At out research centre, students and volunteers are offered the opportunity to participate in established research projects or carry out their own research project. Projects are carried out at our main research centre base, Campfornis Farm, the surrounding area of Alldays or Hardings Farm, where our new site has been established. Projects range from fauna to flora studies, to working within our local community.
- If you would like to make an enquiry or application, please visit our Become a Volunteer page.
- We have certain intake days, so please visit our Getting to Us page for specific dates.
We offer the opportunity for individuals who can only volunteer six-eight weeks the opportunity to get stuck in and assist with our general activities that help our research centre to run efficiently and contribute positively to our community and environment. General volunteering activities are ad-hoc and scheduled when possible. Activities might include:
- Identifying and tagging camera images
- Walking electric fence transects to record species and circumstances of mortalities
- Conducting wildlife group counts
- Habituation of a wildlife species
- Data entry
- Conducting mitigation trails, usually through observing and recording wildlife behaviour from a hide
- Litter picks and snare sweeps
- Helping to schedule or take part in community events
- Walking transects to assess crop damage
- Checking camera traps in the field
We are looking for volunteers who are excited to make an active contribution to the project. Volunteering positions are open-ended, but we ask for a minimum of three months. Most volunteers will work primarily on one of our long-term projects and assist with general activities or other projects when possible. We are open to your background, what is important is that you are passionate about wildlife, conservation or education.
Some ideal qualities in volunteers are if you:
- Have a background in biological sciences (or similar)
- Have prior field experience with wildlife or education
- Are reliable, responsible and motivated to work hard
- Enjoy working as part of a team and you are happy to operate under the authority of field research coordinators, whilst being competent working unsupervised
- Are happy to work long and unsociable hours in sometimes very hot conditions
- Have a valid driver’s licence (manual)
We welcome students from universities who want to carry out a professional placement or internship for their undergraduate degree, master’s degree or PhD. Your project can either be one from our list or a project you come up with yourself that falls in line with our aims. We will support you through the process, but the data collection needs of the project are prioritised over personal projects. As such, the time you are allocated to work on your personal project, aside from data collection, may be restricted. This may mean that you will have to focus on data analysis and writing up during your time off or when you return to your home country. Assistants completing such projects will be expected to give a short presentation of their methods and results to staff and other research assistants before they leave.
We recommend that you apply for your voluntary position at least six months before you are due to begin to ensure enough time for paperwork, visas and that there are positions available for your start date.
- Placements usually serve as a sandwich year and range from 5-12 months. Your university may require you to carry out data collection for your dissertation or to rotate through several projects to gain a wide range of experience and skills.
- Internships are usually carried out over one semester and range from 6-12 weeks, but they can sometimes be longer depending on your university’s requirements. Interns usually develop their own specific research question with our guidance to assist on a pre-existing project or on their own smaller research project. Ideas for smaller research projects can be found on our Projects page but we welcome interns who are happy to design their own study with our guidance. Primate projects are not available for interns staying less than 12 weeks.
Training & Guidance
All research assistants will receive full training for each activity prior to commencing any data collection. Data collection can involve travelling to other farms in the area from our base at Campfornis. If you have a full manual driving license and are happy to help with driving the project vehicle, please let us know in your application.
Workdays can sometimes start with leaving before sunrise and coming back after sunset, but more often the days are split into morning and afternoon shifts. However, with only two project vehicles, all our assistants need to coordinate and may sometimes have to wait for a pick up. Each assistant’s schedule will vary from week to week and will be different to other assistant schedules. We do not have set days off but will depend on what research is taking place when you join us.