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Science Officer (Birds & Energy)

We are looking for someone to support BirdLife’s science and technical work on understanding and addressing the impacts of energy infrastructure on birds, with a particular focus on developing approaches to spatially assess avian sensitivity to wind turbines, solar facilities and overhead powerlines.

Application deadline
Sunday, 19 February 2023 – 23:45

Cambridge, UK

Full time
35 hours per week

1 year fixed-term contract, with potential for extension

c£25,000 – £27,000 pro rata per annum (dependent on skills and experience), plus competitive 12% pension benefit

Annual Leave
25 days pro rata per annum in year 1, increasing by 1 day pa to 28 days

BirdLife International is seeking to recruit an enthusiastic individual to support its scientific work on the impacts of energy infrastructure on birds. The position will be based at BirdLife’s global headquarters in the David Attenborough Building, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

BirdLife is the world’s largest conservation partnership and a globally recognised leader in bird conservation science. Through our network of 117 national Partners, we are committed to finding practical and sustainable solutions to environmental problems that benefit both nature and people. BirdLife works actively with governments and the energy sector to ensure that the environmental impacts of energy development are fully considered and minimised. With our partner organisations, we have developed a range of decision-support tools and guidance materials to aid the nature-safe deployment of energy infrastructure.

The principal focus of the role will be to support BirdLife’s science and technical work on understanding and addressing the impacts of energy infrastructure on birds, with a particular focus on developing approaches to spatially assess avian sensitivity to wind turbines, solar facilities and overhead powerlines. The successful applicant will be involved in developing avian sensitivity mapping tools, including AVISTEP: the Avian Sensitivity Tool for Energy Planning (, which use geographic information system (GIS) approaches to identify areas where conflict between birds and energy infrastructure is likely. They will also be involved in developing research to inform our understanding of the impacts of energy infrastructure on birds and to evaluate the best strategies to mitigate these impacts.  As well as liaising closely with a diverse array of stakeholders and collaborators, by email and in person, they will also organise workshops, meetings and overseas trips and represent BirdLife at relevant scientific and policy fora.

Applications are invited from dynamic, self-motivated candidates who meet the following criteria:


  • Bachelor of Science and Masters’ Degrees (or equivalent experience) in either a biological or environmental subject.
  • Strong scientific background with a comprehensive understanding of scientific project design, literature review, report writing and mathematical computation.
  • Excellent knowledge of spatial analysis techniques.
  • Excellent research and data management skills.
  • Experience of collating, verifying, analysing, interpreting and disseminating biological data.
  • Experience of forging and maintaining relationships with stakeholders.
  • Experience of, and proficiency in, the practical use of GIS (preferably ArcMap).
  • Good knowledge of global biodiversity conservation issues.
  • Experience of interrogating Web of Science, Google Scholar or other academic databases.
  • Competency with Microsoft Office, especially Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint.
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a team.


  • An understanding of the issues surrounding energy infrastructure and its potential impact on birds and other wildlife.
  • An understanding of the use of spatial data in conservation and planning.
  • Specific knowledge of birds.


The successful candidate will report to the Senior Conservation Scientist. The role will require liaising with numerous staff in the Science Team and other departments, and with staff from a number of BirdLife’s regional offices and national Partners.  

See the full job description.

BirdLife values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. Find out more about our Diversity statement.

We are committed to building and maintaining an inclusive and supportive culture, a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit. We aim to promote a more inclusive environment, which attracts all candidates and signals our commitment to celebrate and promote diversity.

We will consider putting into place appropriate reasonable adjustments for candidates who may have a disability.

We are able to offer a hybrid model of working on site and from home/remote for most roles, which helps to ensure a flexible work life balance.

Start date: ASAP, and no later than April 2023

Application: Applicants should include a covering letter summarising their suitability for the position, a detailed CV, and contact details of two referees known to them in a professional capacity. Applications should be sent by email, stating where the advert was seen, to: [email protected] marking your application with ‘Science Officer (Birds and Energy) in the subject line.

Interviews: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Interviews will be held remotely using a teleconferencing platform during the week commencing 27 February.