The Job

At the research centre we take on both students and volunteers. As a student you are able to carry out your own research project, whether it be for your undergraduate degree, Master’s or PhD thesis. Your project can either be one from our list (get in touch to see what projects we have currently got going on), or a project that you come up with yourself – providing of course it is in line with our research aims. As a research volunteer, you can get involved with a number of different tasks, including assisting students with their project.

Examples of research assistant activities:

  • Conducting mitigation trials, usually through observing and recording wildlife behaviour from a hide.
  • Walking electric fence transects to record species and circumstances of mortalities.
  • Walking transects to assess damage to crops.
  • Conducting counts of primate groups.
  • Checking camera traps in the field.
  • Identifying and tagging camera images.
  • Coding video footage of wildlife behaviour from mitigation experiments.
  • Contributing to the development of a mitigation database.
  • Helping create maps with QGIS.
  • Data entry.

All research assistants will receive full training for each activity prior to commencing any data collection. Data collection often involves travelling to other farms in the area from our base at Campfornis. If you have a full driving license and are happy to help with driving the project vehicle, please let us know in your application. All assistants are required to help with Earthwatch teams if they occur during your stay with us. You may also be asked to help train new research assistants on their arrival.

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 one project vehicle, 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 rather work on timelines such as 2 days on and 1 day off, or taking half days instead of full days off. This will depend on what research is taking place when you join us.

If, as part of your university degree, you do want to conduct your own research project, please ensure that we are aware of this upon accepting your position and that your project has been approved by us and your university. 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.

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