Volunteers working at Dove Stones RSPB reserve, Peak District

Postgraduate and internships

The RSPB supports and supervises a wide range of MSc projects and PhD studentships each year and offers internships as a training opportunity for budding scientists.


Opportunities for 2020, should be posted early December.


MSc:  Willow tit diet

Willow tits are a rapidly declining woodland bird with little information on their diet. Faecal samples have been collected from a few sites throughout the year. This project will identify food items from microscopic fragments in these samples and look for patterns of variation between sites or time of year.

Closing date:  CLOSED

MSc:  Spotted Flycatcher nest provisioning

In spotted flycatchers there are large differences in nest success between birds nesting in gardens and woodland. This project will use existing data collated from nest cameras to identify whether frequency and size of food delivered to the nest varies between habitats or is related to local habitat features.

Closing date:  CLOSED

MSc:  Upland grazing exclosures and birds

Twite, along with many upland birds, are red-listed in the UK. Conservation measures to provide suitable breeding season feeding habitats are generally restricted to farmland close to their moorland nesting sites. However, the potential for diversification of moorland vegetation communities to provide food sources for twite and other species is unclear. This project will evaluate bird use of large-scale upland exclosures relative to grazed controls.

Closing date:  CLOSED

MSc:  Twite use of conservation grasslands

The twite is a 'red-listed' species whose population has declined rapidly in England. To arrest this decline, trial management measures have been deployed in the south Pennines to increase breeding season seed food availability. This project will collect bird and environmental data to evaluate the use of these habitats by foraging twite. 

Closing date:  CLOSED

MSc:  Biodiversity responses to peatland restoration

The student will undertake a major literature review of the evidence for biodiversity responses to peatland restoration, with the potential for quantitative meta-analyses and the aim of producing a paper for the peer-reviewed literature.

Closing date:  CLOSED