Logo: RSPB


Senior Research Assistant

Senior Research Assistant (Full-Time Fixed Term)

Reference: DEC20215572

Location: Flexible in UK

Salary: £22,986.00 - £25,500.00 Per Annum

Swifts are a high priority bird species in the UK following declines of around 50% in the last 30 years which has recently seen them Red listed, and this project contributes to efforts to understand the causes of decline.

You will lead a small field team to undertake fieldwork during the 2022 Swift breeding season. This is a challenging project, and at times will involve long hours. Due to the activity patterns of Swifts some evening work will be required. You will help manage two Research Assistants, and volunteers.

Study colonies are expected to be mainly on houses, and you will be expected to lead on arranging permission for access. Towards the end of post you will be responsible for some data manipulation and interpretation tasks.

Key tasks include:

  • Identifying and arranging access to study sites in urban and rural areas; colonies on people\'s homes and businesses suitable to fulfil the project aims.
  • Monitoring swift nests and adult provisioning by observation, nest inspections and with cameras.
  • Capturing, ringing and fitting/retrieving GPS tags to adult swifts.
  • Collection of samples for laboratory analysis.
  • Managing data.


  • A relevant degree or equivalent experience.
  • Experience of planning fieldwork and supervising field assistants, training and supporting them.
  • Experience of ecological or advocacy work within urban communities.
  • Practical experience of monitoring nests.
  • A BTO or equivalent bird ringing license covering adult and nestling Swifts and operation of mist nets.
  • Consistently and accurately record data in the field and collate and maintain electronic data, skilled in the use of Microsoft Office applications.
  • Verbal and written communication skills to develop and maintain good relations with householders and communities, and other RSPB staff and local stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of, and adherence to, legal and practical requirements on protected species and health and safety.
  • Self-reliant, self-motivated with an ability to use own initiative to solve day to day problems.
  • Willing and able to work flexible and sometimes long hours including some evenings.
  • Full UK driving licence.


  • Good knowledge of Swift ecology.
  • Experience of working with Swifts.
  • Experience of using GIS.

This is a contract, full-time role for 5 months, working 37.5 hours per week, with the view of starting in late April 2022.

Closing: 14 February 2022

To find out more and complete your application please CLICK HERE.

Delete Date: 01/02/2022  Location: Flexible in UK (1 of three sites, TBD)

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