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Research assistant needed for Snow leopard conservation PhD research


This is an exciting opportunity to take part in a University of Cambridge PhD research project. The study will examine human conflict with, and attitudes to, snow leopards Panthera uncia and snow leopard conservation in Sagarmatha National Park and Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Two to four research assistants are required to administer and process household questionnaires, and help with qualitative interviews and focus groups, from 4th February to 16th May 2014. This fieldwork will involve extensive trekking at altitudes of up to 5,500m.

Role description
Each research assistant position will include, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Paid working days of Monday – Saturday each week.
2. Orientation training in Kathmandu, 5/6th February 2014.
3. Working as part of a 5 – 6 person research team.
4. Under instruction from principal investigator and/or fieldwork manager, individually approach and sample households/individuals and conduct questionnaires of approximately 30 minutes each.
5. Carry out up to a maximum of 8 questionnaires per day.
6. As required, assist principal investigator and/or fieldwork manager in conducting/translating qualitative interviews and focus groups.
7. Assist with data processing, including interview/focus group transcription and spreadsheet data entry.
8. Travel to and from the study areas by bus/jeep/aeroplane/on foot with the rest of the research team.
9. Spend significant amount of time walking within study areas, carrying own personal belongings and some research materials, at altitudes of up to 5,500m and for up to 8 hours per day.

Essential criteria
• Fluency in written and spoken Nepali.
• Fluency in written and spoken English.
• Necessary equipment for trekking expedition, including warm and waterproof clothing, correct footwear, rucksack and 4 season sleeping bag.
• High level of physical fitness.
• Bachelors degree in an environmental or development-related subject, such as Forestry, Conservation, Sustainable Development, Rural Development, etc.

Desirable criteria
• Voluntary and/or professional experience in the environment and/or development sectors.
• Trekking experience, especially at altitudes of more than 3,000m.
• Experience of being involved in a research project with a focus on an aspect of the environment or development.
• Experience of delivering household questionnaires, qualitative interviews and/or focus groups.

Salary and expenses
The weekly salary will be NR 13,000 with a bonus of 100 for each questionnaire completed and a bonus of 200 for each interview/focus group completed. All travel expenses to and from the fieldsites, as well as travel insurance, will be paid for by the principal investigator but not food and accommodation costs.

Application process
Please send a C.V./résumé in English (including two referees contactable by email), along with a covering letter in English detailing why you are applying for the position and how you meet the criteria, to Jonny Hanson ([email protected]) by 23:00 Nepali time on Sunday 5th January 2014. Late applications will not be accepted. Interviews will be carried out by Skype in mid January 2014.


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