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Research Assistant/Associate - Communicating and Disseminating Conservation Evidence

Reference Reference: PF18649  (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Terrestrial / Aquatic Ecology & Conservation
Location England (East Anglia) - UK
Salary Additional Information Grade 5 - 7 Salary range: £26,243-£39,609 per annum.
Type Temporary / Contract / Seasonal
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 28/04/2019
Company Name ‘University of Cambridge - Department of Zoology
Contact Name
Email r.k.smith@zoo.cam.ac.uk
Website Further Details / Applications
‘University of Cambridge  - Department of Zoology logo
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We have a vacancy for a researcher to work with Prof. William Sutherland and Dr Rebecca Smith on the Conservation Evidence project in the Conservation Science Group in the Department of Zoology. The successful candidate will be responsible for promoting the use of scientific evidence summarised by Conservation Evidence in practice and policymaking (www.conservationevidence.com). The successful candidate will work closely with the Conservation Evidence team in Cambridge. The project is funded by Arcadia.

We are looking for a scientist with excellent writing and communication skills and a strong interest in improving the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation.

Conservation Evidence is a free, reliable information resource designed to support decisions about nature conservation. Research shows that conservationists and other environmental managers often make decisions without using relevant scientific literature. Conservation Evidence aims to change global conservation practice by collating, reviewing and disseminating the science on management actions for the maintenance and restoration of global biodiversity. Our goal is for practitioners and policymakers to have easy access to, and routinely incorporate, evidence into their decision making to ensure that conservation actions are more effective. So far we have produced 15 synopses of the evidence, which collate evidence for all management actions for maintaining and restoring particular species groups, habitats or ecosystem services. Others are currently being compiled. Each year we also produce an open access book What  Works  in  Conservation,  which  provides  expert  assessments  of  the  effects  of interventions  on  the  species  groups  and  ecosystem  services  covered  by  synopses https://www.conservationevidence.com/content/page/83

The work will involve developing new ways to disseminate the information, designing promotional and training material, presenting at conferences, running training workshops, linking topical issues with summarized evidence and writing articles for magazines, newsletters and websites.  It might also involve writing scientific papers and reviews on topical issues using methods developed by the Conservation Evidence group at Cambridge (www.conservationevidence.com).

Required skills and desirable experience for the position


  • Relevant BSc, MSc or equivalent, to a good level in an appropriate subject (e.g. biological sciences/ecology/zoology)
  • Demonstrable success at communicating science in a range of formats, such as websites, newsletters, presentations and newspaper articles
  • A strong understanding of strategic communications and marketing
  • Ability to write clear, concise summaries of scientific information for a wide audience
  • Detailed understanding of biodiversity conservation
  • Good general understanding of ecological statistics and experimental design
  • Fluent at writing and speaking in English
  • Experience running meetings/workshops
  • Demonstrable ability to complete projects to the stage of good quality outputs, on time
  • Ability to occasionally travel to meetings in the UK and overseas
  • Good team worker


  • Experience of summarising large amounts of information for practitioners/policymakers
  • A PhD, or equivalent experience, in an area related to biodiversity conservation
  • Design flair and experience designing promotional material
  • Experience in preparing training and educational materials
  • Experience in web design
  • Well-connected, with a thorough understanding of the conservation sector, nationally and internationally (this could include Government, private or NGO sectors)

Duties and responsibilities

The post-holder will carry out and oversee the following tasks:

1.         Promote the Use of Conservation Evidence

Plan and implement a strategy for disseminating and promoting the use of scientific evidence, as summarised by Conservation Evidence, in decision making for conservation practice and policymaking. As well as the tasks below, this will include meetings with relevant organisations to discuss how they could use conservation evidence.

2.         Communicate Scientific Evidence to a Range of Audiences

Promote Conservation Evidence through social media, articles in the media and magazines and websites of relevant organisations, regular newsletters, news feeds and presentations at meetings and conferences.

3.         Design and Distribute Promotional Material

Design leaflets and posters and promote Conservation Evidence at relevant conferences.  

4.         Provide Training in the Use of Conservation Evidence

In collaboration with the Conservation Evidence team, design and run training workshops in the use of conservation evidence for specific organisations and at conferences. Work will also include designing online training material.

5.         Oversee development of the Conservation Evidence website from a user perspective

The website is the main user interface for Conservation Evidence. Testing its usability, and developing its features in collaboration with users, will be an important element of this role. Day to day management of the web resource and its underlying databases will be carried out by others in the team.

6.         Develop an approach to monitor and evaluate the uptake of Conservation Evidence

This will involve benchmarking our website usage statistics against other similar websites, and setting targets for improvement; gathering and publicising case studies where evidence has made a difference to conservation decisions and formally gathering evaluative feedback from key user organisations.

Outputs expected are:

  • A series of training workshops
  • Targets for increased awareness and uptake of Conservation Evidence products nationally and internationally
  • A monitoring and evaluation plan for Conservation Evidence

How to apply

To apply for this vacancy, please click on the link in the 'Apply online' section of the advert published on the University's Job Opportunities pages. This will guide you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a covering letter in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please quote reference when applying: PF18649

Deadline: 28th April 2019

Interview date: 22nd May 2019

Informal enquiries can be addressed to:

Dr Rebecca Smith, r.k.smith@zoo.cam.ac.uk

For applications see here: http://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/20981/


The Department of Zoology

The Department of Zoology is a large, multi-disciplinary department whose members conduct research and teaching in areas ranging from molecular biology to behavioural ecology. There are over 250 staff and graduate students in the department and the final year undergraduate class numbers 100.  The department is in the heart of the city centre at the junction of Downing Street and Corn Exchange Street on the New Museums’ site. It is well placed for all of the Park and Ride bus routes and within a twenty-minute walk of the railway station. The department prides itself on the excellence of its research and teaching, whilst at the same time providing a friendly and supportive working environment.

For further information on the Department see: http://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/

General Information

The University of Cambridge

The University is one of the world's leading academic centres. It comprises 150 faculties
and departments, together with a central administration and other institutions. Our institutions, museums and collections are a world-class resource for researchers, students and members of the public representing one of the country’s highest concentrations of internationally important collections.

For applications see here: http://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/20981/

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