The Scottish Parliament's think-tank

Vacancy: external directors

Cartoon image of online meetingImage by Nicky Hayes from Pixabay

UPDATE 11 AUGUST 2021: The deadline for this vacancy has passed. Thanks to all those who have been in touch. We will communicate with applicants directly.

The positions

Scotland’s Futures Forum, the Scottish Parliament’s think-tank, is seeking two external directors to join its Board. As company directors, Board members are responsible for the governance and strategic direction of the Futures Forum and its programme of work.

Directors come from two general categories: MSPs and non-MSPs. MSP directors are nominated by their party to provide parliamentary input to the work of the Futures Forum. External directors bring experience of different aspects of civic Scotland, including academia, the third sector, the arts and industry.

Directors are required to show a strong commitment to, and an understanding of, the value of strategic and long-term thinking within Scotland. They are expected to support the work of the Futures Forum, promote it within their networks, and occasionally host events.

The position of director is not remunerated and is held for an initial term of five years with extension mutually agreed by the individual director, the Presiding Officer as Chair of the Board, and the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.

Our aims and objectives

Scotland’s Futures Forum is the Scottish Parliament’s futures think-tank. It works on a non-party basis to promote research and to stimulate debate on the long-term challenges and opportunities that Scotland faces. We aim to inform MSPs and those who work with them and enable them to consider the effects of decisions taken today on Scotland’s long-term future.

Looking beyond the five-year electoral cycle and away from party politics, the Futures Forum seeks to bring fresh perspectives, ideas and creativity on how Scotland might prepare now for the future. We host discussions and seminars and present ideas to engage Scotland’s parliamentarians and challenge their thinking.

The Futures Forum is formally constituted as a company limited by guarantee (SC288940) owned wholly by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body – the body responsible for ensuring that the Scottish Parliament is provided with the property, services and staff it requires. The SPCB provides 100% of the Futures Forum’s funding.

More information can be found on the About section on our website.

Experience required

Directors are required to show a strong commitment to, and an understanding of, the value of strategic and long-term thinking within Scotland. They will bring a strong and diverse network who can engage with the Futures Forum’s work.

In particular, applications are encouraged from candidates with expertise and/or experience in any of the following areas: science and technology, the biodiversity and climate emergencies, and democracy and society.

Board members are expected to be able to work across the political spectrum and demonstrate an understanding of the Scottish political context.

The Futures Forum aims for its Board to be as representative of Scottish society as possible.  We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic candidates as they are currently under-represented on the Board.

Practical details

Board meetings take place four to five times a year and last around 90 minutes. They currently take place online on Mondays.

Board meetings are currently held online. On occasion, meetings may be held in person at the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh, but directors will be able to attend virtually.


Expenses required of board members will be met, although it is expected that these will be limited as much of the work will be undertaken online.

A general induction will be arranged. Further relevant training can be provided if required.