Ocean Career: Marine Conservation Scientist at RSPB

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Centre for Conservation Science is responsible for the science that informs delivery of the RSPB’s conservation programmes for priority species, habitats and landscapes. If you would like to be part of a large dynamic and enthusiastic team of conservation scientists and are keen to use your science to inform RSPB’s policy and practice, particularly in relation to seabird conservation, then this might be the position you've been waiting for!

What's the role about?

We are seeking a Conservation Scientist to work as part of a team in developing and delivering the science needs of projects relating to seabird conservation across the UK. This will require an adaptable and flexible approach to what you work on and will include developing novel monitoring techniques, carrying out fieldwork, conducting analyses of extensive datasets, and promoting the scientific work of the RSPB through a variety of written outputs, conference presentations and digital channels.

You will provide scientific and technical expertise in marine ornithology to identify emerging issues and associated research questions to underpin RSPB’s conservation activity, and to provide scientific advice and input to colleagues across the RSPB. Over time, you will manage and develop staff up to Senior Research Assistant grade, collaborate with external partners and academics, engage volunteers and supervise Masters/PhD students, which will ensure that RSPB has the knowledge, skills and partnerships required to deliver excellence in conservation science whilst ensuring data quality, ethical and health and safety standards.

This is an exciting opportunity for a scientist to have a direct conservation impact. The role offers considerable scope for development and innovation, and for collaborative working with partner organisations. The RSPB provides a supportive and flexible working environment (including home or hybrid working), with commitment to the training and personal development of its staff and volunteers. Ideally you will be based in Scotland but there could be flexibility around location or the timing of relocation. Work will require travel to other RSPB offices and other locations across the UK.

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • A PhD, or equivalent experience, in a relevant subject.
  • Knowledge of current conservation issues and practice, and conservation science, gained through experience of leading a scientific project.
  • An understanding of the ecology and conservation of seabirds, including experience in appropriate data collection methods, and their associated licensing and regulations.
  • Able to design and manage projects effectively to a robust scientific standard.
  • Practical field skills appropriate to the post and the ability to undertake a variety of fieldwork, often in extreme conditions, sometimes for prolonged periods.
  • Able to curate, analyse and interpret large and complex data sets to peer-reviewed standards of scrutiny and audit.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills with the ability to communicate with a range of audiences, including publishing in scientific journals and being a public face for RSPB science to various media.
  • Self-motivated and able to work efficiently under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Able to work in collaboration with external organisations and individuals.
  • Skilled use of Microsoft Office and ability to use advanced scientific software for data analysis.

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Specific expertise in one or more relevant technical field skill (e.g. seabird tagging, remote monitoring technology, ringing licence, tissue sampling, rope access skills for cliff work).
  • Line management experience, including the ability to train and coach others in data collection techniques in sometimes difficult conditions.
  • Knowledge of key legal and practical requirements for ensuring health and safety of staff and volunteers, sometimes in challenging field conditions.
  • Ability to develop new ethically sound methods when necessary to answer novel questions.
  • This is a Permanent role for 37.5 hours per week. However, we also welcome applications from qualified candidates who may be seeking a part-time position. We are looking to conduct interviews for this position in early October 2022. We are willing to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate specific needs.

Salary: £33,600 - £34,860 pa
Application deadline: September 14, 2022

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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