challenge;
  • governance and financial awareness;
  • commitment and empathy for mission and objectives of RBGE

Time Commitment

The Board meets four times each year.  There are typically two half-day meetings, one full day meeting and one spanning two days including a visit to a regional Garden  Trustees will be expected to sit on at least one, but not necessarily more, of the Committees, and where possible these meet on Board days.  The basic time commitment is likely to average around eight to ten days per year.  If you would like to discuss the time commitment required, please contact the Chair of the Trustees, Sir Muir Russell, on


Trustee appointments are not remunerated.  However, travel and subsistence costs as well as reasonable receipted dependant carer expenses incurred in relation to the Board's work will be reimbursed.  The mileage subsistence rate paid by the Gardens is currently 45 pence per mile.  All other claims must be supported by a valid receipt.

Length of Appointment

The appointments will be for up to four years and there is the possibility of re-appointment, subject to evidence of effective performance.  Any appointments and subsequent re-appointments will not extend beyond a maximum of eight years.

Closing date for applications is 13 April 2017.

Scottish Ministers welcome applications from groups currently under-represented on Scotland’s public bodies, such as women, disabled people and people aged under 50.

For information regarding the Royal Botanic Gardens 'Our Achievements' please seee the link

Appointed on merit; committed to diversity and equality

Application Information

An application pack and full details on this and other public appointments can be found at the public appointments website

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website, please contact Scottish Government Public Appointments, on Freephone 0300 244 1898 by email at