An exciting opportunity to independently carry out ecological fieldwork, with a focus on plant and invertebrate sampling and identification, to collect high quality scientific data.

You will take responsibility for aspects of survey co-ordination, for example landowner liaison, to enable the delivery of UKCEH Biodiversity projects. Skills will be developed in stakeholder liaison, survey co-ordination, data management, spatial analysis and further developed in plant and insect identification.

Research Associate, Field Ecologist and Survey Coordinator
Full Time (37 hours per week)
Band 7 £26,533- £27,958 (depending on skills and experience)
Based at UKCEH Wallingford, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, OX10 8BB
Fixed term for 3 years
Closing date for applications is 24th September 2021
Interviews to be held week starting 18th October 2021

Main responsibilities

  • Follow scientific protocols accurately to collect botanical and insect data in the field to a high degree of taxonomic precision.
  • Support the delivery of large-scale field monitoring by liaising with land owners over access and helping to coordinate teams of surveyors.
  • Maintain UKCEH’s reputation with the farming community and wider public, through this landowner liaison and other forms of stakeholder engagement.
  • Take responsibility for administration needed to deliver large field surveys.
  • Contribute to laboratory work involving invertebrate sorting and identification. Contribute to data management and basic statistical and GIS analyses, to support writing of reports and papers.
  • Actively seek opportunities to continue developing field and laboratory skills in order to contribute further to science projects across the Biodiversity science area at UKCEH.

Skills to be gained

The post will be supported by a training programme to equip the successful candidate with the skills needed to become fully efficient in the role across the model applications of the team and to become widely applicable within the UK academic and private atmospheric science sector.

The exact programme will be tailored according to the skills and skill gaps of the individual, but will include:

  • Increased skills in ecological surveying, plant and insect identification
  • Stakeholder liaison
  • Data management and spatial analysis
  • Communication skills including presentation to academic and non-academic audiences
  • Scientific writing including the opportunity to contribute to writing papers and reports

Skills Criteria

Knowledge and qualifications

  • A good undergraduate degree or Masters level qualification in ecology, biological science or a related subject.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of identifying higher plants to species level in the field.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of identifying one or more insect taxa to species level in the field, e.g. butterflies or bumblebees.

Experience / proven abilities

  • Experience of collecting accurate data in the field, across a range of UK habitats and taxa.
  • Experience of successful liaison or engagement with stakeholder groups (e.g. landowners, citizen science, funders).
  • Experience of adhering to scientific protocols and risk assessment processes.
  • Experience of taking responsibility for the delivery of administrative tasks or parts of research projects.


  • Highly practical with strong team working skills.
  • Able to work independently and manage own time effectively.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Able to suggest solutions to problems and ideas for improvement, knows when to seek advice and guidance when solving problems.
  • Able to talk about work undertaken to non-specialists.
  • Understands the importance of budgetary control and value for money.

Other requirements

  • Competent driving skills are essential, including a clean driving license.
  • Ability to work anywhere in England, and to stay away from home for periods living in temporary accommodation, as needed for fieldwork on UKCEH projects.
  • You will demonstrate a commitment to promote and adhere to UKCEH values of Excellence, Integrity and Teamwork.

Desirable skills

  • Postgraduate degree in a relevant subject area.
  • Experience of GIS / mapping software and spatial analysis.

What we offer

To find out the benefits of working with UKCEH, please follow the link below for a summary.  https://www.ceh.ac.uk/sites/default/files/UKCEH-Terms-and-Conditions-Summary.pdf

About the Research Associate Programme

The initial appointment for Research Associates will normally be for a three-year term, however they are able to apply internally for permanent vacancies at any time. Subject to the Research Associate’s performance and long term skills needs within their Science Area, appointments may be reviewed and considered for open ended positions. There is an expectation that RA will be appointed at the bottom of the salary scale and will automatically progress to the next pay point at the anniversary of their appointment.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, click the link below. As well as a CV, please provide a covering letter detailing why you may be suitable for the role.