The RSPB Centre for Conservation Science is responsible for the science that informs the delivery of the RSPB’s conservation programmes for species, habitats and landscapes. If you would like to be part of a dynamic, supportive and enthusiastic team of Conservation Scientists and are keen to use your science to inform policy and practice, then this might be the position you’ve been waiting for.
What’s the role about?
We are seeking a Senior Conservation Scientist in our England and Wales team to develop a research programme to underpin the RSPB’s wetland conservation work. This includes species-focused conservation particularly for breeding waders and the management and restoration of wetland and coastal habitats. Experience of designing and managing applied ecological research, preferably on birds, is essential. The role requires an ability to work closely with conservation staff to develop research studies to meet their evidence needs.
Over time, you will manage and develop staff up to Conservation Scientist grade, collaborate with external partners and academics, and supervise post-graduate students. You will recruit and manage small teams of field staff, and a key part of the job is providing technical advice to colleagues.
Location within England is flexible with a preference for southern or eastern England and for applicants who might need to relocate, we can be flexible about the timing of relocation. You will be expected to travel occasionally to RSPB offices and other locations across the UK.
Essential skills, knowledge, and experience:
A PhD or equivalent relevant experience.
Broad knowledge of current scientific issues relevant to conservation, and conservation science, gained through experience of running scientific projects
Recognised expert or specialist in wetland systems and related conservation science with knowledge of how to provide practical and scientific guidance in this area.
Broad and deep knowledge of UK species ecology and ecological principles, appropriate to the post.
Experience of designing robust science projects and knowledge of appropriate data collection methods, and specialist up-to-date knowledge of how to apply complex statistical procedures to enable robust interpretation of data and demonstrable track record of scientific publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Knowledge and ability to influence others to have best chance of securing external and internal funding.
Practical field skills appropriate to the post, such as experience with breeding waders.
Self-motivated and able to work efficiently under pressure to meet deadlines, with the independence to prioritise own working schedule and those under your line management.
Practical scientific skills of a standard that ensures the safe and ethical collection of high-quality data and the ability to respond appropriately to changing circumstances in sometimes tricky field conditions.
Great written and verbal communication skills such that you can communicate with a range of audiences. Confident and capable of being a public face for RSPB science to the media and social media.
Desirable skills, knowledge, and experience:
Knowledge of wetland creation and management
A high level of identification skills for birds and other taxa, with a specialism in waders.
Knowledge of monitoring non-avian wetland taxa such as invertebrates or plants
Ability to translate conservation science into conservation policy and practise.
Able to work in collaboration with external people and organisations on sometimes tricky and confrontational issues.
Able to effectively manage several projects and staff.
Line management experience.
Supervision of PhD and/or MSc projects students.
Knowledge of licensing and regulations related to fieldwork.
Initiative and scientific horizon scanning to conceptualise and propose innovative projects to answer novel and important conservation questions using science.
Good links with a wide range of external academic specialists and a well developed link with a University or academic institution.