Plant Science Advisor

Greater London

South London Botanical Institute

Charity governance plus SLBI Science Advisory Group membership to help ensure the scientific foundation for our plant education, development of the garden, herbarium, learning programmes and future programming.

Closing date for applications

Who we are

‘Discovering plants, enriching lives, sustaining the future’
South London Botanical Institute (SLBI) is a unique botanical educational charity, currently changing and developing at an exciting pace. Our volunteers and supporters have a valued and vibrant tradition of sharing their passion for plants and fungi and their environments. We have a popular programme for schools and young people, as well as talks, education and leisure learning for adults. The (unpaid) trustee group is drawn from the membership (as per our governing documents). They are friendly, hands-on, demonstrate different skills and take on different lead-responsibilities. They are supported by a small and committed part-time staff-team. Since 1910, SLBI has been based in a Victorian house in Tulse Hill SE25, with a botanic garden, and boasts a specialist library and a herbarium (pressed plant specimens). Income comes from investments, fees, sales, donations and grants. We are currently delivering a NHLF Resilient Heritage grant to develop our financial and organisational sustainability and are looking for new trustees who will contribute to a new business plan and help us achieve those aims.


We are currently delivering a NHLF Resilient Heritage grant to develop our financial and organisational sustainability and are looking for new trustees who will contribute to a new business plan and help us achieve those aims.

As well as having a collective responsibility for governance, we are looking for somebody who can lead and advise on Plant Science policy.  

Science is at the heart of the charity’s mission to share its passion for plants.   However, it is an ongoing challenge for trustees to balance the competing demands of governance, popular appeal and scientific focus.  A trustee, with designated responsibility, will strengthen our scientific mission and improve communications throughout the organisation by sharing your knowledge and insight with committed fellow-trustees, staff members & volunteers and help them in their planning for the future. 

You will be part of our Science Advisory Group (SAG), which meets twice a year. 

SAG is a group of plant science professionals, most of whom are not trustees.  Their role is to support the science at SLBI, maximise the efficient use and sharing of our resources and ensure integration across the organisation.  There is scope for the role to be broadened.

You will chair some SAG meetings and are likely to be asked to have a role in planning and minuting meetings, circulating minutes and ensuring good communications between SAG & other aspects of SLBI.  There may be opportunities to recruit further SAG members.

For this role, you will:

·        Demonstrate at least 3 years training, skills and professional experience. An interest in non-flowering (cryptogamic) plants would be particularly useful, but conservation and curatorial skills frommost fields would also be welcome

·        Support the aims and activities of SLBI.

·        Have an understanding of charity management;

·        Be willing to volunteer at events;

·        Enjoy working with and sharing skills with others

·        Have sufficient time and availability to make the necessary commitment (see below);

·        Have good communication skills and access to email;

·        Be willing to undertake appropriate training (at SLBI’s expense) if appropriate;

·        Be willing to become a member of the SLBI (membership £18 pa);

·        Be eligible to be a trustee in UK;

·        Be willing to sign the trustees’ governance code;

·        be willing to have DBS check;


·        Familiarity with local area might be an advantage.  

Time commitment: About 8 hours pcm including: trustee evening meetings in Tulse Hill every 2 months, SAG meetings twice a year, keeping in touch by email and lead-responsibility work. Your commitment might include further meetings with fellow-trustees or others, and might vary from month to month, depending on circumstances.   Trustees can work from home as well as attend SLBI premises.  Trustees contribute to business planning, governance, strategic direction and other developmental matters and are also encouraged to take part in events and activities as volunteers and/or participants. 

To express interest:  Please request an application form from Nell Gatehouse, Administrator: [email protected]  Please return this with a brief CV, a summary of relevant skills, reasons why you are interested in working with us and contact details of 2 referees.  Closing date for applications: 14 Feb 2020.  Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed.  Successful applicants will then be asked to attend 1-2 trustee meetings before being coopted (subject to references).  Coopted trustees stand for election at the AGM, typically held in October.  Trustees can stand for re-election after a 3-year term.



Closing date for applications

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