Competition to appoint a Trustee to the Board of Governors and Members to the Management Committee of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium

Date published: 15 October 2020

A competition to appoint a Trustee to the Board of Governors and Members to the Management Committee of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) has been launched.

Competition to appoint a Trustee to the Board of Governors and Members to the Management Committee of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
Competition to appoint a Trustee to the Board of Governors and Members to the Management Committee of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium

A competition to appoint a Trustee to the Board of Governors and Members to the Management Committee of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) has been launched.

This is an open competition and applications are welcome from a wide range of people with an interest in public service.

Applications from women, ethnic minorities, young people and people with disabilities are particularly welcome.

AOP is a special, historic and unique organisation, which over many decades has captured the public’s interest, enthusiasm and imagination in astronomy and science. It has played host to a range of high profile programmes and exhibitions, as well as providing a significant and extensive education programme which ranges from pre-school to adulthood, and to both a local and international audience.

The Planetarium itself is a major tourist attraction, and a key driver for the local economy. In 2019 AOP hosted major celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of man walking on the moon, this included a weekend of events on the Armagh Mall featuring a seven metre wide replica moon. In addition AOP carries out internationally recognised frontline scientific research, for example in 2019 this included the hosting of an international astronomy conference on hydrogen deficient stars. AOP had also planned significant events for 2020/21 but these have had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions on audiences.

All applications for appointment are considered strictly on merit. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 6 November 2020. A Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) will be used. The aim of the GIS is to provide applicants with a disability the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities beyond the initial application stage.

Further information, including an application pack, can be obtained at NI Director by e-mailing Public appointments.

You can also contact the Department on the following: Telephone: 028 9081 9417, Text Relay Service: 18001 028 9081 9417.                            

Notes to editors: 

1. This is a competition to appoint a new Trustee to the Board of Governors and three Members to the Management Committee of AOP The appointments are all for a term of up to five years from 1 January 2021 with the final decisions resting with the Minister for Communities.

2. Governors and Management Committee Members receive no remuneration, However travel and subsistence allowances are payable in line with NI Civil Service rates. The Board meets once per year (June) and the Management Committee four times a year (March, June, September and December), all in AOP offices in Armagh during the daytime. The time commitment for a Trustee on the Board of Governors is at least three days per annum, with the time commitment for Management Committee Members being at least 12 days per annum.

3. The appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice for Ministerial Public Appointments in NI in accordance with the requirement of the Commissioner for Public Appointments NI. All appointments are based on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published.

4. The Department for Communities is committed to the principle of public appointments based on merit with independent assessment, openness and transparency of process. The Department is committed to equality of opportunity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified people irrespective of religious belief, gender, disability, ethnic origin, political opinion, age, marital status, sexual orientation or whether or not they have dependents. The Department particularly welcomes applications from women, young people, people from an ethnic minority and people with a disability for these positions as these groups are currently under-represented at Board level across NI.

5. Media enquiries to DfC Press Office on 028 9082 3516 or email: Press Office.

6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

7. Follow the Department on Twitter @CommunitiesNI

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