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The Association of Science and Discovery Centres is looking to appoint a new CEO

Appointment of CEO

The Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) is seeking a visible, dynamic and progressive CEO to lead the organisation at a time when science and science engagement has never been more important. The role requires the successful candidate to lead this small organisation to realise big ambitions.

Founded in 2011, ASDC exists to champion and support science and discovery centres and museums who collectively engage with over 25 million people of all ages, genders, backgrounds and abilities and works to support the sector to encourage more diverse participation in science.

Major programmes and services provided by ASDC include:

  • Representing members’ interests before UK Government and National funding bodies;
  • Convening dialogue, learning opportunities, and information exchange through Communities of Practice and other professional development programmes and discussion forums;
  • Delivery of major national and international STEM programmes;
  • Delivering the ASDC annual conference, the UK’s leading professional development gathering for the science and discovery centre sector.

Application Information: Please submit a full CV with a covering letter explaining how your motivations, skills and experience are an excellent fit for this post. Email your application to ASDC Deputy Chair Donna Speed.

Closing Date for applications: Friday 3 December

Interviews: First interviews will be held remotely on 13 December. A final panel interview for short listed candidates will be held in person in Bristol, UK, on 20 December.

Hours of work: Full-time or part-time

Salary: £55-65k

Location: Bristol, UK, although remote working options will be considered

Reporting Structure: The Chief Executive reports to the Chair of the Board of Trustees

The Role

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports to the Board of Trustees and is responsible for providing leadership and direction to ASDC’s staff and activities. In partnership with the Board, the CEO will co-create an inspiring vision and strategy for refreshing the ASDC brand to take the association forward. The CEO will assure the operating and financial integrity of the organisation and will be called upon to represent ASDC externally with funders, partners, government and other stakeholders on a national basis.

Over its 10-year history, ASDC has developed an outstanding reputation and enjoys strong member support. As the organisation evolves, the CEO must ensure that the needs of the ASDC membership continue to be met and inspire the team to embrace new ways of thinking, identify new opportunities to reach new audiences and engage actively in national and international discussions on informal science engagement. The CEO will work to ensure that ASDC provides value to the science and discovery centre network on a national basis both through enhanced service offerings and facilitating increased collaboration across the sector. The CEO will also be a key ambassador for the sector and work to raise the profile of the sector and its contribution to society with government, public and private sector stakeholders.

The CEO will be responsible for the overall leadership and management of the organisation and the small team based in Bristol.

Key objectives

  • Work with the Board and Membership to develop a robust strategic plan that will serve as a roadmap for future ASDC programme and service offering;
  • Ensure that the needs of the ASDC members are met, retain existing members and attract new members;
  • Develop relationships with members and partners who share a commitment to advancing science engagement;
  • Collaborate with science and visitor centres on a national basis and provide leadership to the sector;
  • Build revenue and funding streams to expand ASDC’s resources beyond membership fees.

Staff Management and Leadership

  • Manage the team at ASDC and ensure it is a well-run organisation where colleagues feel consulted and valued and are able to work effectively;
  • Inspire and support the team to meet targets and to understand how their contribution is vital to achieving wider strategic aims;
  • Work with the Board of Trustees, leadership team, membership and external stakeholders to develop an inspiring vision and strategy for ASDC.

Financial Management and Governance

  • Oversee budgets, expenditure and management accounts ensuring income and expenditure is within business plan targets;
  • Be accountable to the Board of Trustees for the overall financial health of ASDC including ensuring that new funding opportunities are pursued;
  • Identify and put in place an effective risk management strategy and framework for the charity to support business plan objectives and robust financial and strategic management;
  • Foster good working relationships and ensure systems and structures are in place for the Board of Trustees to fulfil its statutory responsibilities and exercise effective control of the charity’s affair.

Fundraising and Income Generation

  • Seek out and develop new income streams, expanding the product and service offering to the membership;
  • Build strong relationships with a range of potential funders and oversee shaping and writing of major bids.
  • Liaise with UK and devolved national parliaments on behalf of the association and its membership with a view to securing core/unrestricted funding.

Candidate Profile

For this role, ASDC is looking for a creative, dynamic and inspirational leader who has a passion for science engagement. The ideal candidate will have a track record in growing organisations in income, impact, reputation and membership. They will also have some experience in membership organisations and understand the role of associations in meeting members’ needs.

Essential Skills and Experience

  • A commitment to the values and mission of ASDC and its membership;
  • A talent for drawing the best out of a skilled and passionate team;
  • Outstanding relationship building qualities;
  • An ability to be an active ambassador for the sector - projecting and cultivating enthusiasm for science engagement and the unique value of science and discovery centres with key stakeholders from industry, professional institutions, funding bodies and government;
  • Experience of guiding the strategic development of an organisation;
  • An entrepreneurial mindset and a combination of commercial and mission driven acumen.

Desirable Skills and Experience

  • A science engagement or science and discovery centre background;
  • Experience of membership associations or trade bodies.


ASDC welcomes and wants to attract, recruit and retain disabled people within the workforce, so they can benefit from their skills and talents. The office is on the first floor in a fully accessible building, with a disabled toilet.
Their work aims to inspire, motivate and encourage people from all backgrounds to feel empowered and engaged with science. ASDC has a strong commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and believes in creating a work environment where everyone feels welcome, respected, supported and valued no matter who you are or where you come from. They know that this will enable them to better serve the needs of their diverse audiences. They welcome people from all sections of the community to work with them and aim to increase opportunity and remove barriers for everyone, particularly under-represented groups.

Please email ASDC Deputy Chair Donna Speed with your application.


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  • CEO
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  • UK
  • Bristol