Field Research Assistant

Job description

The Field Research Assistant will conduct the wildlife fieldwork based out of our research camp at Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve (VMWR) in northern Malawi, reporting to the Research Manager. They will coordinate all research activities, supervise the volunteer programme, and manage the research camp.


Hours: Full time

Location: Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve/Lilongwe, Malawi

Remuneration: $200 per month stipend. Accommodation is provided in Lilongwe and the field sites. Transport inside the country (work-related, e.g. travel from Lilongwe to the field site) is covered by the project. All staff contribute funds to the weekly food resupply (this can vary but is usually 4,000-8,000 MWK/week). Personal travel, international flights, visas, vaccinations, medical aid, and insurance are not covered by LWT. You must have international medical insurance with emergency medical evacuation / repatriation covered on arrival.

Duration: 8 months with an option to extend to 12 months.

Start date: ASAP


Essential duties and responsibilites

 Coordinating and conducting field research
 Responsible for ensuring data is accurately collected, input, and stored
 Some data analysis and GIS mapping

Operations and Logistics
 Driving a manual 4×4 vehicle in the bush, responsible for upkeep and maintenance
 Responsible for maintenance of all project equipment (e.g. GPS, data sheets, batteries, etc).
 Responsible for organising scouts or other site-specific logistics and schedules
 Responsible for organising resupply and food shopping

Staff and People Management
 Responsible for coordination, supervision, and training of unskilled volunteers (both local and
international) who join the programme on a regular basis
 Working alongside our Malawian senior field research assistant
 Working closely and cooperatively with other team members representing the project and with partner
organizations including Department of National Parks and Wildlife
 Jointly responsible for camp maintenance and upkeep (including fetching water, charging equipment,
cleaning, cooking meals, conducting food and kit resupply runs, and volunteer pick-ups in nearby
Rumphi (45mins drive) and Mzuzu (2hr drive).

Reporting and Budgeting
 Produce bi-monthly project and logistics reports, newsletters, blogs, etc as required
 Be responsible for accurate budget record keeping and reporting

 Conduct all research activities effectively and efficiently to ensure that accepted standards of research and ethical behaviour are always met.
 Deliver other related duties as assigned by the Research Manager.
 Maintain compliance with all LWT policies and procedures, and the laws of Malawi.
 Attend and contribute to project meetings if required
 Be flexible in the hours worked to fluctuating demand

Education and/or work experience requirements

 BSc or higher in related field (biology, zoology, conservation, animal behaviour, etc.)
 Experience working and living in remote environments, preferably in Africa
 Experience in field based research in remote environments
 Physically fit – able to walk for hours in unfavourable conditions (e.g. heat or rain)
 Good communication skills, for both international volunteers and students and local Malawian staff and DNPW scouts and park management
 Experience in data collection, organisation, and analysis
 Experience with manual 4×4 bush driving and valid driving license
 Self-motivated, hard-working, flexible, and enthusiastic for the work; Positive mental attitude, and
ability to muck in and get on with it
 Able to work both independently and in a team, as well as live with others
 Must be willing to work on projects where there is an associated risk due to the remote nature of the
work, but must never take unnecessary risks that may endanger their life or the lives of their fellow
employees and partners and/or hinder project objectives
 Clean criminal record

 Experience in GIS, home range analysis, and distance sampling analysis
 Long term experience of field research in Africa (>6 months)
 Post graduate research experience / degree in elephant or primate research, or related field experience
 Experience with vehicle maintenance
 Project management experience
 Publications in peer reviewed journals
 First aid trained

How to apply

Please send a cover letter and CV to Applications will be considered until a suitable candidate has been found.