Job Opportunity - Scientific Affairs Associate Director Cayo Santiago Biological Field Station

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Giselle Caraballo Cruz

Jan 31, 2023, 4:09:09 PMJan 31
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The Caribbean Primate Research Center, Cayo Santiago Biological Field Station is searching for a Scientific Affairs Associate Director. 

 Scientific Affairs Associate Director for Cayo Santiago Biological Field Station 

The Scientific Affairs Associate Director (SAD) has oversight over the research of the Caribbean Primate Research Center of Cayo Santiago (CPRC-CS) facilities, and the day-to-day needs of researchers with active Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocols. The SAD works in collaboration with the Associate Director for Operations (DO) of the CPRC-CS; together they focus on their respective areas of expertise and spheres of governance to maintain the mission and vision of the CPRC-CS. 

Outwardly, the SAD will represent the CPRC-CS as the primary spokesperson for the science and services provided by the field station. The SAD will give voice to the vision of the CPRC-CS and the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus (UPR). To facilitate this, and in collaboration with the DO, the SAD will help oversee daily operations at the field station and thus must be in-person at the CPRC-CS Punta Santiago office or on at the field station of Cayo Santiago most of the week (at least 4 days). 

In summary, the SAD will be the go-to person for scientific matters, including upholding healthy lines of communication between the researchers and CPRC administration and initiating and managing projects involving both parties. Both the SAD and the DO will help maintain a mutually respectful environment where the CPRC-CS long-term and day-to-day goals are set and monitored. 

Reporting and Communication 

The SAD reports directly to the Director of the Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC) and the Director of the Unit of Comparative Medicine (UCM). 

New research projects and changes in research activities to existing projects or protocols are to be reported and approved by the CPRC Research Advisory Committee (RAC) and IACUC. 

The SAD reports monthly to the Directors of the CPRC and UCM, including the following: 

  • • Current research conducted at the CPRC-CS 
  • • Station’s use information as requested at the CPRC- P40 grant reports. 
  • • Prospective research inquiries or requests 
  • • Needs of the research community regarding the use of the field station facilities 
  • • Needs for improvement and grant proposals that can help fulfill those needs 
  • • Budget and/or progress reports for grants supporting the operations of the CPRC-CS 
  • • Colony management information including progress of population management agreed strategies. 

Duties and responsibilities: 


  • • Maintain scientific vision for CPRC-CS and initiate, coordinate, and develop research efforts consistent with this vision. 
  • • Responsible of initiating, coordinating and developing the field station’s research efforts. 
  • • Promote collaborations and serve as a liaison to researchers from national and international institutions between external institutions and the UPR. 
  • • Strengthen the international profile of the CPRC-CS through increased research efforts and collaborations, acquisition of external funds, participation in conferences, etc. 
  • • Oversee data collection, management, and analysis infrastructure for extensive CPRC-CS database used by CPRC staff and researchers. 
  • • Support investigators in data collection from the field station colony and extensive CPRC-CS database, and in publications and presentation preparation following field site visits. 
  • • Coordinates with the Colony Manager and DO the on-site efforts of the approved research projects considering the researches’ needs and animal colony well-being. 
  • • Analyze census and database data (including long-term and day-to-day operational decisions) and produce reports related to dataset to help inform colony management decisions and long-term strategies. 
  • • Assist in onboarding research assistants for CPRC-CS and projects conducted at the CPRC-CS. 
  • • Support students and researchers in coordinating travel and housing to Puerto Rico including requests for J1 sponsorship through the UPR. 
  • • Provide support for the Directors of the CPRC and UCM during grant submissions, grant renewals, and grant progress reports. 
  • • Motivates and ensure good cooperative relationships in the field and elsewhere. 
  • • Is member of the CPRC- RAC. 


  • • Promote a safe and inclusive research and education environment for trainees of all levels (undergraduate, graduate, technical, and veterinary). 
  • • Promote the CPRC-CS at various local campuses and through local education organizations to recruit undergraduate research assistants for projects conducted at the CPRC (external and internal). 
  • • Establish initiatives and maintain existing initiatives to recruit Puerto Rican student engagement with research activities at all academic levels (K-12, undergraduate, graduate). 
  • • Host site visits for interested educators, UPR or other institution student groups, visiting investigators of active IACUC protocols, and media site visits. 
  • • Schedule seminars during principal investigators site visits to give students opportunity to connect with faculty and additional research programs. 
  • • Oversee marketing, communications, publications, website, social media, and outreach efforts of the CPRC-CS. 


  • • Establish and oversee standard operating procedures in compliance with UPR’s IACUC and Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), in accordance with the standards of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Health (NIH), the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC). 
  • • Oversee annual, bi-annual, or semi-annual site visits and inspections of governing institutions, including UPR IACUC, UPR OSLI, USDA and AAALAC, and the CPRC External Advisory Board (EAB). 
  • • Maintain records of annual site visitors (research and otherwise), scientific output and publications related to field site resources, and science outreach for quarterly grant progress reports. 
  • • Liaison between visiting investigators and various offices within the University of Puerto Rico to coordinate different aspects of ongoing research projects. 
  • • Coordinate with the CPRC-CS Director of Operations, and the Administrative Assistant of CPRC-CS to manage ongoing facilities and operations projects and convey progress and timeline CPRC administration, governing agencies (IACUC, USDA, etc.), the EAB, and to principal investigators 
  • • Assist the DO with hiring of new CPRC-CS employees, including posting job solicitation, filling position, and onboarding new employees. 
  • • Work with the Administrative Assistant on estimating bench and trapping fees 


Graduate degree (Master or Ph.D.) in biology, ecology, anthropology, or related field (experience with NHP preferably) with at least two (2) years of experience of research, and providing academic mentorship, is preferred. Candidate must be able to work full-time annually, with the majority of hours (at least 4 days a week) in-person in the CPRC-CS Punta Santiago office or on at the field station of Cayo Santiago. Some weekend and evening hours could be required. 

Additional desirable skills: 

  • • Oral and written proficiency in English and Spanish 
  • • Strong collaborative and proactive leadership skills 
  • • Effective interpersonal, collaborative, and communication skills 
  • • Ability to work in fast-paced environment while maintaining projects with both immediate and long-term timelines 
  • • Skilled communicator, listener, and mediator 
  • • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office suite 

Preferred experience

  • • Guiding and motivating large multifaceted team with multiple competing interests 
  • • Field work and/or remote field work environment 
  • • Collaborating with diverse faculty, staff, and students 
  • • Mentoring or guiding students through a research project (from conception to presentation/publication) 
  • • Science communication (conferences, media, publications) 
  • • Data analysis especially in the context of decision making, identifying problems, and recommending solutions 
  • • Educating and mentoring trainees 
  • • Grant writing will be encouraged 
  • • Project management and balancing competing timelines and priorities 

Fringe Benefits and Salary to be discussed. 

Interested candidates, are invited to send CV and a letter of interest to: 

Dr. Melween Martínez- CPRC Director 

Dr. Carlos Sariol- UCM Director 

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