Lomas Barbudal Monkey Project research assistant

Position Description:
I am looking for research assistants to aid in collecting behavioral data on white-faced capuchins. The primary foci of my research are (a) mother-infant interactions, (b) ontogeny of functional microbiome across weaning, (c) and infant growth trajectories. I am looking for 2-3 assistants to start January 2017 for 12-16 months.

I will be conducting my dissertation work in collaboration with the Lomas Barbudal Capuchin Project. The Lomas Barbudal Capuchin Project has been running for 26 years with long-term data on 11 social groups. We will focus on 2-3 social groups. Virtually all monkeys are well habituated, and their genetic relationships are known, as well as social histories. Please read the detailed guide to working on the monkey project before applying or contacting me:


You can find more information about the position here: http://lbmp.anthro.ucla.edu/how-to-help/internships/

Applicants are also strongly encouraged to read the book “Manipulative Monkeys: The Capuchins of Lomas Barbudal,” which is a popular science book documenting not only the first 15 years of scientific research, but the life style of researchers working at this site as well.

There are no absolute criteria, and we try to hire people with a blend of different talents. But some traits that help are good grades (>3.3 GPA), some prior Spanish training, and prior experience studying animal behavior and working in the field. The most important quality in a field assistant is strong work ethic and the ability to make a firm commitment for a year. Please do not apply if you are the sort of person who signs contracts and then backs out, as such behavior is highly damaging to the project (as well as to your own reputation). It is also highly desirable for applicants to have done some reading in primatology (not just websites, but journal articles and books, including some from this project) before applying.

Until I hear back about our pending grants, I will not know what level of funding I can provide. See below.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
I am currently applying to grants and will not know the funding situation until I am already in the field. You will need to initially cover the cost of housing (~200-300$/month), food (100-200$/month), and ticket to Costa Rica (500-800$ from US) during the training stage (2-3 months). Priority funding will go to assistants that stay for the longest (12-16 months).

Interns must feed themselves when away on vacation and visa trips. Assistants must buy their own medical insurance and the cost of sundries.

Term of Appointment:
I will be conducting my research for 16 consecutive months. I need 2 people to start with me January 2017. I will consider assistants for shorter stays (6 months) but you will be expected to cover all living costs and I will give priority to assistants that can stay for longer.
When you apply state dates of your availability.

To Apply
1. A letter of application that states your reasons for wanting this position and states why you think you are a suitable candidate. This letter should also include a statement of the time period for which you would be available and the amount of your expenses that you would be able to cover without additional resources from the project.
2. A resume or CV that details your past educational, research and work experience. It should also include your contact information (email, Skype and phone).
3. Unofficial copies of your college transcripts. For those of you applying from outside the US, a transcript is a list of the courses you have taken and the grades/notes/marks received in those classes. If you are from a non-US institution, you should also include a note explaining the grading system in your country.
4. Names and email addresses of 3 English or Spanish speaking people who can serve as references for you. Do not send pre-written letters, as the project will send them a list of questions. There should be at least one referee from each of the following categories: (a) someone who has supervised your academic work (e.g. a professor or thesis advisor), (b) a work supervisor/employer, and (c) someone who has lived with you in a cooperative living context, preferably while doing fieldwork.
These materials should be sent electronically to Summer Sanford at the following address: srsanfo2@iilionois.edu and the subject heading should read “application for field assistant position, Lomas Barbudal.” If there is no subject heading, this message will probably not be read. If you do not get a reply acknowledging receipt of the materials within 3 days, please resend the message.
Once your file is complete, it is possible that you will be selected for a Skype interview. Applicants who show evidence of having read something about the project during their interviews tend to make better impressions than those who have not yet familiarized themselves with the project’s missions and past research.