ESC vacancies at SPEA, Portugal

ESC vacancies at SPEA, Portugal

esc-logo-enAssociação Spin, acting as the Coordinating organization, is currently looking for 3 ESC volunteers for 3 projects with our local partner, Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves, starting in November 2021!

Hosting Organisation: SPEA
Coordinating Organisation: Associação Spin
Activity start date: 1st November 2021
Activity end date: 31st October 2022
Activity duration: 12 months
Vacancies: 3 (for candidates residing in EU or EFTA countries)
Application deadline: 18th July 2021
Application consists of: filling this Google form + CV and project ­specific motivation letter
Application sent to:

The Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds is a non­-governmental non-­profit environment organization that promotes the study and conservation of birds and their habitats in Portugal, funded in 1993. It is the Portuguese member of BirdLife International.



» Project 1: SPEA’s Marine Conservation Department (main headquarters, city of Faro)

The volunteer will be integrated in the Marine Conservation Department and will be mostly involved in in the project “Life Ilhas Barreira”, coordinated by SPEA. Intervention area (and field work) is in the south of Portugal (Ria Formosa Natural Park, Algarve), and based on the project house; other office activities will ocasionally be done in Lisbon, at SPEA’s headquarters. The project can include a variety of tasks:

– Seabird census at sea;
– Support in capture-manipulation-ringing-release of seabirds (e.g.  Audouin’s Gull, yellow-legged gull, little tern);
– Seagull monitoring and counting in fishing ports and landfills;
– Coastal inspections to detect dead birds;
– Mapping native and invasive plants, and removal of invasive plants;
– Mapping, capture-marking- release (including camera-trapping) of introduced mammals – cats and rodents;
– Support to raising awareness actions for the general public;
– Support to the production of raising awareness resources and reports;
– Work with databases: insertion of data, processing of photos from camera-traps;
– Possibility of collaboration in other activities (ex. birdwatching training) and projects;
– Possibility of developing a personal project.

» Project 2: SPEA’s Terrestrial Conservation Department (main headquarters, Lisbon)

The volunteer will be mostly involved in conservation work and environmental education actions related to conservation projects, focused on birds and their habitats (mainly raptors), and mostly integrated in SPEA’s Terrestrial Conservation Department. The tasks will be diverse and might implicate travel with SPEA team:

– Environmental education and events: support the preparation and realization of actions for schools – for students and/or teachers  (including preparation of materials, etc); and support the organization of events for the general public and families (e.g. nature days), including  birdwatching activities;
– Field work: bird surveys/census; monitoring of conservation actions; prospection of birds under powerlines; etc.;
– Office work (related to monitoring and conservation): database input; data analysis (with Excel, ArcGIS, etc)
– Possibility of collaboration in other activities and projects in Marine Conservation and Environmental citinzenship Departaments
– Possibility of developing a personal project.

Project 3: SPEA’s Environmental Citizenship Department (main headquarters, Lisbon)

The volunteer will be mostly involved in environmental education actions and organization of events, integrated in SPEA’s Environmental Citizenship Departament, but also some seabird conservation work. The tasks will be diverse and might implicate travel with SPEA team:

- Environmental education: support to the preparation and implementation of actions in schools – for students and teachers (including preparation of educational materials, implementation of activities with children, etc.), especially in Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Project (all the year)
– Events for general public: support to the organization of events for general public (e.g. nature days), including birdwatching activities (occasionally)
– Sagres Birdwatching Festival: receiving registrations and helping in activities/secretariat during the festival days (august to october)
– Field work: collaboration in marine conservation project with Marine Conservation Department (under post-Life Berlengas project – approximately 1 week/month)
– Possibility of collaboration in other projects in terrestrial and marine departments (field work, data analysis, environmental education activies, etc)
– Possibility of developing a personal project.

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  • Travel cost – The two-way travel (from place of residence to Lisbon and back) will be reimbursed up to the limit given by the distance band of the place of residence, according with ESC rules;
  • Accommodation – Coordinating & hosting organization, Associação Spin, will provide the lodging in a flat as close to the office and the city centre as possible with all expenses included. If the apartment is located in the city centre, the volunteers will spend around 35 minutes to reach the working place. The volunteers will have to share the room with another volunteer/student/young person. They may also – if so, wished by the volunteer – receive a monthly accommodation allowance and be solely responsible for finding and paying for their own accommodation in Lisbon. For the Project 1 in the Marine Dept. in Faro the volunteer will be accomodate in SPEA’s House in Faro, sharing a double room with other volunteers/staff.  Likewise they may also – if so, wished by the volunteer – receive a monthly accommodation allowance and be solely responsible for finding and paying for their own accommodation in Faro.
  • Food & transportation – A monthly allowance will be provided to cover food expenses (150€) and  local public transportation in Lisbon (30€) and Faro (10,70€) . While doing field work, food, accommodation and transportation will be provided by SPEA.
  • Pocket money – Every month the volunteers will receive 150€ as pocket money.
  • Working hours – The volunteers are expected to spend 30-35 hours a week working. The daily timetable includes time for language learning, lunch, social activities and development of own project ideas, etc.
  • Days off – Volunteers are entitled to two days off per week (usually on Saturday and Sunday) as well as 2 extra days of vacation for every month of their voluntary work.


We are looking for young motivated volunteers aged 18-30, open minded, eager to learn about neTERRESTRE_SerradaEstrela_RaquelCorreia (17)w cultures and lifestyles, as well as to participate in the project activities.It is not required to have any particular degree of formal education, but to have positive and proactive attitude, show tolerance, flexibility, motivation and enthusiasm. In this project, patience and the capacity to work in a team, sometimes in a isolated Island environment, will be highly appreciated. We encourage applications especially from youngsters who already have some experience in volunteering or in working with environment related issues, namely with birds (e.g. birdwatching), environmental education and GIS software, , available to commit to a long term experience of volunteer work abroad and willing to know more about the work developed in ornithology and environmental preservation in Portugal. Any knowledge of Portuguese is a plus, however it is not a requirement.

All candidates must be registered with the European Solidarity Corps.


In order to be considered for the vacancies, each candidate has to fill this Google form and send  (in only 1 single e-mail):

  1. up-to-date CV,
  2. project-specific Motivation Letter

The complete applications (CV + project-specific Motivation Letter) should be sent to no later than July, 18th 2021.

Final remarks (please read carefully):

  • this is an open call with no assigned sending/supporting organization (we will partner up with the sending organization of the selected volunteer);
  • only candidates residing in EU or EFTA countries may apply may apply;
  • please make sure you are registered with the European Solidarity Corps;
  • we only accept complete applications that contain all the required documents;
  • due to the high number of candidates, we are only able to contact the short-listed candidates (in order to invite them for a brief Skype interview);
  • all the other candidates will be informed about the selection results by August 9th through our website.