To undertake field work with a wide range of mammal and bird species.

Job description

  • Undertake surveys and monitor wildlife populations and their behaviour
  • Liaise with landowners and other members of the public to arrange access permission for fieldwork
  • Maintain computer spreadsheets and databases to a high standards
  • Undertake additional fieldwork duties as required, commensurate with the grade
  • Assist with laboratory work and with studies on animal reproduction and behaviour carried out in captivity

The Wildlife Team are based in Sand Hutton York but the Field Ecologist will be required to in numerous locations across the UK.

Reference number: 48805
Salary: £20,434 – £20,434
Grade: Administrative Officer
Contract type: Permanent
Business area: Other, Science Directorate Wildlife Department SD20/48
Type of role: Science
Working pattern: Flexible working, Full-time, Job share
Number of posts: 1


  • Able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Flexible working hours, occasionally required to work at weekends, out of hours and away from home for consecutive days
  • Able to multitask, working simultaneously on several projects


  • Experience of carrying out surveys and/or monitoring wildlife populations and/or animal behaviour in captive and field studies
  • Experience in dealing with landowners or with other members of the public
  • Regular user of spreadsheets and databases
  • Delivering quality results under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • Proficient with Microsoft packages such as Word and Excel
  • Carrying out physically demanding work in remote areas and/or on high slopes
  • Five GCSE Grade C or above (or equivalent) including English and Maths or English and a Science subject
  • Valid full driving licence


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together
  • Changing and Improving


  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.


Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.

Application Process

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete 4 250-word statements on the Behaviours listed above and a Statement of Suitability. Your Statement should be no more than 500 words, and should be aligned to the following guidance: Please give details of all of your skills and experience and your suitability as given in the job description.
Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead Behaviour, Delivering at Pace. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Sift and interview dates as well as the interview location to be confirmed.

If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on the Behaviours listed above and your experience.

Interviews will be held via telecom/Skype – dates to be confirmed.

Reserve List
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

New entrants will be expected to join on the minimum of the payband.

Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

  • Contact Government Recruitment Service via [email protected] as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
  • Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing [email protected] stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Childcare Vouchers
Any move to Defra will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

Internal Fraud Database Check
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: [email protected]

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Job contact:

Name: Rachel Embleton
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 02080262429

Recruitment team:
Email: [email protected]


JobDescription_AO Wildlife Ecologist Opens in new window (pdf, 107kB)