Purpose of the role

The purpose of this role is to provide veterinary support to the Vector-borne RADAR (Real-time Arbovirus Detection And Response) project (www.vb-radar.com). This UKRI/Defra-funded project (BB/X017990/1) is led by the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA), with the Institute of Zoology, British Trust for Ornithology and UK Health Security Agency as co-investigating organisations. The project which began in 2023 aims to enhance surveillance for mosquito-borne viral diseases of wild birds in the UK, with primary focus on Usutu virus and West Nile virus detection. The role will include 1. Seasonal fieldwork visiting wild bird ringing sites for sample collection under ASPA Home Office license across southern and eastern England, and 2. Conducting pathological investigations of wild birds submitted from across Great Britain. The postholder will work closely with the Garden Wildlife Health project (www.gardenwildlifehealth.org) veterinary team at IoZ.

Key responsibilities:

  • To visit field sites in southern and eastern England to collect diagnostic samples (e.g. buccal and/or cloacal swabs and/or blood samples) from wild birds under ASPA Home Office license in collaboration with licensed bird ringers.
  • To conduct post-mortem examinations of wild birds.
  • To appropriately store, transport and submit samples for molecular diagnostic testing and serological investigations conducted at APHA Weybridge.
  • To develop and analyse databases of results, to prepare research reports and contribute to development of peer-reviewed publication outputs.

About You

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A veterinary degree and membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • An interest in wildlife epidemiology, pathology and British wild birds
  • Relevant clinical/pathological veterinary experience
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
Key details: 
  • Target interview dates week commencing the 22nd July 2024
  • Expected start date no later then mid October 2024 with planned attendance of ASPA training course in York, 21-23 October 2024, for applicants who do not already hold a personal license.
  • This role is subject to standard pre-employment checks, including the candidate's right to work in the UK.

We strongly encourage applications from all backgrounds and celebrate the value of having a team of employees with diverse skills, experiences, and heritage. We are committed to ensuring our teams can bring their authentic selves to work without fear of discrimination. ZSL has active equality networks for our staff with lived experience and those who provide active allyship in Race and Culture, Team Pride, Disability Network, and Menopause Network, complemented by our strategic EDI Steering Group.  

About Us

We’re ZSL, an international conservation charity. Through our unrivalled animal experts in our two zoos (London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo), the work of our pioneering scientists, our dedicated conservationists, our purpose is to inspire, inform and empower people to stop wild animals going extinct. Our vision is a world where wildlife thrives and we’re working every day to achieve this. From investigating the health threats facing animals, to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, we are committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction.  

What do we offer?  

At ZSL, we are proud of our approach to employee benefits. Our benefits include:  

  • Our vision and purpose - you’ll work alongside colleagues who are passionate about science-led conservation, knowing that you will help us to inspire, inform and empower people to stop wildlife going extinct  
  • Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) - The contributions for the USS scheme are 8% employee contribution and 18% employer contribution. 
  • Flexible working – talk to us about your flexible working requirements and we will do everything we can to make sure you work in a way that suits you  
  • Holidays – 25 days annual leave allowance, plus UK bank holidays  
  • Wellbeing – access to a blended programme of wellbeing initiatives, including confidential access to our 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme  
  • Life assurance – eligible employees will be enrolled in ZSL’s life assurance scheme from their first day 
  • Complimentary tickets – annual allocation of Whipsnade Zoo and London Zoo tickets, with a 30% discount in online and retail shops  
  • Cycle2Work - our cycle to work scheme enables you to lease a bicycle  
  • Season ticket loan - we offer an interest free loan for eligibly London-based employees to buy a season ticket for travel between home and work  
  • Family friendly policies – we offer enhanced maternity, paternity, and adoption packages  
NB: We reserve the right to close our advertisement early or extend the advertising date until a suitable candidate has been found.

What our team say...

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