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Positions Available

assistent for health monitoring project

Hiring Organization:
Max-Planck-Institute for Evol. Anthropology

Date Posted:

Position Description:
The LuiKotale Bonobo Project offers a research assistant position for 9-12 months to collect data on bonobo feeding ecology and health at the LuiKotale field site in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Duties include:
- conducting full-day follows of focal individuals (5 minutes focal interval);
- ad-libitum recording of all food intakes and self-meditative behaviours of the focal individual;
- faecal and urine sample collection is necessary and performed opportunistically;
- sample processing at camp (storing and labelling of samples mainly).

The assistant is also responsible for collecting basic ranging, behavioural and ecological data for the site?s long term data set. Data are collected from members of two habituated bonobo communities using a combination of hand-held Cyber tracker devices, dictaphones, and long-hand notes. Due to the detailed nature of the data collection, assistants will spend a considerable amount of time transcribing notes from dictaphone recordings.

Overall, the field conditions are physically and mentally challenging. The forest is often dense and swampy; the work hours can be very long; and assistants are sometimes exposed to severe weather and tropical diseases. The research camp is located in a very remote area and has no running water, electricity, phone coverage, or internet access. Daily communication is limited to short emails that are sent via a short wave radio system, but satellite phones are available in the event of an emergency. Assistants live in tents in close proximity to one another and mostly eat simple, local foods (e.g., beans, manioc and rice). Both English and French are spoken in camp. Please carefully consider whether you will able to cope with these conditions for an extended period of time before applying for this position.

Ideal candidates will express an interest in animal behaviour, feeding ecology and/or anthropology, and demonstrate strong organizational skills and proficiency with the English language. Due to the challenging physical and social environment at LuiKotale, all candidates must be (a) physically fit; (b) resistant to psychological stress; (c) self-motivated and able to work with minimal supervision while out in the field; and (d) tolerant of different social customs and beliefs. Good social skills and the willingness to work as part of a team are essential. Previous experience using Microsoft Excel and navigating with a compass and GPS unit are assets, but not required. Please note that the LKBP adheres strictly to gender equality and will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment.

300 Euro/month

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
- food (mix of mainly local food and some western food items)
- lodging (in tents) at the field site
- airfare for one domestic flight from Kinshasa to the field site and back*
- expenses for visa*
- contribution to an international return flight of up to 800 Euro*

Please note that people joining the research team in the field are required to have a health insurance that covers expenses for evacuation by charter plane in a case of emergency. Expenses for the health insurance cannot be covered by the project.

Term of Appointment:

Application Deadline:

Applications include an updated CV, a letter of motivation that shows how the candidate meets the qualifications outlined above, and references of three people (or their contact information). Applications should be send to Dr. Gottfried Hohmann ( and to Dr. Barbara Fruth (

Contact Information:
Dr. Gottfried Hohmann
Deutscher Platz 6
Leipzig 04103

Telephone Number:
++49 341 3550 208


E-mail Address:

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