Frontier Science Scotland

Frontier Science Scotland (FSS) is an independent, not-for-profit specialised contract research organisation (CRO) based in the Scottish Highlands. Our rural location belies our strong global links, not least with our Frontier Science affiliates in the USA and Greece.

Since 2002 we’ve been collaborating with researchers from pharmaceutical companies, academia and health services to ensure important clinical research is carried out with integrity. Our unique position as a not-for-profit partner means we are able to maintain independence and focus on the integrity of the data and analyses we deliver.

Our team of experts in data management, biostatistics and quality are highly experienced and committed, providing our clients with input into the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials. They regularly contribute to peer-reviewed medical and statistical journals and present at leading academic and industry conferences and meetings. Over and above this core work, FSS is focused on advancing the education of its employees, the wider research community and the general public. Several of our employees serve as volunteers on national and international panels related to our work, such as trial steering committees, funding review panels, human research ethics committees and independent data monitoring committees.


Our Mission

Our mission is to use a collaborative approach to provide effective, agile solutions and expertise in the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials and research; advancing the knowledge of clinical trials, research and statistical science for public benefit.


To be a globally recognised centre of excellence for clinical trial services, advancing the education of clinical trials methodology and statistical science.

Our Values


We are honest, ethical and trustworthy in our work and relationships with colleagues, clients and collaborators. Thanks to clear leadership and the exacting quality standards that are a given in our industry, we all know what’s expected of us in this regard. We pride ourselves on being a dependable partner who places the integrity of clinical research at the core of what we do.


We are passionate about collaborative working and believe it’s essential to the success and sustainability of the clinical research ecosystem. We regularly demonstrate this model through our strong external partnerships as well as through our supportive internal team environment. As well as supporting each other internally, we collaborate closely with our customers and partners too: we believe that seamless collaboration is the secret to success in clinical trials.


We’ve been building transparent and effective relationships with leading research organisations for over 20 years, so it goes without saying that we put our customers’ needs first, but our razor-sharp focus on meeting our customers’ expectations is worth reinforcing. We are diligent, detail-oriented, and we understand the importance of reinforcing our high-quality work with consistent and continual communication.

Continuous learning

Advancing the education and learning of our employees and of the public has been heart FSS’s mission since our inception. Our passion to help evolve the clinical research field means we are always learning, developing and sharing in the interest of the public good. It’s why we’re widely published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, actively contribute to academic and industry conferences and volunteer on national panels related to our work.


Our leadership team at Frontier Science Scotland blends substantial subject matter expertise with the business, strategic and people skills required to achieve our vision. Our senior leadership team alone has over 150 years of combined experience.

Cherie McGibbon

Cherie McGibbon


Julie Jackson

Julie Jackson

Head of Quality

Darren Gibson

Darren Gibson


Robin McConnell

Robin McConnell

Head of Data Management

Eric Riley

Eric Riley


Shona Fielding

Shona Fielding


Board of Trustees

Chris Robertson

Chris is a Professor of Public Health Epidemiology in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Chris is the Chair of our Board of Trustees.

Darren Gibson

Darren Gibson joined FSS in January 2022 with over 20 years of international experience in the health, medical research and innovation sectors. Immediately prior to joining Frontier Science Scotland, Darren spent three years as Director of Research and Innovation at the Department of Health in Western Australia (WA), where he facilitated, supported and promoted high-quality research and innovation.

Karen Bailie

Karen is a retired Consultant Haematologist, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) West of Scotland Transfusion Centre. Karen is also an Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh.

Richard Gelber

Richard is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, in the Department of Data Science, Biostatistics division at Harvard School of Public Health and in the Department of Biostatistical Science at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston.

Eleanor McFadden

Eleanor McFadden founded FSS and spent 20 years as Managing Director. She remains on the Board of Trustees and continues to play an important role in Frontier Science Scotland’s direction in this part-time role. Eleanor has authored a book – Management of Data in Clinical Trials – and served as the President of the Society for Clinical Trials. She has also served on many ad hoc review panels for various organisations, such as the US National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK, the Irish Health Research Board and the Welsh Government, and acted as chair of the International Panel for the UKCRN review and registration of UK Clinical Trials Units. She has won several awards, including the Scottish Life Sciences Business Leader of the Year in 2015.

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