Research assistant position to study bonnet macaques in Kerala, India

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Gosia Arlet

May 23, 2023, 7:03:08 AM5/23/23
to Primate-Volunteers

Position description:

We, at the Thenmala Macaque Project, are looking for a highly motivated, energetic, and enthusiastic Research Assistant to collect data on male behavior in bonnet macaques in southern India. This project is a great opportunity for those who want to obtain field experience before graduate school, as they will learn field methods relevant to the study of behavioral ecology. The project is conducted near the small village of Thenmala, an ecotourism site and a predominantly forested area at the foothills of the Western Ghats, in southern India.

The successful assistant’s responsibilities include: 1) locating macaques according to known ranging patterns; 2) identifying individual macaques using natural features; 3) data collection of male behavior; 4) fecal data collection, and; 5) sorting data. Field work is conducted from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, weekends are free.

The research assistant on substantial contribution towards the project will have an opportunity to contribute to manuscript preparation and submission.


Research or work experience with primates is required for this position. Experience in individual recognition of animals is an asset. Willingness to work under pressure as well as challenging tropical conditions (rain, mud, hot weather) that demand physical stamina and mental stability is essential. 

Moreover, the ideal assistant would:

  1. Have a background in biology, anthropology, primatology, or a related field.
  2. Be excited to work independently within the team and learn from others.
  3. Be self-motivated, patient, and able to work with minimal supervision while out in the field.
  4. Be hardworking, reliable, and committed to follow the working hours during the week.
  5. Speak English fluently, proficiency in Malayalam and/or Tamil is an asset.

Stipend depends on the experience of the candidate ($

Support provided for internship (travel, meals, lodging):

The research assistant will use part of the salary to pay the rent and bills (approx. $30/month). Research-related equipment will be provided (tablet, binoculars, etc.), while assistants should provide their own personal equipment (adequate shoes and clothes, raingear, etc.). Food (approx. $50/month), personal travel, international flights, visas, vaccinations and medical aid, and insurance are not covered. 

Term of Appointment:
As soon as possible, for a minimum of 6 months. There is one month of probation period.

Application Deadline: June 5th, 2023

Applications should include: 1) the latest CV, 2) the letter of motivation, and 3) contact information for two references, and be sent to: and with the subject title: Research Assistant Thenmala Macaque Project.

Review of applications will begin immediately after submission. Short-listed applicants will be contacted to schedule phone/Skype interviews as soon as possible. Upon selection, the candidate can join the project immediately.

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