Senior Conservation Research Assistant

at SEED Madagascar
Published May 5, 2022
Location Fort Dauphin, Madagascar
Category Research  
Job Type Full Time  


About the organisation


SEED Madagascar is a British Charity working in partnership with communities in the south east of Madagascar. We integrate high quality community health, sustainable livelihoods, education infrastructure and conservation programmes to support long term, sustainable change and add to international best practice through research and publication across all of our programmatic areas. We are now looking for early career officers and managers to work alongside national staff and expand our team.


Position Overview


As the Senior Research Assistant (SRA) you will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the research camp, leading the research team in the field and working alongside the SEED Conservation Research Program (SCRP) Coordinator in maintaining, developing and expanding the current research projects, as well as developing novel ones. Working alongside National and International staff you will provide day to day management, support and training to the short term volunteers who join the permanent researchers for between 2-10 weeks. Your time will be split between the field and the office as workloads and priorities allow, although it is expected the SRA will spend a minimum of 80% of their time in the field.


The Senior Research Assistant will work in collaboration with SEED Madagascar’s International and National staff providing day to day management to the field team and site; taking responsibility for the research in the absence of the coordinator; working with the SCRP coordinator in maintaining the standard of current research and developing further research projects in line with SEED’s conservation research aims.


Location: Fort Dauphin, Anosy Region, Madagascar


Contract Type: 18 months extendable; basic local stipend of 800,000 Ar a month (food and transport paid in the field)


Location: Anosy Region, Madagascar


Reporting to: Conservation Research Program (SCRP) Coordinator


Duties and Responsibilities: **


Provide day to day management of the research programme and camp organisation in the field in the absence of the Coordinator


Support the Research Assistants to supervise volunteers during their time in the field including ad-hoc problem solving and pastoral care


Ensure good communication and team relations between volunteers, SEED Madagascar staff and local staff and ensure problems and concerns are reported


Take the lead in communicating with office-based staff including the Project development department, Head of Environment and Director of Programmes and Operations


Ensure risk assessments are in place for each activity and these are communicated with the team and volunteers


Support the SCRP Coordinator and Research Assistants in writing standard protocols for each research project


Support the SCRP Coordinator in ensuring that data collection follows protocols and is at publishable standard


Lead in training the research assistants and volunteers in field research techniques and ensuring consistency of data


Assist in the development of research projects, analysis of data and write up of research papers


Be the lead researcher on specific projects in the field taking on responsibility for the establishment of methodologies, organisation of data collection, input of data and analysis


Assist in writing quarterly internal and external reports for SEED and any collaborating partners


Work with the Executive Coordinator and Conservation Coordinator to develop the long-term vision of SCRP


Work with other departments to develop cross-disciplinary projects


Work alongside Media volunteers and SEED volunteering staff in producing information for the website and social media


Any other tasks the Director/ Project Coordinator deems necessary within the broad remit of this role


Personal specification


  • Have at least a first degree and preferably Masters in a conservation related field


  • Have at least two years practical experience in field based research


  • Specialist knowledge of either primatology, herpetology, botany or environmental education is desirable


  • Able to or willing to learn to safely handle and identify reptiles and amphibians


  • Previous experience of collecting data with a working knowledge of GPS and/or GIS an advantage


  • First aid certificate


  • Demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to SEED Madagascar’s ethos and approach and be a good ambassador for SEED Madagascar at all times


  • Have passion, curiosity and motivation for the job and the ability to enthuse others


  • Have the ability and desire to work with teams from different economic and cultural backgrounds and across multiple language barriers


  • Have the ability and desire to build capacity and share skills across cultures


  • Demonstrate proven ability to recognise and appropriately deal with challenging situations


  • Demonstrate an awareness of and comfort with increased social and professional responsibility, working at all times with cultural sensitivity and respect


  • Demonstrate the ability, social skills and confidence to give clear guidance and support to other members of the team in respect of the philosophy and procedures of SEED Madagascar in order to protect both their safety and the reputation of the NGO


  • Be punctual and be able to work to tight deadlines in an organised manner and to a high standard


  • Have a flexible and patient attitude


  • Have excellent problem-solving skills


  • Be able to work both independently and as part of a team




The successful candidate will be equipped with a laptop computer (non-tablet) and field camping equipment. They must also hold a current First Aid certificate.


How to apply

Application Procedure


Interested applicants should send a CV and covering letter in English outlining how their skills and experience match the requirements in the role description criteria and detailing why they wish to be considered for this post to Lisa Bass by email.

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