Primate Info Net Banner Wisconsin PRC Logo

Positions Available

ATTENTION: This job expired Aug. 5, 2013 and is no longer linked from the job list. If you are the job poster and would like to renew the listing, please access it through "My Job Listings" (available when logged in only).

Field Positions for the Pan African Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee

Hiring Organization:
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology - Pan African great ape population surveillance programme

Date Posted:

Position Description:
The Department of Primatology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is seeking highly motivated field assistants to manage a team for the collection, entry, and processing of scientific data as part of the Pan African Great Ape Population Surveillance programme ‘The Cultured Chimpanzee’. The project aims to compile a large data set to answer questions about the evolution of tool use, hunting, life history and social organisation in wild chimpanzees with a continent wide approach.

The successful candidates will work at temporary or long-term research sites where they will collect detailed data on chimpanzee demographic and social structure, tool use, behaviour and ecology, as well as organic samples for genetic, pathogen, diet and stable isotope analyses. The candidate will be responsible for the installation of remote video cameras and subsequent regular revisits for maintenance and data download. Additionally, data on food availability, prey species, other sympatric wildlife, human impact, and information on additional chimpanzee food sources such as ants, termites, nuts and honey will be collected. The candidates will also collect and store faecal, urine, bone and hair samples, as well as environmental samples for isotope analysis.

The candidate will be further responsible for data entry, sample storage, preliminary analyses and monthly reporting of progress and results. Finally, the candidate will be responsible for coordination of the project activities for the site, supervision of the team members, budgeting and managing the field site.

The field sites are located in Central African Republic, Cameroon, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Uganda, Senegal and Tanzania. Positions will begin in August with a 2-week training workshop in Leipzig, Germany, followed by approximately 12 continuous months at the respective field site and finally a 1-month stay in Leipzig to complete data entry, data backup and sample storage.

For more information see “Apes in Africa: The cultured chimpanzees” (Nature 476: 266-269, and visit

The successful candidate should hold an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in biology or a related field. As field work will be extremely demanding, the successful candidate must be physically and mentally fit, able to spend long periods of time away from developed areas and be comfortable with minimal living conditions (no plumbing, electricity, or housing) in extremely remote locations. The candidate must be self-sufficient and able to work independently, capable of learning fast and making decisions on his/her own. He/she also needs to be able to work in a team and communicate well with other team members and the project managers at the institute. Field experience (GPS usage, navigation and camping skills, etc.) is mandatory. All candidates need to be proficient with computers, graphics and spreadsheets, and proficiency in written and oral English is necessary. For candidates applying for the French-speaking countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Central African Republic, Cameroon and Republic of Congo), additional proficiency in spoken and written French is essential.

200€/month, of which 100€ will be paid each month. The remaining amount will be paid following the successful completion of the field data collection.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
- All travel costs (from home country to Leipzig, Leipzig to field site, return from field site to Leipzig and from Leipzig to home country) will be provided. Half of the cost will be reimbursed on the candidate’s arrival at the field site, and the rest on the successful completion of the project.
- Accommodation in Leipzig for the duration of the workshop.
- Accommodation at the field site (housing in established locations or in most cases, tents).
- Field survey equipment will be provided.

The candidates are required to arrange and cover the following:
- Health insurance that covers emergency repatriation and liability
- All vaccinations required for the country of travel prior to departure, and any medications needed, including malaria prophylaxis

Term of Appointment:
12-15 months

Application Deadline:
Friday, June 7th, 2013

Applications must be received by Friday, June 7th, 2013 in order to be considered. If you receive no reply within 4 weeks of the closing date, please assume that you were not successful on this occasion. If short-listed, you will be required to provide 2 letters of reference (these can also be submitted with the initial application email if desired). Telephone interviews will be held late June/early July. In order to apply, you MUST be available for the starting date of August 5th , 2013 for the workshop in Leipzig, Germany

Please send a Curriculum Vita and cover letter to Mimi Arandjelovic (arandjel /AT/ Please reference “Field Positions - The Cultured Chimpanzee” in the subject line.

Contact Information:
mimi arandjelovic
deutscher platz 6
leipzig, none 04103

Telephone Number:


E-mail Address:

Questions and Comments

Questions about a specific job listing should be directed to the contact person listed for that job. Questions and comments about using the Primate-Jobs web site can be directed to Joe Kemnitz at