Logo: RSPB


Research Assistant - Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Reference: NOV20218063

Location: Flexible in UK

Salary: £18,100 - £20,080 per annum

Benefits: Pension, Annual Leave, Life Assurance

Contract: Fixed Term for 6 months, Full-Time

RSPB is looking for someone with organisational/communications skills in addition to the fieldwork skills needed to support a pilot project aimed at whether breeding success of Lesser-spotted woodpeckers is limited by food supply/providing supplementary food/monitoring nest outcomes. They're a woodland bird which is declining due to low breeding success, and we're working with Woodpecker network and Natural England to identify ways of recovering their populations.

Previous research by RSPB and woodpecker network has identified that they fledge few chicks in the UK. This project is to trial methods to test whether increasing food supply can improve breeding.

About the role

  • The postholder will be responsible for siting feeders with attached monitoring cameras at RSPB reserves and will work with contacts to ensure these are maintained and data collected
  • In addition to recording information on the use of supplementary food, we're also interested in the use by competitor species
  • The post holder will also work with reserves staff to locate and monitor Lesser spotted woodpecker nests. A large amount of data will be collected and extracted.
  • Travel with overnight stays as the reserves are scattered across the UK
  • As the post holder will be working remotely and largely on their own, they'll be expected to manage their time and travelling to maximise data collection
  • You'll be expected to liaise with RSPB colleagues in the regions where you're working and act as an ambassador
  • Flexible in working patterns, working outdoors, and in a manner that ensures safety.

What we need from you


  • Degree or equivalent experience in field data collection
  • Knowledge of bird ecology/behaviour/conservation issues/scientific principles
  • Knowledge of licensing and regulations surrounding fieldwork
  • Practical field skills
  • Work in difficult conditions
  • To be self-motivated, use their own initiative and work efficiently
  • Record data in the field, collate/maintain electronic data
  • Verbal/Written communication skills to develop/maintain good relationships
  • To travel widely in areas not served by public transport
  • Relevant research/survey techniques


  • Experience of woodland research/survey work.
  • The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer.

Closing Date: Sunday 12th December 2021

To Apply and for more information:

If you would like to find out more about this position and to apply, please click here to be directed to our website.

No agencies please. 

Closing Date: 12/12/2021  Location: Flexible in UK

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