SAGES Advisory Board
Terms of Reference


The Advisory Board (AB) for SAGES is a non-executive body appointed by the SAGES partner Principals (or their nominated representatives). It provides advice and strategic guidance on overall alliance implementation, direction and coherence. It is not required to undertake quality reviews of the research being undertaken within SAGES, but it is asked to comment upon proposals for changing the strategic direction of the alliance.


The Board provides its comments to the Executive Committee of Principals (or their representatives). It comments upon:
1. The quality and delivery of research. In particular it will:
a. Comment upon the strategic direction of the research groupings supported by SAGES;
b. Comment upon the quality of outputs from SAGES-supported groupings;
c. When appropriate, comment upon outputs and the quality of applications for membership and associate membership of the SAGES alliance.
2. The operation of SAGES. In particular it will:
a. Advise on progress towards milestones and objectives;
b. When requested, advise about appointments being made by SAGES;
c. Where appropriate, bring to the attention of SAGES issues that it should seek to address concerning its interaction with stakeholders and the wider community;
d. Provide comment about the development of the SAGES Graduate School;
e. Advise on progress and (re)structuring of the Research Themes and For a;
f. Be responsible for reviewing annual reporting to the SFC.


i. There will be a maximum of 10 members of the Advisory Board, and a minimum of 6.
ii. The Advisory Board will have an independent Chair of such stature and experience in a field relevant to environmental geoscience or social science, education, public policy, industry or public service to command wide respect.
iii. A Deputy Chair from within the Advisory Board will be appointed by the Chair. The Deputy Chair will support the Chair in leading the AB and may chair meetings in the absence of the Chair.
iv. The Director of Research at the Scottish Funding Council, and a senior representative of Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will be ex officio members of the AB. All other members will serve in a personal capacity and will not act as representatives of any particular organisation or group.
v. Other members of the AB will be drawn from the scientific and science user communities.
vi. The term of the initial appointment will be 3 years with possible extension for up to a further 2 years.
vii. Changes in AB membership will, as far as possible, be phased to ensure that approximately a quarter of the members are replaced each year.
viii. The Chair may request that a member of the AB is replaced should they fail to attend more than three consecutive AB meetings or no meetings over an 18 month period.
ix. A meeting of the AB will be quorate if a minimum of 5 AB members including the Chair or Deputy Chair are present.

Mode of operation

The full AB will meet once per year and will convene interim business via email. The Director, Innovation Manager and Graduate School Convenor of SAGES will attend AB meetings to report and to receive advice. The secretariat for the AB will be provided by the SAGES Administrator. The Scottish Funding Council’s policies on vested interests will apply. The AB will operate in an open and transparent manner. Agendas and minutes of meetings will be published, with redactions where necessary to preserve confidentiality.

SAGES Advisory Board members

Details to follow…