Director of Science

Richmond, Surrey (GB)
05 Jul 2018
End of advertisement period
03 Aug 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a global resource for plant and fungal knowledge and the world’s leading botanic garden. We are a major visitor attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  We have two sites, one at Kew Gardens near Richmond in London and one at Wakehurst in Sussex, and 1000 employees and 500 volunteers. We have an extensive international network of individual partners and consortia and our scientific activities span 110 countries worldwide.

Science has always been at the heart of Kew's purpose. Our collections, our people and our partnerships enable us to make an invaluable and highly relevant contribution to some of the biggest issues facing the global population. Our Science Strategy 2015-2020 provides focus and clarity on Kew’s scientific priorities, while a major re-organisation of our scientific resources has ensured a strong foundation from which to deliver our three strategic priorities. This, together with clear direction and support from the wider leadership makes this a genuinely exciting time to join Kew Science.

RBG Kew is now seeking to appoint an outstanding scientist to succeed Professor Kathy Willis as Director of Science. The Director will provide strategic leadership and direction across all areas of Kew Science, including the continued implementation of the Science Strategy 2015-2020 and the development of the next Science Strategy. Reporting to the Director of RBG Kew, the successful candidate will provide leadership and management to the Science Directorate, as well as contributing to the leadership of Kew more broadly, as a member of Kew’s Executive Board. The post-holder will also be expected to build new and innovative research programmes – including a programme of personal research – in line with the major challenges outlined in Kew’s Science Strategy and using Kew's extensive collections.

The successful candidate will have an outstanding international reputation in a relevant research area, along with a proven track record of research excellence and funding success through competitively secured sources. S/he will demonstrate excellent communication and people management skills, including mentoring, motivating and developing staff. The appointee will also bring significant leadership experience, including financial and resource management and stakeholder engagement. The post-holder will be based at Kew Gardens in London. Salary will be competitive and commensurate with the seniority of the role. 

For more detailed information and/or a confidential discussion, please contact Tomas Borsa via  or +44 (0)207 340 6220. To download the candidate brochure or apply online, please visit, quoting reference 3637. 

The deadline for applications is 09:00 GMT on Friday 3rd August.