Conservation Scientist - Social Science


Flexible in England
£33,600 - £34,860 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Monday, 27th June 2022   Closes today

The RSPB Centre for Conservation Science is looking for a talented social scientist to join our People Conservation Science section. You will be providing social science research and evidence to inform a new project investigating how to spread conservation action through communities, with a specific focus on the gardening behaviours of UK homeowners living in new-build housing developments.

The project will examine what might motivate this audience to support and conserve wildlife where they live (with a specific focus on private gardens and community spaces) as well as what barriers might exist to prevent engagement in such behaviour.

What's the role about?

This is a new, exciting, 20-month fixed-term post, reporting directly to our Principal Conservation Social Scientist, Dr Joelene Hughes. Using mixed methods (surveys, interviews, observations) the post holder will test a behaviour change intervention strategy focussing on nudging different gardening behaviours. The research will thereby provide evidence about what works in terms of influencing wildlife friendly gardening behavior among residents in new housing developments. The researcher will be working with RSPB colleagues from outside the science department, and an external business partner who is funding the research. The post-holder will be expected to balance their own project work with some provision of general evidence-based social science advice to the RSPB project team. The post is a fixed term contract for 20 months working solely on the role defined.

What we need from you:

Essential experience

  • Proven scientific background (e.g. a PhD or equivalent experience managing a project) in a relevant subject or topic (e.g. sociology, psychology)
  • Experience in conducting experimental and quasi-experimental research using both qualitative and quantitative methods, including face-to-face interview techniques such as Key Informant interviews or through focus group discussions, to collect unbiased data from individuals or small groups
  • 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 the field.
  • Ability to communicate results appropriately to diverse audiences and stake-holders though various fora and media.

Desirable skills and experience

  • Publishing peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  • Experience of managing and coordinating a small team of volunteers or field staff and providing team direction.
  • Ability to train and coach others in data collection techniques.
  • Able to work in collaboration with external organisations and individuals.
  • Capable of being a public face for RSPB science to the media and social media.

Additional Information

This is a 20-month contract, full-time 37.5 hours per week.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from the week commencing the 4th of July 2022, and we are very willing to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate specific needs. For further information please contact Joelene Hughes at [email protected] 

As part of this application, you will be asked to provide a CV and complete an application form to evidence how your meet the skills, knowledge, and experience requested.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

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