Natural History Museum - Scientific and Public Engagement Trustees

Body: Natural History Museum
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Culture, Media & Sport, Science & Technology
Location: Board meetings normally take place at the main site in South Kensington, London. In recent years the May Board meeting has been held at another UK location and the Annual Trustees’ Strategy Day is usually held in London but remote from the Museum.
Skills required: Communication / Media / Marketing
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: Trustees provide their services on an honorary basis and are not remunerated, except for expenses reasonably incurred in performance of their duties.
Time Requirements: There are four Board meetings per year and an annual strategy day. Occasionally extraordinary meetings are convened to consider urgent issues or decisions. In addition Trustees will sit on other committees as necessary as well as attend events at the Museum, other representational engagements, and, where possible or desirable take part in recruitment for senior management positions. Trustees will need to allocate additional time to study papers prior to meetings. The total time varies but on average it is estimated to be at least one day per month.


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

Harris Bokhari and Yadvinder Malhi have been appointed by the Prime Minister as Trustees of the Natural History Museum for four years from 11 May 2020 to 10th May 2024.

Date: 26/05/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Natural History Museum’s purpose is to challenge the way people think about the natural world, its past, present and future.


The NHM is the guardian of one of the world’s most important natural history collections. Through our own unrivalled expertise and by opening up access and participation for all, we

are unlocking answers to the big issues facing humanity and the planet:

  • The origins of our planet and life on it, and the impact of change;
  • The diversity of life and the delicate balance of ecosystems that ensure the survival of our planet;
  • Sustainable futures, for example the security of our food supply, the eradication of disease and the management of mineral and ore scarcity.


The Trustees of the Museum have statutory duties under the British Museum Act 1963 and the Museums and Galleries Act 1992 for the general management and control of the Museum and for the appointment of the Director. Within the framework of these statutory duties, the role of the Trustees is primarily to establish Museum policy, review performance and endorse appointments to key management positions.


Trustees participate in the Board’s decision making processes including preparation for and attendance at all meetings of the Board and of any Board committees or other Museum structures to which they are appointed. 


A Trustee must be committed to the objectives of the Museum, uphold Museum policies and act as an ambassador and advocate for the Museum including leading with activities to generate funding from the corporate sector, trusts and foundations and other philanthropists.


Person Specification


The Museum is seeking to appoint two trustees: 

  • Scientific trustee.

 The Board includes scientifically qualified Trustees to oversee the Museum’s programme of scientific works and investment in scientific facilities. The appointed trustee will have direct experience of research in the life sciences and of management responsibilities in a significant organisation. They will be required to lead and participate in a peer review of the Museum’s scientific research and collection management. 


  • A Public Engagement trustee.

The appointed Trustee will have relevant experience related to the Museum’s public facing work programmes. The Museum is particularly interested in developing its formal and informal learning programmes especially with schools who may not regularly engage with the Museum and in expanding its programme of activities around the UK through partnership with other organisations. The Museum is also committed to expanding and deepening engagement with a wider variety of audiences, and in particular new and diverse audiences. 


All Trustees must  demonstrate: 

  • A knowledge of and commitment to the Natural History Museum and support of the purpose and values of the Museum;
  • Proven ability to take responsibility and demonstrate sound judgement in strategic decision-making;
  • A commitment to diversity in the Museum’s governance, workforce and public offer;
  • A commitment to actively lead/support the Museum’s fundraising campaigns;
  • Excellent representational and communications skills;
  • Experience of making an impact in the private, public or voluntary sector;
  • Appreciation and understanding of financial risk management; 
  • A clear understanding of the principles of corporate governance and the role of Museum Trustees.


Additional Information

Trustees are expected to uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life as defined by the Nolan Committee. These principles are: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. In accordance with this commitment, Trustees must declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests upon appointment; and whenever a matter or decision arises in which the Trustee has an interest which might be perceived to prejudice their views or comments or to be in conflict with the interests of the Museum.


The Natural History Museum is internationally recognised for its dual role as a centre of scientific excellence and as a leading visitor attraction, presenting natural history to the general public through exhibitions, a programme of public events and a presence online and on social media. Its principal purposes are to discover and make available to the scientific community the information contained within its collections of natural history specimens and to entertain, interest and educate people of all ages in natural history.


The Museum is entering an exciting new phase in its development. There is an imperative to improve the conditions for storage of collections and plans to realise this by moving some collections to an offsite location, preferably with a strategic science partner. Also new digital,  analytical and genomic technologies are emerging which both increase the potential user base of the collections and enable greater information to be derived from even the oldest specimens. These changes are facilitating exciting new research opportunities. Finally, a vibrant programme of temporary exhibitions will complement a planned refit of major galleries, and plans are in place to redevelop the Museum’s gardens, creating outdoor galleries and new outdoor learning activities for young people.


The Natural History Museum is both a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), funded in part by Grant-in-Aid from HM Government provided through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and an exempt charity. Approximately half of its expenditure is derived from sources of self-generated income, including bodies awarding grants for scientific research.


How to Apply

Please send:

  • a CV of no more than two sides of A4 (Arial Font Size 12);
  • a supporting statement of not more than two sides of A4 (Arial Font Size 12 )setting out how you meet the criteria;
  • The OCPA Monitoring Form concerning your personal information and political activity; and
  • The Conflict of Interests form. 


Completed applications should be emailed to:


Please insert Natural History Museum in the ‘subject’ field line and indicate the role/s for which you have applied. Late applications will not be considered.



Further information on ‘how to apply’ can be obtained by emailing the mailbox. 


Further information about the roles:

Frances Allen: Secretary to the Board of Trustees The Natural History Museum. Email: 


Our aim is to represent UK’s cultural diversity in everything we do. The Natural History Museum strives to serve the interests of all communities equally, regardless of their religion, race, sex, age, disability or sexuality.


This process is regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ (OCPA‘s) Code of Practice. Applicants are expected to adhere to the Seven Principles of Public Life.


NHM Ministerial Message
NHM role specs - Scientific and Public Engagement trustees
Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies 2019 WEB (1)
COI Guidance - Charitable Museums and Galleries
Conflicts of Interest Form 2018
OCPA Complaints Procedure (2016)
OCPA-July-2018-Monitoring-Form- FINAL
Privacy Notice- Public Appointments 2018 - applicants
Privacy Notice- Public Appointments 2018 - applicants
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