Science Museum Group - 6 x Trustees

Body: Science Museum Group
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Science & Technology
Location: London and throughout the UK. Board meetings would normally take place at the Science Museum, with the exception of the annual strategy day. This tends to be held at one of the Science Museum Group’s sites.
Skills required: Accountancy, Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial, Change Management, Communication / Media / Marketing, HR, Insurance, International Experience, IT / Digital, Legal / Judicial, Major Projects, Procurement, Regulation, Retail, Transformation
Number of Vacancies: 6
Remuneration: No
Time Requirements: The total time varies depending on committee membership, but on average it will be not less than two days per month.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


Applications must be submitted by 23:00. Please note there will be a period of Recess from 22nd July - 6th September during this campaign, and subsequently the Panel sift will take place in September.


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Science Museum Group is seeking to appoint six trustees to its board (The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum). Two trustees are required to take up post in autumn 2021, with two more to join the Board in spring 2022 and the last two in autumn 2022. Trustees are appointed by the Prime Minister following a public appointments process administered by DCMS and overseen by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. 

DCMS is committed to eliminating discrimination and advancing equality of opportunity in its public appointments. We particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups, those based outside London and the South-East, and applicants who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes. This ensures that boards of public bodies benefit from a full range of diverse perspectives and are representative of the people they serve.

For the available vacancies, the Group is seeking six trustees with strong skills and expertise in the following four areas:

  • International distinction in research in a STEM subject area, either as a scientist or as a historian of science
  • Engineering and technology
  • Sustainability and climate science
  • Senior level leadership experience

The Group has four board meetings per year, one of which takes place the day before a residential ‘strategy day’. In addition, trustees are expected to attend other committee meetings as necessary as well as occasionally attending profile-raising events at our museums. The total time varies depending on committee membership, but on average it will be not less than two days per month. 

Person Specification

Essential criteria

Candidates for all roles must demonstrate:

  • a commitment to the Science Museum Group, and support of the purposes and values of its museums, including its public educational purpose;
  • proven ability to take responsibility and demonstrate sound judgement in strategic decision making;
  • excellent representational and communication skills;
  • a clear understanding of the principles of corporate governance in the public sector;
  • a commitment to preserving cultural heritage, and improving education and understanding of British and World history;
  • a strong commitment to engaging communities outside of London, and factoring UK-wide strategies into all decision making.

Additional criteria

In addition to the essential criteria outlined above, candidates for individual trustee roles must also be able to demonstrate one or more of the following additional criteria:

Additional criteria: International distinction in research in a STEM subject area trustee 

  • extensive and recent or current experience in research of international distinction in a STEM subject area, either as a scientist or as a historian of science
  • enthusiasm for engaging the public with science in an informal and inspirational way and inspiring young people about futures in science

Additional criteria: Engineering and technology trustee

  • professional background in engineering or technology
  • senior management experience in a technology-based organisation
  • experience of the railway industry would be advantageous

Additional criteria: Sustainability and climate science trustee

  • knowledge or experience of improving sustainability and resilience in areas such as energy, materials use and recycling, transport, and food production
  • an understanding and passion for quantitative and science-based approaches to creating a zero-carbon circular economy and achieving climate stabilisation and repair

Additional criteria: Senior level leadership trustee(s) 

  • strong business acumen gained through an extensive background at an influential level;
  • experience of strategy and public policy formulation while working in a complex environment
  • understanding of public service and being open for all

Other desirable criteria:

We welcome applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and experience, particularly those who can demonstrate one or more of the following desirable criteria:


  • Creative approaches to attracting new audiences to our museums

Digital expertise

  • Experience of using digital technologies to increase the reach and interactivity of audience participation
  • Informed interest in the digitisation of museum collections

Northern base

  • Active participation in the levelling up agenda for the north of England 
  • Support for the Northern Powerhouse aims
  • Understanding of the role of the cultural sector in place making

Additional Information

Diversity and inclusion
We want to ensure any appointee is committed to promoting diversity, in its broadest possible sense. This will include embedding a commitment to the principles of levelling up and championing opportunity for all across the organisation, helping to ensure that the organisation is one in which a genuinely diverse range of views can be expressed, without fear or favour.

We ask all applicants to complete a diversity monitoring form. We hope you will help us by providing this information. Your data is not disclosed to the panel, but allows us to constantly evaluate any potential barriers to becoming a public appointee and what we can do to encourage a more diverse field to apply.

Disability Confident
We guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence in your application, which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria.

If you wish to apply under this scheme, state this in the covering email or letter when submitting your application. This will in no way prejudice your application.

Reasonable adjustments
If you would like a confidential discussion regarding any reasonable adjustments ahead of making your application or during the process, please contact us. 

About DCMS
Our department operates at the heart of government on some of the UK’s biggest economic and social issues. Our mission is to drive growth, enrich lives and promote the UK to the world. We champion innovation and creativity. From the Arts to Artificial Intelligence, a quarter of UK businesses are in our sectors, and are among the fastest growing of our economy. Emerging technology is opening up new possibilities for human endeavour and self-expression. But we need to harness it, create new norms for the online world and build a strong civil society so that the benefits are shared by all. Our actions over more than 25 years of DCMS have become woven into the fabric of our nation. Today we continue to shape the world we want to live in – building a future fit for everyone.

DCMS is a ministerial department, supported by 45 agencies and public bodies.

If you are not completely satisfied
We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy. If you have any complaints about the way your application has been handled, please contact

Supporting information
This appointments process adheres to the Cabinet Office Governance Code on Public Appointments, which is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. 

All applicants are expected to abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life and the 12 Principles of Governance.

Eligibility Criteria 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you become bankrupt or make an arrangement with a creditor
  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors;
  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
  • you have been convicted of a criminal offence, the conviction not being spent for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (c. 53);
  • you become subject to a debt relief order or a bankruptcy restrictions order;
  • you fail to declare any conflict of interest.

Conflicts of Interest and Due Diligence

If you have any interests that might be relevant to the work of the Science Museum Group, and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your application. If you have queries about this and would like to discuss further please contact the Public Appointments Team.

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Advisory Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue(s) in your application. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media.

As part of our due diligence checks we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This will include us undertaking searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. This information may be made available to the Advisory Assessment Panel and they may wish to explore issues with you should you be invited to interview. The information may also be shared with ministers and the Cabinet Office.


Expenses incurred by external candidates during the recruitment process will not be reimbursed, except in exceptional circumstances, and only when agreed in advance.

Return to Search