Conservation Scientist


£25,463 - £27,585 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Reference: A1020719

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, environmental policy & campaigning

Closing date: Thursday, 15th August 2019  

The RSPB Centre for Conservation Science is looking for a social scientist to work on a new Darwin Initiative-funded project in support of our Gola Rainforest conservation programme in Sierra Leone. Specifically, the project addresses whether agricultural interventions to improve food security can be succesfully contractually linked to reduced deforestation pressure on high conservation value community forest (HCV-CF).

Conservation Scientist
Reference number: A1020719
Location: Sandy, Bedfordshire
Salary starting at: £25,463 to £27,585 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: 28 months

This person will work with university and in-country project partners to design, test and refine survey protocols for use in local languages, train local staff in data collection protocols (using quantitative and qualitative methods), lead on management of a programme of focus groups and social surveys to collect qualitative data, analyse quantitative and qualitative data and write up results for the scientific literature and communicate results to different audiences using multiple fora and media. There will be extensive periods working abroad, for capacity raising of partners.

Specific tasks include a before-after-control-intervention assessment of the impact of project interventions on food security and diet diversity of householders in the project area, a programme of qualitative social science to understand factors that constrain participation in the project, and an end of project assessment of awareness and attitudes of householders to the concept of HCV-CF.

The skills required will be provided by someone with a PhD or equivalent experience in a social science discipline, such as psychology (e.g. social or behavioural psychology), sociology, behavioural economics or anthropology.

This person will have experience doing experimental and quasi-experimental research using both qualitative and quantitative social science methods and be skilled in using face-to-face interview techniques e.g. Participatory Appraisal, Key Informant interviews or Focus Group Discussions, to collect unbiased data from individuals or small groups. They will have a track-record of completing scientific projects from study design to completion, publishing the results efficiently in peer-reviewed journals and communication of results to diverse audiences. They will also have familiarity with the process of ethical approval for work on human subjects.

The successful recruit will have experience of working in developing countries, being culturally aware and skilled at capacity building of in-country partners in social science data collection. They will need the ability to communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders and be comfortable travelling to work in remote areas with basic living conditions for short periods of time.

This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. You will be asked to declare unspent convictions and cautions at offer of employment stage.

Closing date: 15 August 2019
Interview date: 27 August 2019

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