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Primate Cognition Fellowship

Hiring Organization:
Smithsonian's National Zoo

Date Posted:

Position Description:
The Think Tank is a unique exhibit that focuses on the nature of "thinking" as a biological process, rather than focusing on a particular animal species or habitat. It combines the appeal of orangutans, monkeys, and other charismatic species with an interactive exploration of the question: "What is thinking?"

The National Zoological Park is a part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world?s largest museum and research complex. The Smithsonian includes 19 museums and galleries, as well as the National Zoo. The National Zoo is a large, complex, and diverse organization with a multifaceted mission: We save species. We provide engaging experiences with animals and create and share knowledge to save wildlife and habitats.

Successful applicants will be able to conduct independent cognitive primate research with orangutans and/or guenons and discuss their research as well as other current research occurring at the Think Tank by delivering a variety of daily demonstrations to large and diverse audiences. The successful applicant may propose a project to conduct research with gorillas, gibbons or lemurs instead of or in addition to orangutans or guenons as long as they commit to developing a public demonstration based on their original research that incorporates the orangutans and/or guenons housed at the Think Tank.

Smithsonian fellows are subject to fingerprinting, must pass a background test, and must have a current negative TB test (available at National Zoo).

All duties will occur in a dynamic zoo setting, and the appointed fellow will need to be a flexible team player. Safety protocols for fellows must be strictly adhered to at all times.

Strong preference will be given to those applicants that have a primatology focus with career goals in comparative cognition. Must be able to effectively and enthusiastically communicate to large groups of people through daily formal demonstrations regarding their area of research, as well as the Zoo?s primate research program.

The successful applicant must be able to conduct independent cognitive primate research and also be able to perform other duties as assigned (e.g. O-line behavioral watches, primate enclosure cleaning and enrichment prep).

Interested candidates should send a professional resume or CV, a one page statement of their interest in this position, 2 professional or academic references that may be contacted regarding the application, and a 1-2 page proposal for a cognitive project that can be conducted with the primate species housed at the Zoo, and how the project would be demonstrated with monkeys and/or orangutans at the Think Tank to Dr. Meredith Bastian, Primate Curator. The proposal should summarize the primary aims of the project, be appropriately referenced, and detail the proposed methods. Please include a budget for any equipment that needs to be purchased to carry out the proposed research and indicate funding source.

This is an unpaid fellowship.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):

Term of Appointment:
Minimum 3 -4 days a week (including weekends and holidays as scheduled); hours negotiable but may include some eight hour days. Commitment of 6 months starting Fall 2018 with potential for an additional 6 months.

Application Deadline:
June 4, 2018.

Contact Information:
Meredith Bastian
3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

Telephone Number:

Fax Number:

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