Academic Advisory Panel: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Academic Advisory Panel.


The panel is comprised of twelve members:

  • Professor Mathew Williams, Chief Scientific Advisor for Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture
  • Sheila Voas, Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland
  • Professor Lorna Dawson, James Hutton Institute
  • Professor Deb Roberts, James Hutton Institute
  • Professor Lee-Ann Sutherland, James Hutton Institute
  • Dr Andrew Moxey, Pareto Consulting
  • Professor Sharon Huws, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Professor Fiona Burnett, SRUC
  • Professor Davy McCracken, SRUC
  • Steven Thomson, SRUC
  • Professor Liz Baggs, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor David Reay, University of Edinburgh

It is also supported by Scottish Government officials.

The panel has two functions:

  • to provide robust evidence to support the work of the Scottish Government and the Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board (ARIOB) to develop and implement policies to support agriculture in becoming more economically and environmentally sustainable
  • to provide a mechanism for testing policy proposals and ensure they are consistent with the best available science, knowledge and expertise

Scottish Government will provide policy and secretariat support to this process and schedule business in an efficient way. The AAP will also be kept appropriately sighted on minutes and developments from the ARIOB meetings. 

Governance and accountability

The AAP will be chaired by Professor Williams, with chairing being delegated to Dr Sallie Bailey (Deputy Chief Scientific Advisor for Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture) where necessary.

In line with ARIOB, the AAPs advice will be documented through meetings’ records and associated papers, and summarised, anonymised minutes of meetings will be placed in the public domain via a dedicated webpage on the Scottish Government website. Official reports prepared by the Board will be published on the Scottish Government website. 


Membership of the AAP is on a voluntary basis. Members will not receive any remuneration for participation, but are eligible to be reimbursed for any reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred in consequence of their participation in Board functions.

Timescales, frequency and location of meetings

The AAP's terms of reference and membership will be reviewed every six months to ensure that it remains fit for purpose. 

In the initial phase of work (first three months) meetings will take place monthly but will take pressing matters by correspondence between meetings as necessary. 

In light of both Covid restrictions and the geographical spread of the membership, the AAP will meet virtually.

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