Imperial War Museum (IWM)- Academic Trustee

Body: Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The position is not salaried but reasonable expenses will be paid.
Time Requirements: All Trustees are expected to allocate sufficient time to the role. Likely total time commitment will be up to one day per month. There are four full Board meetings per year (generally March, July, September and December). Some additional time will be required to study papers as well as to attend events, away days, other committee meetings as appropriate and any representational engagements.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

The Prime Minister has appointed Margaret MacMillan as the Academic Trustee of the Imperial War Museum for a term of four years, commencing on 1 February 2019.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    11/10/2018 at 00:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    Interviews on 22nd November & 3rd December

  • Announcement

    12/02/2019 at 10:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

IWM is seeking an academic, with a particular interest in twentieth century and/or contemporary conflict (post 2001) to join the Board of Trustees.

IWM is currently embarking on the second phase of the masterplan for IWM London which will see the creation of new permanent Second World War and Holocaust galleries, due to open in 2020, and provision of a new learning centre.

In addition, IWM continues to acquire material relating to its wider remit and we will be reviewing our Collections Development Strategies over the coming year to ensure that our collections are correctly prioritised and meaningful.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Candidates for this role will be an academic with substantial experience in an institution of higher education and research, and with an expertise in a field of twentieth century and/or contemporary conflict.

They will be able to demonstrate a track record in public communication of research.

Additionally, all Trustees need to demonstrate:

  • a knowledge of and commitment to IWM, and support of the purposes and values of the Museum, including its public educational purpose;
  • achievement in public life, including in the private or voluntary sectors;
  • proven ability to take responsibility and demonstrate sound judgement in strategic decision making;
  • excellent representational and communication skills, including the ability and willingness to effectively challenge;
  • a clear understanding of the principles of corporate governance in the public sector.


Additional desirable qualities:

The following criteria would be desirable but are not essential:

  • Evidence of work or research in the areas of conflict resolution, social change or war economies rather than the course of war would be especially relevant;
  • Experience of guiding the creation of research strategies;
  • Good knowledge of research funding sources and the willingness to support fundraising activity.


Additional Information

Members of the Board have corporate responsibility for the general management and control of the Museum, subject to the terms set out in the Imperial War Museum Acts (1920 and 1955), subsequent amending legislation and other governing documents.   It is their responsibility also to ensure that the Museum complies with any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds.   Specifically, the Board:

  • Determines the general policy of the Museum;
  • Appoints the Director-General of the Museum, with the approval of the Prime Minister;
  • Monitors and oversees the Director-General’s management of the Museum. The Director-General is the Board’s chief executive and the Accounting Officer of the Museum;
  • Has legal responsibility for the buildings, collections and financial assets of the Museum and their care and management;
  • Approves the Museum’s Strategic Plan;
  • Monitors the process of Risk Management within the Museum;
  • Publishes an annual report and account, audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General.

Trustees are expected to understand and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life as defined by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.  Individual Trustees should therefore also be aware of their wider responsibility as members of the Board – namely to comply at all times with the Code of Practice for Board Members of Public Bodies as adopted by the IWM; and with the rules relating to the use of public funds and to conflicts of interest; and to act in accordance with the requirements of Charity law where this applies.

Trustees must be positive advocates for the Museum.  They will exercise drive with tact and discretion as members of a corporate body with a collective and strategic role.

Committees or Boards on which any Trustee might be asked to serve include the Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee, and the IWM Trading Company Ltd.


How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • A CV of no more than two sides of A4; this should provide details of your education and qualifications, employment history, directorships, membership of professional bodies and details of any publications or awards.
  • A supporting statement of not more than two sides of A4, setting out how you meet the criteria – please make sure you refer to the contents of this document;
  • The Conflicts of Interest Form and the Diversity Form. The Diversity Form will be kept separately from your application and Conflicts of Interest Form, and will not be seen by the selection panel in order to meet the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Completed applications should be sent to:   Please put ‘Imperial War Museum’ in the subject title. Alternatively, they can be posted to Public Appointments Team, 100 Parliament Street, London, SW1A 2BQ.

We will acknowledge receipt of all applications, and will deal with your application as quickly as possible.

Please note that the closing date will be Thursday 11th October at 12pm.

DCMS does not reimburse travel expenses.

IWM Academic Trustee
Code of Conduct for Board Members April 2011
COI Guidance - Charitable Museums and Galleries
Conflicts of Interest Form 2018
Message for the Secretary of State
OCPA Complaints Procedure (2016)
OCPA-July-2018-Monitoring-Form- FINAL (1)
Privacy Notice- Public Appointments 2018 - applicants (2)
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