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  • Writer's picturetaichimpanzeeproje

Seeking lab assistant for field lab in Tai

We are looking for a lab assistant for our field laboratory located in North Camp of TCP in the Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire. TCP is a long-term research project conducting research on many aspects of chimpanzee biology and conservation ( In the field lab we are regularly running PCR based tests of respiratory viruses (SARS CoV-2, HMPV, HRSV, etc.) and, if needed, a number of other pathogens. The tests on respiratory viruses is part of the hygiene measures that are in place to prevent transmission of potential deadly illnesses to wild chimpanzees.

The lab assistant will be trained at the Helmholtz Institute for One Health (HIOH) in Greifswald, Germany, in the PCR and other test techniques. A group of researchers at the HIOH will be available throughout the tenure to consult and help with the interpretation of test results. After the initial training, the lab assistant will be moving to Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, and living in North camp of TCP. She/he will be responsible for conducting PCR tests and quick tests during the obligatory quarantine of five days before international and national researchers are allowed to observe the chimpanzees. The research assistant will also take care of and store samples in the field laboratory (in Liquid Nitrogen, formalin, RNA later, etc.) and take care of the stocks of materials in the laboratory. In case of disease outbreaks, the lab assistant might also test a number of other pathogens that have been established in the field laboratory. The lab assistant is locally supervised by the TCP veterinary and remotely by a team of experts from the HIOH.

The lab assistant should have an education as technical assistant or at least a master in Biology, Biochemistry, etc. with experience in the lab and with PCRs. On average lab assistants have 3-4 days of work in the field laboratory. The other days the lab assistant can go with our trained research staff and observe habituated wild chimpanzees or mangabeys.

Living conditions are very basic. Internet connection is not reliably present. Living under remote and tropical conditions, living and working together with the same people whether one likes them or not, requires stress resilience, excellent social skills, and professionality in the work. The lab assistant needs to speak English AND French, and needs to be able to work independently.

We offer an initial training of about 4 weeks (depending on existing knowledge and experience) in Greifswald. Afterwards we expect a tenure of 9-12 months in the Taï National Park. The lab assistant receives free accommodation and a compensation of 500 € per months for living expenses, insurances, etc. After the successful tenure we reimburse the international flights from Berlin to Abidjan and back as well as visa costs (to a max of 1000 €).

This project a cooperation of the Institute for Cognitive Sciences (CNRS UMR 5229) in Lyon (F), the Helmholtz Institute for One Health in Greifswald (D) and the Evolution of Brain Connectivity Project at the Max Planck Institute EVA in Leipzig (D).

Please apply by sending a motivation letter, a CV (including your experience with PCR in the lab), and two references to

Start: January 2023. We will start to evaluate the applications immediately and until the position is filled.

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