Senior Conservation Research Assistant

  • Added Date: Wednesday, 09 January 2019
  • Deadline Date: Thursday, 09 January 2020

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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 entry level officers and managers to work alongside national staff and expand our team.

Position Overview:

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 SEEDs conservation research aims.

Job title: Senior Conservation Research Assistant

Location: Sainte Luce, Anosy Region, Madagascar

Timeframe: 12 months extendable

Probationary period: 3 months

Contract: Local stipend

Reporting to: Conservation Research Coordinator

Duties and Responsibilities:

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

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

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

  4. Take the lead in communicating with office-based staff including the Project Development Department, Head of ERCC and Director of Programmes and Operations

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

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

  7. Support the SCRP Coordinator in ensuring that data collection follows protocols and is of a publishable standard

  8. Lead in training the Research Assistants and volunteers in field research techniques and ensuring consistency of data

  9. Assist in the development of research projects, analysis of data and writing of research papers

  10. 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

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

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

  13. Work with other departments to develop cross-disciplinary projects

  14. Work alongside media officers and SEED volunteering staff in producing information for the website and social media

  15. Any other tasks the Director/ Conservation 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

  • Ability to work to and advocate for all of SEED’s policies and procedures, safeguarding those that SEED works with and reporting any concerns appropriately

  • 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.

Interested applicants should send a CV and covering letter 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 on

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Long-listed applicants will have an initial informal chat with Madagascar based staff and short listed applicants will then be offered a face-to-face interview with the London team in person.

More information on the work of SEED can be found at .

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