jeudi 19 janvier 2017

Research on semi-wild chimpanzees in Zambia

We are looking for 2 conscientious and highly motivated volunteer field assistants to assist with data collection in semi-wild chimpanzees at Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage (CWO) in Zambia. The project uses observational methods to study personality in 3 large semi-wild colonies of chimpanzees. It is also possible to carry out Masters study instead of volunteering. Training on the job for volunteers, no additional research experience is required.
The assistants will work under the supervision of a PhD student on the field for 4 months, scheduled from May 10th to September 10th 2017.
Assistants’ responsibilities:
– Will be individually assigned to a chimpanzee colony and learn to recognize all the individuals in the group.
– Will video-record behaviours following a specific protocol which includes using continuous focal-animal and ad libitum sampling.
– Will be responsible in the data entry.
The assistants will live at the centre. It includes basic equipment and utilities including water, electricity (except at night) and wireless internet. Facilities (e.g. bedrooms, kitchen, showers, and toilets) will be shared with other people (e.g. researchers, volunteers).
Qualification / Experiences:
– Knowledge of behavioural data collection methods (e.g. focal and ad libitum sampling techniques) is not essential as it is very straightforward and easy to learn.
– Be sensitive and open-minded to other cultures.
– Be physically fit to walk to the chimpanzee enclosures each day.
– Be able to work both as part of a team and independently.
– Be reliable, patient, enthusiastic, attentive to details and committed to scientific research.
– Be hardworking, flexible and respectful towards any member of the team as well as staff.
– Show a positive and friendly attitude, and be comfortable with spending time away from family and friends.
– Be comfortable and careful with local wildlife (e.g. snakes, spiders)
Salary / Funding:
There is no salary provided.
Support provided (travel, meals, lodging):
The assistants will be expected to cover all travels to CWO (i.e. including international and local flights, local transportation). They will be responsible for the travel/international health insurance, recommended vaccinations, and any other gears (e.g. field clothes, insect-repellent products, medicines). All expenses related to accommodation (£25/day) and food (estimated to £20-25/week according to preferences) will have to be covered by the assistants. Assistants can join the weekly trip to Chingola (2hr drive) for shopping.
All research equipment (e.g., video cameras, hard drives) will be provided by the PhD student.
Term of appointment:
See above.
Application deadline:
Review of applications will begin immediately and the position will remain open until filled.
Please submit via email: (1) a statement of interest (2) a CV including relevant academic and research experience; (3) contact information of 2 academic or professional reference(s).
Contact information:
Hélène Chotard
PhD candidate
Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology
Department of Psychology, King Henry Building, University of Portsmouth,
Portsmouth PO1 2DY, UK
Email address: