Volunteer Field Assistant in Red Squirrel Conservation Project (Expenses paid)

Inverness College UHI


Volunteer • Full or Part Time

[email protected] 07903210005 Dr Louise de Raad

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Wednesday, 30th June 2021  


We are looking for an enthusiastic and dedicated Volunteer Field Assistant to work in our ongoing red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) conservation project. Using radio-tracking and direct observations, we investigate how red squirrels respond to habitat fragmentation and habitat loss caused by forest operations. We have recently published two academic papers relating to thinning operations and will now focus on clear fell operations. The project will provide empirical evidence with the aim to improve site management plans, forest guidance notes and to inform licensing procedures for red squirrels.

Tasks for the Volunteer Field Assistant consist of assisting with trapping of red squirrels (checking traps, assisting with putting collars on or taking these off) and radio-tracking red squirrels at various field sites. Our field sites this year are likely to be located on Cawdor Estate (near Auldearn) and Bunloit Estate (near Drumnadrochit) in the Highlands of Scotland. If you were available straight away, you can join the team re-trapping in Carrbridge over the next two weeks. Note that this position will have variable hours and will require you to work unsocial hours, with early starts or late finishes and will include working some weekends. However, we are flexible and will always try to accommodate any requests you may have.

We aim to cover most of your expenses: travel expenses (up to 40 miles/day at £0.45/mile), accommodation (up to £400/month), and living expenses (up to £160/month). You are responsible for finding your own accommodation, though we can make suggestions to help. Although we cannot offer any guaranteed (paid) work/employment after the voluntary position, there will be opportunities and the professional network and the work experience you will gain may lead to further opportunities and will be a valuable addition to your resume.

We expect this position to be taken up part-time (minimum of 3 days/week) with expenses paid pro rata (up to £125/week), though full-time is negotiable (the conditions in the Highlands can be challenging and we don't want people to burn out!) . The position would ideally start as soon as possible and we would ideally like you to commit for a 6-month period, though shorter periods will be considered.

You must have access to your own transportation to and from field sites and be able to transport equipment (i.e. car and driving licence are essential).

Experience with radio-tracking or small animal handling is be advantageous, but full training will be provided and previous field work in challenging environmental conditions and an ambition to work in conservation and/or research is sufficient.


Applications and/or enquiries may be emailed to [email protected] and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Interviews will be held virtually per Teams. Please clearly indicate your availability and your previous field work experience.