Are you recent postgraduate or undergraduate with a conservation, economic or social science degree in need of a summer job and interested in developing your research skills?

We are currently seeking several short-term interns to support researchers within the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science for 12 weeks. You will assist with recruitment, fieldwork and analysis for an exciting conservation social science case-study investigating local people’s values for Biodiversity across the counties of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, while exploring the impact of development and conservation activities on local wellbeing.



A consortium led by the Oxford Martin School has launched a project entitled “AGILE: Providing rapid evidence-based solutions to the needs of environmental policy-makers”. The AGILE project consists of implementing a series of 1-year ‘Sprint’ research projects that will provide cutting edge analyses directly relevant to policy development. AGILE represents an innovative, more efficient way of delivering excellent, policy-relevant interdisciplinary research that will enable better use of the evidence-base to significantly improve the way decisions concerning the environment are made in the UK and beyond.

A summary of this Sprint project is as follows: The UK government is becoming a global leader in biodiversity conservation. The Treasury (HMT) recently commissioned the Dasgupta Review of the economic case for biodiversity, and has set bold targets for nature recovery and Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) under the Environment Act. HMT's Biodiversity Working Group is currently updating guidance for the assessment of public sector spending (the Treasury ‘Green Book’) to incorporate and account for biodiversity across all government spending. This will be a key way in which the Dasgupta Review's recommendations are operationalised by the UK government. Businesses also have ambitious plans to report and reduce their impacts on nature (e.g. through commitments to BNG). However, how best to operationalise these bold visions and commitments to nature recovery represents a major challenge.

This project is focussing on how to reconcile commitments to invest in biodiversity improvement with the economic and social welfare of people most affected by these investments. The aim is to understand how to deliver sustained, socially just, welfare improvements together with biodiversity gains at the landscape level. Answering these questions will be critical for UK government strategy, and for meeting international biodiversity targets and aspirations.

This role will support the lead research assistant, Amber Butler, on of one of the Sprint projects being carried out under AGILE, which is led by Professor EJ Milner-Gulland (Department of Zoology).

We, therefore, seek excellent and enthusiastic research interns to assist with data collection and analysis in this highly collaborative project.


The role and responsibilities

  • Travel to key villages and towns within the study landscape, engage with residents, advertise and recruit participants for the research project.
  • Assist with collection of qualitative data on the relationship between the wellbeing of people living in the study area and their natural environment.
  • Support the RA in fostering stimulating, constructive and stress-free focus group discussions within local community centres.
  • Assist with the transcription and coding of large amounts of qualitative data.
  • Assist with the implementation of surveys instruments and the collection of quantitative data both in-person and online (JISC).


Selection Criteria

  • A strong undergraduate or postgraduate degree in a relevant subject (e.g., conservation science; environmental economics; ecological economics; or environmental psychology).
  • A demonstrable enthusiasm for biodiversity conservation and people-centred and participatory approaches to conservation.
  • Studied a programme that gives you a broad understanding of research methods and data analysis.
  • Excellent communication skills and confidence in speaking and engaging with the public.
  • A good understanding of data analysis methods and competency with Excel. An interest in learning new ways of collecting and analysing both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • You will have a good understanding of research methods ideally with experience of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques (such as focus groups or interviews).
  • An awareness and appreciation of ethical guidelines governing human-research, as well as key data protection legislation (Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR).
  • Social science fieldwork experience.


Pay and Benefits

  • A progressive living wage of £15.15 per/hr.
  • Holiday pay on the hours you work at a rate that is equivalent to 38 days per year. 17.1% of the hours you work weekly will be added to your holiday account.
  • Access to the University of Oxford’s learning and development opportunities.
  • A University of Oxford staff card that confers various benefits including free access to local museums, the Oxford Botanic Garden and the Harcourt Arboretum.



The contract will run for 12 weeks beginning July 16 and will be on an ad hoc basis. Interns will be expected to commit to a minimum of 12 hours per week. Schedules for data collection will negotiated and agreed following recruitment.


To apply or discuss the role further please send a copy of your CV and a single paragraph highlighting your suitability and interest to (Subject line: Research internship). 


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