[MARMAM] Research assistant position Wales 2020

katrin.lohrengel at seawatchfoundation.org.uk katrin.lohrengel at seawatchfoundation.org.uk
Wed Nov 20 06:43:57 PST 2019

The Sea Watch Foundation is seeking a Research Assistant/Intern 
Coordinator for the 2020 summer season. This is an UNPAID position but 
accommodation is provided free of charge.

The Research Assistant is responsible for assisting the Monitoring 
Officer in the running of the “Cardigan Bay Monitoring Project” and 
coordinating the project interns. The project is based in New Quay, 
Ceredigion, West Wales, and works towards delivering on the conservation 
management of the bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise and grey seal 
populations of Cardigan Bay, monitoring their abundance, distribution, 
reproductive success and population structure using a combination of 
line-transect, photo-identification, land-based and acoustic surveys.

Start Date: April 6th 2020 End Date: November 1st 2020

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
Coordination between the Monitoring Officer, Sightings Officer and 
project interns – in charge of the intern shared house and the intern 
weekly office rota.
Assisting the Monitoring Officer & Sightings Officer in training interns 
and other volunteers in land- and boat based surveys, photo ID studies, 
database entry, and more.
Assisting the Monitoring Officer in all phases of the research.
Assisting the Sightings Officer with maintenance of the national 
sightings network.
Optional opportunity to undertake a personal research project supervised 
by the Monitoring Officer. Research topic will be chosen according to 
Sea Watch Foundation requirements and applicant’s interests.

The successful applicant is expected to have completed a BSc degree (or 
higher) in biology, marine biology, zoology, chemistry, or related field 
and able to demonstrate previous experience in marine mammal research. A 
strong interest and knowledge of British cetaceans and experience are 

The applicant should ideally have some experience using DSLR cameras. 
Practical experience of photo-identification (both photography and 
matching) is desirable. Experience with other equipment regularly used 
by Sea Watch Foundation such as hydrophone, theodolite, digiscope and 
aerial camera drone is advantageous.

The applicant must be proficient with database and word processing 
software and be willing to learn new software applications. Specific 
experience in use of Access and GIS would be advantageous. Knowledge of 
other relevant software such as PAMGuard or Raven is useful but not 

The preferred candidate should have a proven track record as a team 
player since the project will involve working closely with other 
researchers, but must also be able to supervise small groups of people 
given that they will be coordinating a team of at least 8 interns. The 
Research Assistant and interns live and work together on a daily basis 
which requires a high degree of diplomacy and interpersonal skills to 
maintain relationships and team morale. Previous experience working 
successfully in similar roles is essential.

Applicants should be aware that they will be assisting in running 
ongoing, established research projects that routinely inform government 
agencies on the status of cetaceans in the UK and accordingly are 
expected to take the internship seriously and prioritise it over 
extra-curricular activities. Working in a small NGO environment in a 
tight knit team can be a challenging experience and requires a high 
degree of flexibility, tolerance and a positive attitude.
Applicants must be self-motivated, with the drive and determination to 
work independently and responsibly without direct supervision. The work 
load is varied and therefore a high degree of organisation, attention to 
detail and ability to prioritise are essential.

If a personal research project is undertaken, this brings the 
opportunity to submit work for scientific publication, and for 
presentation at the European Cetacean Society Conference. However, this 
is a challenging position and it is up to the Research Assistant to 
pursue project work while not prioritising it over existing tasks.

The Research Assistant is expected to work 6 days a week with office 
hours running from 9AM to 6PM with an hour lunch break. Field work 
regularly falls outside of office hours, particularly land-based watches 
which take place throughout the day in two hours shifts from 7AM to 9PM. 
Line transect surveys are all day surveys and will typically start in 
the early morning hours and run for at least 8 hours. The Research 
Assistant is also entitled to one week’s holiday during the season, the 
dates of which should be agreed upon at the start of placement if at all 

This position is unpaid but (shared) accommodation will be provided in 
the intern house free of charge.
The Research Assistant will be responsible for their own travel expenses 
to New Quay for the 2020 field season. Due to the touristic background 
of New Quay, part-time paid evening work is generally easy to find if 
required by the applicant. There are a number of external organisations 
that may offer grants to partially cover living expenses.

International applications are welcome but it is the applicant’s 
responsibility to ensure visa requirements are met and the chosen visa 
option should be highlighted in the application form. 

To apply:
Please send your CV and Research assistant application form (available 
from the Sea Watch Foundation website 
https://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/internships/), and contact details 
of two referees, reporting any relevant experience you have, to Katrin 
Lohrengel- katrin.lohrengel at seawatchfoundation.org.uk
Deadline: 14th January 2020.


Successful applicants will be notified of the outcomes by 10th February 

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