Department of Primatology
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
phone.: +49 (341) 3550 - 200
fax: +49 (341) 3550 - 299
Please also look at our job offers in German.
Volunteer position: Research Assistant at the Taï Chimpanzee Project
We are offering 3 volunteer positions to collect long-term data for the Taï Chimpanzee Project in Côte d'Ivoire, from July 2013 - August 2014.
Each vonunteer will be observing chimpanzees of one of our three habituated communities of wild chimpanzees. They will be trained to identify the chimpanzees, learn the behaviours, and their way around the forest. After the initial training they will work independently and collect behavioural observations (focal and ad lib data), as well as urine and fecal samples (for hormonal, bacteriological and virological analysis). The volunteers will collaborate closely with local field assistants and international students alike. They will be responsible for managing the long-term data collection for their respective community. In addition, at the end of their tenure they will be responsible to train their replacement.
Qualifications and Requirements:
The successful applicant will need to work independently in a remote and physically demanding habitat. Good social skills are needed to work and life amongst a group of international colleagues with different cultural backgrounds. The applicant needs to speak French and English. Previous experience in animal behaviour and previous field work will be beneficial.
Volunteers are self-funded. However, accommodation at the field site is provided and one airfare (Germany – Côte d’Ivoire – Germany, at a reasonable max.) as well as permit fees will be reimbursed after completed tenure. Current living costs are about 150€ per month, which volunteers have to provide themselves together with suitable clothing, health insurance and vaccinations.
Start and Term of Appointment:
July 2013 (for 14 months)
Applications including a cover letter stating experience, detailed CV, and the names and emails of two referees should be sent electronically. Evaluation process starts immediately and continues till all positions are filled.
Roman Wittig (Director of the Taï Chimpanzee Project)
Email: taichimpproject@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de
Field Position for the Pan African Programme
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, http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110817/full/476266a.html) 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.
- 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.
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@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de). Please reference “Field Positions - The Cultured Chimpanzee” in the subject line.
Research positions and graduate student positions (occasionally available)
Inquiries including a description of research interests and previous experience are welcome.
If you are interested in opportunities for field research, please contact:
- Christophe Boesch (boesch@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de) or
- Martha Robbins (robbins@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de) or
- Gottfried Hohmann (hohmann@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de)
If you are interested in research opportunities in the genetics laboratory, please contact:
- Linda Vigilant (vigilant@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de)
If you are interested in one of the specific projects mentioned elsewhere on the primatology website, you may contact the relevant researcher directly.