mercredi 1 mars 2017

Position as research manager at the striped mouse project in South Africa

Starting August / September 2017 for 1.5 to 3 years 

We are looking for an extremely motivated and independent biology student with a master’s degree to join the striped mouse project at least until November 2018 and for a maximum of 3 years as research manager.
This position is suitable for somebody who would like to gain experience in field work and scientific
management. Managers get free accommodation at the station, a compensation to cover their daily costs, and either free food (approx. May to October 2018) or a compensation tobuy their own groceries (total compensation per month of approx. R4500). Travel costs can be refunded by up to an additional R 12 000 / year. As such, the position compensates for all arising costs but does not represent a real employment.
The research manager will work closely together with the station manager and both managers will share responsibilities. However, each will havespecific main duties, but should alsobe able to deal with all other duties (for example when the other manager is on leave, or when a new manager has to be trained). Our current research manager will leave the project end of November to start a PhD. The new research manager will be instructed by the present research manager and both will overlap for approximately three months.

Skills needed: The new manager must have experience in extended field work (people without this experience can apply to become a volunteer) and must have good knowledge of behavioural ecology or a similar field of research. Experiences in working with small mammals, radio-tracking, blood sampling, living at a remote location are of advantage.
Great opportunity: This is a great opportunity tospend 1-3 years in Africa, acquiring important skills in field biology and project management, while improving your CV. These skills will become valuable whether you later continue with a PhD or other jobs. It will be very hard and demanding, but also a once in a life time experience!
You must behard-working, highly motivated, able to work independently, good in communicating with people, able to supervise others, and notafraid of snakes. You should love tolive at a remote place in nature, without regular internet and cell-phone reception. Most importantly, you are fascinated by nature and science!
Job description: Five working days a week (Mo, Tue, Thu, Fr, Sat), with Wednesday being used for a shopping trip to town (not counted as working day) and Sundays being free. Included are four weeks of holiday for 12 months, which has to be taken outside the main breeding season (August to November)
during periods when other students are present at the research station.
Shared duties of managers at SKRS
Striped mice:
  Trapping
  Observing
  Radio-tracking, putting radio-collars on
  Blood sampling
Collect data for specific research projects (to be determined. Examples would be collecting urine samples, data on basking, cognitive testing …)

Primary duties station manager / secondary duties research manager
  Weekly data entry
  Weekly data check
  Monthly data backup
  Monthly data report
Technical support research station:
  Water system incl. sewage system
  Solar system
  Gas bottles replacement
  House and furniture
Training and supervision of field assistants  Running the respirometry laboratory
Training of students and postdocs  Management of the captive colony
Support for students and postdocs  Management of the research station car
Management of transmitters  Management of bank account and cash box
Management of field and laboratory supplies  Management ofresearch station supplies 

  Free accommodation.
  A monthly compensation of R 4 500, which is sufficient to pay all costs of living (approx. 3500/month). In months were SKRS organises communal lunches for all people at the research station (a specific project in 2018), the compensation will be reduced.
  For travel costs, R12 000 per year can be refunded, but proof (receipts) must be presented for this. This refund is only payable after 12 months.
  You will become an honorary researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand in the group of Prof. N. Pillay.
  Scientific co-authorship will be possible if the manager contributes to the success of projects by not only collecting the majority of data, but also by data analysis and writing of the manuscript. 

  The manager has to cover the costs to get to the station, including travel costs and visa fees. For this, a refund can be paid (see above).
  The manager needs to arrange for a health insurance covering him / her during the stay. A copy must be sent to C. Schradin before travelling to the stations. 

Place and project: Succulent Karoo Research Station (SKRS) in the Goegap Nature Reserve near Springbok in the Northern Cape of South Africa. The research projects are on the socio-ecology of small mammals, studying ecological and physiological reasons ofsocial behaviour, behavioural flexibility, and physiological adaptation. 

Period: The new manager is expected to start in August or September 2017 and to stay at least until the end of November 2018, the end of the breeding season 2018. The agreement might be extended for a total period of up to 3 years. 

How to apply?Please send a CV, a letter of motivation and the names and contact information of at least two scientists available for reference. The letter ofmotivation should state why you think you are the perfect candidate for this, and when you could start.
Application deadline:23rd of April. Skype interviews are scheduled for the first week of May.
Further information under
Dr. Carsten Schradin, Director of the Succulent Karoo Research Station, a registered South African nonprofit organization supporting research in organismic biology.