Careers at SAMS Group

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) is Scotland's premier independent marine science organisation generating new knowledge for the benefit of the marine environment and society since 1884. Founded by Sir John Murray with a complex history, a wide mission, and a range of activities and relationships, we are one of the oldest oceanographic organisations in the world.

SAMS currently employs c 155 staff and is based at the Scottish Marine Institute near Oban on the west coast of Scotland. We promote a collaborative, inspirational and enthusiastic culture to which everyone contributes and within which staff are able to develop to their full potential. As a research institution, freedom of thought and expression are key values but this has to be within a framework of mutual respect for all members of staff regardless of their age, disability, gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

We aim to help all our staff develop their skills as they help us succeed in our organisational objectives. With our fantastic working environment, friendly staff community and excellent reward package we attract academic staff from all over the world and professional and support staff from all over the UK.


SAMS Group comprises three main elements - research, enterprise and education which link together to sustain our development into the 21st century. As a Scottish charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in Scotland, SAMS is ruled by Articles of Association and a Memorandum of Association agreed and amended at the Annual General Meeting.

Our activities are directed by an independent Council, and decisions are implemented under the leadership of the Director, who is accountable to Council. Council is supported by a board with a number of committees.

SAMS is also a learned society with approximately 450 members for whom we organise a number of activities.


SAMS researchers are committed to increasing our knowledge and stewardship of the marine environment through research, education, and knowledge transfer. Our science works for a greater understanding of ocean systems, improved predictions of coastal futures and a sustainable ocean-based economy.

Our research activities encompass the entire breadth of marine science. Much of our research is highly multidisciplinary in nature and we therefore organise our work in three key research areas: Ocean Processes, Changing Coasts and Blue Economy. Our core strategic research programme is Oceans 2025 in which we collaborate with six other UK marine science organisations.

SAMS is a Collaborative Centre of the Natural Environment Research Council, and hosts the National Facility for the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa.


SAMS operates two wholly owned subsidiary companies: SAMS Research Services Ltd (SRSL) delivers our commercial activities, while the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology (ECMB) is a business incubator facility that supports the growth of marine biotechnology companies.

The income generated by these operations is key to our future success.


Education programmes are delivered as an academic partner in the University of the Highlands and Islands under whose auspices we deliver a BSc (Hons) Marine Science and train over 40 PhD students. SAMS is also a member of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS), and leads the MASTS Graduate School.


SAMS research infrastructure includes two research vessels, aquarium facilities, a deep-sea unmanned underwater vehicle systems facility, modern and well-equipped research and teaching laboratories, conference and meeting rooms, a diverse range of sampling and analytical equipment, on-site accommodation for undergraduates, workshops, and a well stocked research library. SAMS campus is connected to SWAN - the Scottish Wide Area Network - giving us 1 GBP internet.