Volunteers working at Dove Stones RSPB reserve, Peak District

Postgraduate opportunities

The RSPB supports and supervises a wide range of MSc projects and PhD studentships each year.

PhD Opportunities

Grazing in the uplands and its impacts on biodiversity 

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) PhD Studentship - Biological Sciences with Edgehill University. Supervised by Dr Ellen Fry and Dr Ashley Lyons.

The project will involve examining carbon stocks in restoring grasslands with fieldwork at RSPB Haweswater.

Closing date: Monday 17 January 2022

For more info and to apply, click here.

Woodland-mediated predator impacts on open ground birds

ACCE DTP fully-funded PhD project with the University of York, Department of Biology. Supervised by Dr C Beale and co-supervised by Dr Karl Evans, University of Sheffield; Dr David Douglas, RSPB; and Dr Scott Newey, James Hutton Institute.

The student will combine fieldwork and statistical modelling to develop predictive models of avian biodiversity responses to woodland expansion.

Closing date: Friday 14 January 2022

For more info and to apply, click here.

Assessing the ecological impacts of non-native gamebird release on reptiles in the UK

Anecdotal evidence suggests that gamebird release may be having negative impacts on protected species of reptile, but conclusive studies are lacking. Understanding the impacts of large-scale releases of gamebirds represents a major challenge. This PhD opportunity will be based at the University of Kent and will investigate the impacts of large-scale releases of gamebirds on reptiles.

The student will be supported by a team of scientists drawn from DICE; Dr Lucy Mason, Dr Will Peach and Dr Malcolm Burgess, RSPB; and the Amphibian & Reptile Conservation (ARC) Trust

Closing date: Wednesday 12 January 2022

For more info and to apply, click here.

The impact of climate change on the thermal ecology of cold-adapted butterflies

PhD opportunity based at Lancaster University. The student will investigate how increasing temperatures are affecting northern butterflies in the UK, and test the potential for managing habitats to promote climate change adaptation. Supervised by Dr Rosa Menendez, Lancaster University and Dr Clare Rowland, UK CEH.

The project will involve substantial fieldwork in NW England and Scotland, working with a collaborative team of researchers from Lancaster, Cambridge and Exeter University, as well as CEH and Dr Steven Ewing, RSPB.

Closing date: Wednesday 12 January 2022

For more info and to apply, click here.

MSc Opportunities

How to apply

You can apply for any of the MSc projects below if you are already enrolled on an MSc course at a university. Send an e-mail with “MSc project” as the subject to the project coordinator listed in the advert


Speeding up native woodland expansion

Can natural regeneration of native woodland be speeded up by ground preparation using mowing or prescribed burning? This project will use a 15-year old replicated management trial at RSPB’s Abernethy reserve, in the Cairngorms Connect partnership, to answer this question.

Closing date: 28 February 2022

Contact: Mark Hancock

The full details of the project can be found here Speeding up native woodland expansion.pdf