Senior Research Ecologist

British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)

Senior Research Ecologist
Based remotely in Northern Ireland in the first instance
Full time, Permanent
£34,635 per annum + 11% employer pension contribution

The British Trust for Ornithology is seeking a Senior Research Ecologist to take the lead
day-to-day on our BTO NI operation, with support from the Associate Director for BTO Country
Operations, Chris Wernham. The post holder will lead on ongoing close liaison with NIEA/DAERA,
other Government departments, other NGOs and other stakeholders in environmental evidence in NI
to deliver an existing programme of funded research, identify priority areas of future data and
information needs, and design, develop, fundraise for and deliver additional new research to
meet the needs of stakeholders across NI. The post is part-funded by NIEA/DAERA.

The role includes project management, project delivery, developing new projects with existing
and new funders, leading on proposals, maintaining excellent client relationships and building
new relationships with collaborators and funders in NI. It also involves representing the BTO
on some external scientific groups and broader representation of the BTO Northern Ireland
operation. It is expected that the postholder will spend around half their time on science
operational support (project and programme management, proposal writing and seeking funding,
staff management and external representation) and around half their time on science delivery.

The successful applicant should have a strong background in ornithology, ecology or a related
subject area, with at least 3 years of post-graduate experience (e.g. a PhD or equivalent
experience gained through relevant employment). The role requires broad bird knowledge, strong
analytical and project management skills, being prepared to be adaptable and getting involved
in a wide range of scientific projects, and being prepared to gain new skills and knowledge on
the job where necessary. Applicants should enjoy, and be effective at, communicating with a
wide range of stakeholders to assess their respective evidence needs, and with a wide range of
colleagues to source specific expertise and design work packages to meet those needs. They
should also enjoy developing new, innovative projects and have the drive to take these from the
proposal stage through funding to project management and delivery.

This is a permanent, full-time role based in NI. The postholder will work from home in the
first instance, but we are currently exploring possibilities to establish a small office in NI
in due course.

You can read the full role description by clicking on the role description under
‘supporting documents’ in the job details on our careers page.
 Please contact
[email protected] if you are not sure if you meet all the criteria for the role and would
like to discuss the role in more detail.


BTO helps to secure the future for birds and nature, using our science, monitoring and data to
inform good environmental decisions, inspiring others with the wonder of birds and empowering
them to work with us. Our priority is to make a positive impact for birds, using our strong and
objective science in partnership with others. We strive to work sustainably and to welcome

Our values

We are evidence-led, inclusive, collaborative and empowering.

Birds Science People; it is a powerful combination – will you be part of it?


  • £34,635 per annum
  • Annual leave entitlement on starting is 25 days plus bank holidays (pro rata if part time)
  • Life assurance (four times salary)
  • 11% employer pension contribution
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Retail discounts
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Flexible working
  • Free eye test
  • Effective job evaluation policy that recognises where staff increase their level of
    responsibility over time
  • Coaching and mentoring scheme
  • Staff groups and forums- First Aiders and mental health first aiders, Coaching and mentoring,
    Diversity working, Sustainability and Natural Working, and our staff group, creating a positive
    and welcoming culture to work in

Closing date for receipt of applications is 23:59 on Fri 13 Oct and Interviews
will be held remotely on Mon 30 Oct.

If you have a disability or long-term illness that otherwise prevents you from meeting
any of the essential criteria, please contact us to discuss whether a reasonable adjustment
could be made.

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled
applicants who meet the essential criteria for the vacancy.

We recognise that candidates from minority ethnic groups are under-represented in our
organisation, and that there are often additional barriers present for people from these groups
when applying for roles in the charity sector and beyond. We are committed to taking positive
action to expand the diversity of our staff team, and if you meet the essential criteria for a
role and are from a minority ethnic background, you’ll be guaranteed a first stage

Charity No. 216652 (E&W); SC039193 (Scotland)

Find out more & apply

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