Careers at SAMS Group

SAMS is one of the UK's leading and oldest independent marine research organisations with five major research themes: Arctic research; marine processes and climate; marine renewable energy; prosperity from marine ecosystems; and industrial impacts on oceans. SAMS delivers taught and research degree and training courses, has outstanding scientific capabilities and infrastructure, and is also a Learned Society with 450 members.


SAMS one of the UK's leading marine science research organisations, and one of the oldest oceanographic institutions in the world, committed to increasing our knowledge and stewardship of the marine environment through research, education, maintenance of research infrastructure, and knowledge transfer. SAMS currently employs ca 140 staff and is based at the Scottish Marine Institute near Oban on the west coast of Scotland.

Our research activities encompass the entire breadth of marine science. While much of our research is highly multidisciplinary in nature, we are organised in four departments: Physics, Sea Ice and Technology; Biogeochemistry and Earth Science; Ecology; and Microbial and Molecular Biology. 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 Scientific Diving and the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa. SAMS is also an academic partner in UHI Millennium Institute (the future University of the Highlands and Islands) under whose auspices we deliver a BSc (Hons) Marine Science and train ca 15 PhD students.

We were founded in 1884 by Sir John Murray and, 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 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, new aquarium facilities, a deep-sea lander development centre, a dive unit, modern and well-equipped research and teaching laboratories, conference and meeting rooms, a diverse range of sampling and analytical equipment, an on-site hostel, workshops, and a well stocked research library.

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.

SAMS is also a member of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS), and leads the MASTS Graduate School.

The Learned Society

SAMS is further a learned society with approximately 450 members for whom we organise a number of activities. As a Scottish charity (No 009206) and a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in Scotland (SC009292), 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.